by Katherine Wu Everyone remembers their first. Their first wool sock lost to the treacherous waters of the washing machine, that is. Wool clothing shrinks when it’s wet – so shouldn’t sheep, which are covered in the same material, shrivel up after torrential downpour? Yes – and just like your sweaters, the simple household trick of soaking sheep in conditioner and stretching them back out … Continue reading You Asked: Why don’t sheep shrink in the rain?
by Katherine J. Wu In space, no one would hear you scream. But make a quick detour down to the surface of Venus, and all bets are off. Because even if you scream on another planet with no one else around to hear it, you’ll certainly make a sound – just not quite the one you’d make on Earth. And with that cliffhanger, let’s tap … Continue reading You Asked: If you were able to talk on another planet, how would you sound?
by Katherine J. Wu The pets in our households are all descendants of wild animals, many of which still run free today. But dogs, cats, and rodents are all domesticated to varying degrees, with a wide range of consequences for their behavior and genetics. To understand the nitty gritty of this, let’s get some terminology out of the way first. When we discuss domestication, we’re … Continue reading You Asked: How are pets different from wild animals?
by Katherine J. Wu As an aging and increasingly cynical graduate student, I’ve found that my ability to keep up with the hip lingo has been waning in recent years. But even I know that “gluten” has become the dirty culinary word of the decade. One in five adults now avoid or completely eliminate gluten from their diets; in millennials, the fad is even more … Continue reading You Asked: What’s the deal with gluten?