11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… horseshoe crab blood is an irreplaceable medical marvel—so biomedical companies are bleeding 500,000 every year. Read of the week!

Why do horseshoe crabs need compassion?

 

how Denmark created the world’s greenest island, and how climate change caused a river to change its course.

Illustration by Government Digital Services (GDS) Infographics. CC-BY-2.0

How do you teach about renewable energy? Take our quiz to see how your answers match up with other educators.

 

… feds face a big obstacle in cybersecurity efforts: geography.

Few cybersecurity experts are willing to relocate to Washington for lower pay, more bureaucracy and the likelihood of working with outdated technology.
Map by National Geographic

What is the geography of startup cities?

 

… five ways to make books with unfamiliar contexts accessible.

Osmosis is not one of the ways to make unfamiliar contexts accessible.
Photograph by James Stanfield, National Geographic

It’s World Book Day on Saturday, and the capital is Conakry, Guinea! We have some great recommendations for books from and about Africa.

 

… why man-eating lions prey on people.

These two maneless “Man Eaters of Tsavo” are blamed for the deaths of about 35 people at a railroad construction site in Kenya in 1898.
Photograph courtesy the Field Museum of Natural History. Public domain

How do scientists study the behavior of lion populations?

 

… scientists have created a fluid with negative mass. What?

“With negative mass, if you push something, it accelerates toward you.” Wrap your mind around that.
Photograph by Robert Sisson, National Geographic

Learn a little about our favorite engineer studying fluid dynamics.

 

… naked mole rats just got even weirder.

Naked mole rats are mammals, but they’re hairless, have a social structure like insects, they’re cold-blooded like reptiles, and now we found that they use fructose like a plant.
Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic

Naked mole rats, too, are part of the Photo Ark.

 

… indigenous myths carry warning signs about natural disasters.

Legends of sea monsters named Cetus (from which we get our word cetacean) may be based on the discovery of fossilized plesiosaurs. Myths about natural hazards may also have practical roots.
Photograph by Miguel Hermoso Cuesta, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-4.0

How were ancient storytellers inspired by the world around them?

 

scientists have discovered vast systems of flowing water in Antarctica, and a giant trash vortex in the Arctic.

Photograph courtesy Peter Rejcek, National Science Foundation

What is the weirdest body of flowing fluid in Antarctica? Blood Falls.

 

… why a Lagos slum is producing Nigeria’s top soccer stars.

Boys play soccer in the middle-class neighborhood of Dolphin High Rise Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria.
Photograph by Robin Hammond, National Geographic

How does body type matter in sports?

 

… how a border wall will impact wildlife.

Migration corridors and species ranges are limited by long border walls like this one.
Photograph courtesy Pixnio. Public domain.

What animals bridge the beautiful U.S.-Mexican border? How are scientists studying them?

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