The soil, which was developed by NASA to be as close as possible to what space travelers would be working with on Mars, was mixed with pig manure and then "seeded" with adult earthworms. Overcoming several potential dangers, the worms managed just fine, and soon the scientists discovered baby worms which had been born in the soil simulant.

A lot of evidence suggests that in cases of this kind, employers will stubbornly trust their intuitions — and are badly mistaken to do so. Specific aptitude tests turn out to be highly predictive of performance in sales, and general intelligence tests are almost as good. Interviews are far less useful at telling you who will succeed.

Most of the really wrong design decisions in the Shuttle system — the side-mounted orbiter, solid rocket boosters, lack of air-breathing engines, no escape system, fragile heat protection — were the direct fallout of this design phase, when tight budgets and onerous Air Force requirements forced engineers to improvise solutions to problems that had as much to do to do with the mechanics of Congressional funding as the mechanics of flight. In a pattern that would recur repeatedly in the years to come, NASA managers decided that they were better off making spending cuts on initial design even if they resulted in much higher operating costs over the lifetime of the program.

The subjects cycled through high-gluten, low-gluten, and no-gluten (placebo) diets, without knowing which diet plan they were on at any given time. In the end, all of the treatment diets - even the placebo diet - caused pain, bloating, nausea, and gas to a similar degree. It didn’t matter if the diet contained gluten. (Read more about the study.)

"In contrast to our first study… we could find absolutely no specific response to gluten," Gibson wrote in the paper. A third, larger study published this month has confirmed the findings.

It should be noted that this study is not about celiac disease — what it's saying is that if you don't have that specific disease you can eat all the gluten you want.

The country has outranked 162 others to take pole position in the Good Country Index, a league table based on 35 separate indicators from sources including the United Nations and the World Bank.

Sweden scores highest for positive lifestyle contributions including prosperity, equality, health and wellbeing, while also performing well culturally.

“We studied neighborhoods ranging in socioeconomic-status and culture. Those built with more activity-supportive environmental features had residents who did more physical activity. For example, transit access is a requirement for living a lifestyle that is less car-dependent and more active because it increases walking to and from the transit facility,” said James Sallis, PhD, lead study investigator and Distinguished Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

That's the verdict of a comprehensive review of the science on the subject recently published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest. The team behind the research looked at decades of studies focused on all manner of techniques and apps that promise to help you devour words at an incredible clip. Sadly, what they found is that what looks too good to be true almost certainly is.

A large proportion of the public – over a quarter according to a Gallup survey in the US – believe that humans have psychic abilities such as telepathy and clairvoyance, even though mainstream science says there is no evidence that these powers exist. It might be tempting for sceptics to put this down to a lack of intelligence or education on the part of the believers, but in fact past research has failed to support this interpretation.

Now a paper in Memory and Cognition has looked for differences between believers and sceptics in specific mental abilities, rather than in overall intelligence or education. Across three studies – this was one of the most comprehensive investigations of its kind – the researchers at the University of Chicago found that believers in psychic powers had memory abilities equal to the sceptics, but they underperformed on tests of their analytical thinking skills.

Back in the olden days, most typists were trained to use all their fingers. That’s less of a concern now, leading to all sorts of self-taught typing styles. But as a new study shows, our lack of formal training—and our resistance to using all ten fingers—doesn’t mean we’re not proficient typists.

This is a selective list of some short stories and novels that use more or less accurate science and can be used for teaching or reinforcing astronomy or physics concepts. I include both traditional “science-fiction” and (occasionally) more serious fiction that derives meaning or plot from astronomy or physics ideas.

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