Right Now in BrainStuff

Research indicates that sleep is one of the many factors in how our bodies create, store, and burn fat. We explore (and offer a few tips for getting the most out of your sleep) in this episode of BrainStuff.

What Happens to the Unclaimed Dead?

When people die without family, or without identification, their local government lays them to rest. Learn about these fascinating traditions and how they've developed over the centuries in this episode of BrainStuff. 

Why Are the Oceans Salty?

Seawater is salty because of several quirks in Earth's water cycle. Learn the reasons why in this episode of BrainStuff.

Could Technology Replace Animal Testing?

Trying potential medical treatments on animals was once the best that science could do, but new technologies could make animal testing obsolete. Learn how in this episode of BrainStuff.

How Can We Recycle More, and Smarter?

China has long bought waste plastic for recycling from North America and Europe, but their policies are changing. What can we do with a surplus of waste, and how can we make the situation better in the future?

What Can We Learn from Fish about Walking?

Some fish that strut the seafloor share a common ancestor with humans, so researchers are hoping that studying these fish could help us understand how we walk. Learn how in this episode of BrainStuff.

Does Technology Make Us Worse Drivers?

Any high-tech car feature that takes your attention away from the road is a distraction, but are even our automatic safety systems actually making driving more dangerous? We explore in this episode of BrainStuff.

How Do Boogers Form?

Snot is a crucial part of our immune system and sinus health, and boogers are a byproduct of that system. Learn how they form (plus, why eating them might be advantageous) in this episode of BrainStuff.

Why Are Mass Shootings Happening in U.S. Schools?

Beyond the U.S. gun control debate, another question deserves examination: Why are schools so frequently the sites of mass gun violence in America? We explore the psychology and potential solutions in this episode of BrainStuff.

Is Room-Temperature Pizza Safe to Eat?

Leftover pizza can be an excellent snack or even a staple -- if it's treated correctly. Learn why refrigerated leftovers are safer than slices left at room temp, plus what toppings hold up best, in this episode of BrainStuff.

Is There a Better Alternative to Cash Bail?

Cash bail punishes the poor by setting a high price on freedom -- literally. But are there any better alternatives that won't break local governments' budgets? We explore in this episode of BrainStuff.

Cuttlefish Camouflage Is an Energy-Efficient Superpower

Researchers have found that cuttlefish's ability to change their color and texture at will is even more impressive than previously thought.

Where Did Middle Names Come From?

Having a first, middle, and last name is common in the West, but this wasn't always the case.

Why Are Stars and Planets Nearly Spherical?

Planets and stars are basically spheres, but why? We explore the science in this episode of BrainStuff.

Do Female Praying Mantises Really Decapitate Mates?

The female praying mantis: maneater or misaligned? Learn the science behind this popular semi-myth in this episode of BrainStuff.

Why Do Humans Dream?

The human brain is full of mysteries, and why we dream is a big one. Learn the leading theories about why we dream in this episode of BrainStuff.

Does Hot Yoga Need to Be So Hot?

Do students of hot yoga, who practice at 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius), reap more health benefits than room-temperature practitioners?

Could Humans Control Volcanic Eruptions?

Spoiler alert: Not yet. But researchers are working on it. Learn how in this episode of BrainStuff.

Sea Turtles Are Hatching Up to 99 Percent Female

A sea turtle's sex is determined by temperature, and global warming is making the Great Barrier Reef warmer than ever before.

Are We Getting Lonelier?

Experts are divided on whether modern lifestyle factors, like social media use and smaller family units, are leading to greater loneliness.