Right Now in BrainStuff

How Do Mail Carriers Get Their Routes?

Delivering mail to all 372 million Americans along all 214,000 postal routes is no easy task. Learn how the U.S. Postal Service designs those routes in this episode of BrainStuff. 

What Can Babies See in the Womb?

A human fetus doesn't develop retinas until around gestational week 28. Learn how researchers have tried to figure out what babies can see in the few remaining weeks before they're born in this episode of BrainStuff.

Should We Retest Licensed Drivers Periodically?

Although some driving skills can deteriorate with age, experienced drivers tend to be the safest drivers. To an extent. Learn when and how experts think drivers should be retested in this episode of BrainStuff. 

Why is Horseshoe Crab Blood So Expensive?

Horseshoe crab blood is one of the most valuable fluids on Earth due to it's ability to detects endotoxins released by bacteria. But what does this mean for the species? Learn what the future may hold for these primitive animals in today's episode of BrainStuff.

Could California Get an Autobahn?

California legislators are considering creating speed-limit-free areas on some of their roadways. Learn how this might work (and why it might NOT work) on today's episode of BrainStuff. 

What Is the Mandela Effect?

When many people share a false memory, that's the Mandela Effect in action -- but how does it happen? Learn how our individual brains misremember stuff and how false memories can spread in this episode of BrainStuff.

What Happens to Donated Blood?

After you donate blood, it goes through a complex system of testing, processing, and storage before it can be delivered to patients who need it. Learn how the system works in this episode of BrainStuff.

What Would 'Medicare for All' Really Mean?

Some liberal U.S. politicians are promoting concepts of 'Medicare for All'. Learn how these proposals are different than the current American health care system (and how they compare to other countries' systems) in this episode of BrainStuff.

Why Does Cashmere Cost So Much?

Cashmere can be more expensive than other wools because producing it is such an intensive process -- for the goats that grow it and the humans who care for them. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff.

How Did Sealab Work?

In the 1960s, advances in technology allowed brave aquanauts to explore deeper into the ocean than ever before, but the project was shut down. Learn how Sealab worked -- and how that technology is still used today -- in this episode of BrainStuff.

What Can Earth's Deserts Teach Us About Martian Life?

To prepare for the search for microbial life on Mars, researchers are probing some of the harshest environments on Earth -- like the Atacama Desert. Learn how this work will inform future space missions in today's episode of BrainStuff.

How Did Desi Arnaz Change Television?

Lucille Ball's ex-husband wasn't just her 'I Love Lucy' co-star and writing partner -- Desi Arnaz changed the way television is produced and watched. Learn about his contributions to the industry in this episode of BrainStuff.

Why Is Our Galaxy Warped?

Our galaxy isn't a flat disk -- it's warped like melted vinyl record. Learn how researchers discovered this and why they think it happened in today's episode of BrainStuff. 

Can an Insurance Company Label an ER Visit 'Avoidable'?

A U.S. insurance companies has started cracking down on expensive emergency room visits by labeling some 'avoidable' and kicking the bills to the patients. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff.

What's the History (and Future) of Toilets?

The 'modern' toilet was invented in the 1700s. So what was it like in the past, and how could we improve on it in the future? Learn more about waste technologies in this episode of BrainStuff.

Are We Living in a New Epoch?

Some geologists say that humans have had a big enough impact on the Earth that we should declare a new epoch -- the Anthropocene. Learn why in this episode of BrainStuff.

How Are Airlines Cracking Down on Emotional Support Animals?

Emotional support animals are a real and useful therapy tool, but not all of them are trained to deal with the crowds and stresses of air travel. Learn what airlines can and can't do to prevent accidents in this episode of BrainStuff.

Can the Fear of Public Speaking Be Conquered?

As many as 7 in every 10 Americans have a fear of public speaking. Learn how this type of social anxiety develops -- and what you can do to fight it -- in this episode of BrainStuff.

How Long Can Animals Hold Their Breath?

Humans tend to max out at a couple minutes of breath holding, but some air-breathing reptiles and even mammals have evolved to spend extreme lengths of time underwater. Learn how long (and how they manage it) in this episode of BrainStuff.

What's in Movie Theater Popcorn?

The salty, buttery popcorn sold in movie theaters is nigh irresistible, but there's zero butter involved. Learn what it's made of in this episode of BrainStuff.