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:

Finding Out How Boa Constrictors Kill (It's Not How You Think) — It's a nighmarish situation: A gigantic snake slowly curls around your body, enveloping you in its slithery embrace. You begin seeing stars, and start gasping for breath. But your life will not end because you're suffocating. Actually, it's more like you're having your insides squeezed shut.

Musk Reveals Cause Of SpaceX Explosion — A failed steel strut holding down a canister of helium probably caused SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket to explode shortly after liftoff last month, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said today. But the Dragon capsule riding on that rocket, bound for the International Space Station, would likely have survived if only software had been programmed to unfurl its parachute.

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.
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Jul 18, 2015

RT @CIFAR_News: Vibrating stars could reveal elusive ripples in space-time @rboyle31 CIFAR Associate Fellow Joseph Silk

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.

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