Right Now in BrainStuff

How Are Ethnicity and Race Different?

The concepts of ethnicity and race are both human inventions with no basis in science, but these concepts have huge impacts on us and our world. Learn the difference between ethnicity and race in this episode of BrainStuff.

What Is the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon?

Also called the frequency illusion or recency illusion, the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon occurs when you learn something new, then notice instances of it everywhere. Learn how it works and how it got its name in this episode of BrainStuff.

Could Frozen Zoo DNA Stave Off Species' Extinction?

As human civilization encroaches on wild animals' habitats, some face extinction. Learn how researchers hope to someday use frozen DNA sample taken from zoo animals to replenish wild populations in this episode of BrainStuff.

How Does the Hippocampus Work?

Without the hippocampus, our brains have serious trouble recalling and recording certain types of long-term memories. Learn how this brain structure works in today's episode of BrainStuff.

Is Permafrost Really Permanent?

Despite its name, permafrost doesn't necessarily last forever -- and when it melts, it can have a negative effect on the environment. Learn how permafrost works (and how it preserves long-dead creatures so well) in this episode of BrainStuff.

What's the Difference Between Coroners and Medical Examiners?

These two types of professional death investigators often work together, but their jobs are usually distinct. Learn the difference in this episode of BrainStuff. 

How Do Animals Get Their Scientific Names?

The person who discovers a new species gets to name it -- but what do 'new' and 'discover' mean here? And do all names get approved? Learn how scientific naming and taxonomy work in this episode of BrainStuff (plus, meet a fish named after Greedo).

Should You Rent Grass-Mowing Goats?

Goats were the original weed wackers, and they're still super effective at controlling lawns and brush today. Learn why they're gaining popularity again in this episode of BrainStuff.

How Will Exploring Saturn's Moon Titan Be Different?

NASA recently announced that they're sending a rotorcraft to explore Saturn's giant moon Titan from the land and air. Learn how the Dragonfly mission will be different than other otherworldly explorations in this episode of BrainStuff.

How Do Food Forests Help Fight Hunger?

Food forests are free, edible community gardens that make the most of the land by following nature's lead on design. Learn how they work and how they may help end food deserts in this episode of BrainStuff.

How Do Birds Sing?

Birds are the only creature in the world that have the specially evolved organ called the syrinx, and it's what lets them sing. Learn how it works in this episode of BrainStuff.

How Do Tidal Bores Work?

Tidal bores are huge, fast waves that travel the wrong way up rivers, and they only form during very specific circumstances. Learn how they work in this episode of BrainStuff. 

How Could Hypersonic Missiles Work?

There's a new global arms race: to build missiles that could travel at hypersonic speeds. Learn where the technology stands and what it might be capable of in this episode of BrainStuff.

How Health-Helpful Is Turmeric?

Adding turmeric to recipes and taking supplements with it (or its active ingredient, curcumin) has become a global trend. Learn what science has to say about turmeric's medicinal properties in this episode of BrainStuff.

How Do We Find Asteroids Inside Earth's Orbit?

Although researchers think we've found most large asteroids whose orbits bring them near Earth, some are still surprising us. Learn why -- and how we find them -- in this episode of BrainStuff.

Can You Live Without a Working Amygdala?

The amygdala is a part of the brain that handles fear -- so would having one that doesn't fully function be a good thing or a bad thing? Learn about how fear hurts and helps us in this episode of BrainStuff.

What Is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?

American soldiers have stood guard over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier every minute of every day since July 2, 1937. Learn what this monument means and who's interred there in this episode of BrainStuff.

Who Was History's Most Successful Pirate?

In the early 1800s, a woman known as Mrs. Cheng or Ching Shih commanded the world's largest-ever pirate crew -- and she managed to retire and live a long, peaceful life. Learn about Mrs. Cheng's pirate empire in this episode of BrainStuff. 

Is Raw Milk Better Than Pasteurized Milk?

Proponents of raw milk (that is, milk that isn't pasteurized or homogenized) say it's healthier and tastes better, but the U.S. government still classifies raw milk as potentially hazardous. Learn both sides of the issue in this episode of BrainStuff.

Why Do Cats Chase Laser Pointers?

Something about the bright dot of a laser pointer is irresistible to many cats -- but why? And does this kind of play provide good entertainment for cats? Learn about lasers and the benefits of play for cats in this episode of BrainStuff.