Rebecca Boyle on Muck Rack

Rebecca Boyle Verified

Saint Louis, MO
Freelance Journalist

Freelance writer, dog lover, Coloradan, fan of Mars. Chronicler of night & its inhabitants, from astronomers to bats. Blog:

How Ancient Spiders Weaponized An Arachnid Version of Insulin — Venom contains powerful and highly targeted neurotoxins, allowing spiders, snakes and other predators to immobilize their prey and make for an easier meal. In many snakes, venom jump-starts the digestive process along with keeping the predator safe from a wriggling, often larger quarry. Spider venom isn't thought to play a major role in helping arachnids eat.

Sunlight could whip up water to slake lunar settlers' thirst — Read more: Click here to read the original, longer version of this story. Sunrise at the Tycho crater, as seen by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (Image: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University) THIRSTY moon settlers might enjoy a drink with the help of the sun.

Sunlight could whip up water to slake lunar settlers' thirst — Thirsty moon settlers might enjoy a drink with the help of the sun. At sunrise, its warmth drives water molecules from the lunar soil - ripe for harvest with the right know-how. Since 2009, several lunar probes have found indirect evidence of abundant water on the moon by looking for hydrogen, since the element is present in water molecules.

Listening to meteorites hitting Mars will tell us what's inside — Planets are just like people: what they reveal on the outside can help you read what's going on inside. Space rocks bombarding Mars's surface could soon be telling us about seismic activity deeper down. Sometime in the past, the Red Planet had a global magnetic field and active volcanoes, and it may also have had plate tectonics and underground tremors called marsquakes.

Pluto's strange family of moons are locked in a mysterious waltz — Pluto's moons have a dark side. Kerberos, one of the dwarf planet's five satellites, appears darker than its kin - and three of its siblings are locked in a rare dance, raising questions about how they formed.

The Key to Better Sleep in Space? Some Nice, Colorful Light — It's hard to get a good night's sleep in orbit. Astronauts on the International Space Station see a sunrise every 90 minutes or so, which leads to some seriously messed-up internal clocks. Sleeping pills help a bit, but now scientists think they can game circadian rhythms more naturally-and effectively-with new light bulbs.

Snazzy All-in-One "Vancouver Poles" to Replace Ugly Urban Forest of Cell Towers and Cables — Streetlamps, cell phone towers and parking meters lend a certain urban charm, but these unnatural forms can also get a little clunky, especially as they grow in number. To get rid of the clutter, the city of Vancouver is planning new all-purpose utility towers that will provide WiFi, cell phone service, parking, car charging and more - all wrapped up in a Candy Land-like stripey pole.

Massive Panama Canal Upgrade Could Transform Global Shipping--Again — Over the past 20 years or so, traffic on the world's oceans has quadrupled. Ships now carry 95 percent of the cargo imported to American shores. To move those goods more quickly and cheaply, cargo ships have grown nearly four times bigger--and many are now too large to fit through the Panama Canal.

Can I make my brain as plastic as a child’s? — Five years ago, in a new city and in search of a new hobby, I decided to try playing a musical instrument for the first time. I had never learned to read music; in my grade school, the optional orchestra class was offered at the same time as the optional robotics class, and I chose the latter.

How A Tiny Bat Might Interrupt A Massive Oil Pipeline — A bat that may soon be added to the Endangered Species List could interrupt plans for a new oil pipeline in the Midwest. The proposed Sandpiper oil pipeline, intended to carry crude oil from South Dakota to Wisconsin, is nowhere near as big or controversial as Keystone XL.
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Jun 03, 2015

Only regret about backing @BuddingStem on Kickstarter: I didn’t order ALL the shirts! Excited for baby to wear this!

Apr 30, 2015

RT @MESSENGER2011: Well I guess it is time to say goodbye to all my friends, family, support team. I will be making my final impact very soon.

Mar 25, 2015

RT @fcain: Here's a first peek at Matt Damon and his Mars rover from Ridley Scott's The Martian -…

Feb 27, 2015

My latest RT @aeonmag: Neuroscience tackles the possibility of reawakening our child brains

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