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: t.co/n8GwaJ8hWz

Spidey Sensor: Spider Leg Organs Inspire a New Sound Detector

popsci.com — Spiders "hear" each other and their environments through hairs on their bodies and through crack-shaped slits on their legs. These hairs and slit organs pick up tiny vibrations in the air, which help them detect movement - helping them find prey or a potential mate, for example.

Vampire Bats Might Enjoy Brussels Sprouts

popsci.com — They're not the best leftovers, but winter vegetables are worth making well beyond Thanksgiving - think squash, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts. If you don't like brussels sprouts, you're just wrong. It could be because you don't like their bitter taste, though.

Fruit Bats Have Sonar, Too

popsci.com — Although they fly like other bats and look like other bats, fruit bats lack the special biosonar that makes their smaller kin so unique. About 85 percent of the 1,200 known bat species emit ultrasonic chirps and clicks to hunt, but the other 15 percent, the megabats or "Old World fruit bats," don't do this.

A Special Brain Compass Helps Bats, And Other Animals, Navigate Correctly

popsci.com — When you step out of an elevator, how frequently do you know - intrinsically, without thinking - which way to turn? For some people, especially those who ride up steel cages every morning to an office, correct orientation is automatic. Others have to think about which way to go, and might awkwardly bump into our elevator-mates as we turn.

Hibernation Doesn't Affect Memory, At Least For Bats

popsci.com — Sleep deprivation saps much more than your energy. Studies show it also weakens your memory, changing the way we convert short-term memories into long-term ones. But not for bats. This time of year, millions of bats from a spectrum of species are hunkered down in caves, where they'll huddle together for warmth and hibernate through the winter.

Bulletproof graphene makes ultra-strong body armour

newscientist.com — Layers of carbon one-atom thick can absorb blows that would punch through steel. Recent tests suggest that pure graphene performs twice as well as the fabric currently used in bulletproof vests, making it an ideal armour for soldiers and police. Graphene is a sheet of single carbon atoms bonded together in a honeycomb shape.

Hibernation Doesn't Affect Memory, At Least For Bats

popsci.com — Sleep deprivation saps much more than your energy. Studies show it also weakens your memory, changing the way we convert short-term memories into long-term ones. But not for bats. This time of year, millions of bats from a spectrum of species are hunkered down in caves, where they'll huddle together for warmth and hibernate through the winter.

6 Surprising Facts About Halloween's Mascots

popsci.com — As a courtesy to bug-phobes, some of the more lurid images in this post will be hidden until and unless you press this button. SHOW Happy Halloween! If you're celebrating this year, which apparently three-quarters of Americans are, odds are you bought at least one thing with a scary spider or a scary bat emblazoned on it.

Plant Biology Informs the Origins of the Stradivarius

scientificamerican.com — A tomato expert and viola player uses plant statistics to trace the history of the violin ST. LOUIS - By day, Dan Chitwood of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis is a plant morphologist who studies how the form and structure of tomatoes evolves differently as they adapt to new environments.

Bullard worried markets, Fed not on same page on rate outlook

marketwatch.com — In a speech that offered an upbeat assessment of the economy, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said Thursday he is worried about what he sees as disconnect between what central bankers think will happen with monetary policy, and the view held by many in the market.
More Articles →
Dec 11, 2014

Spidey sensor! Scientists mimic spider legs to detect heartbeats, music & more. On EEK SQUAD @PopSci popsci.com/spidey-sensor-…

Dec 09, 2014

@Nancy_A scientists say, claim, argue, demonstrated, have evidence for. I try to avoid "believe" because of its faith connotation

Dec 08, 2014

Kudos @stltoday for being the latest to cut off the nasty effect, at least on the opinion pages. stltoday.com/news/opinion/c…

Dec 06, 2014

ICYMI: Wing-based sonar, brain compasses, and more batty things this week on EEK SQUAD @PopSci popsci.com/blog-network/e…

Dec 05, 2014

#scicomm friends: Any of you ever hired a subcontractor to help with reporting/writing? Any editors had experience with writers doing this?

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