HIV’s Surprising Scientific Origins

HIV Origins Virus Image

HIV, which was first identified by medical professionals in the 1980s, has a much longer history in human beings than was previously believed. Source: Wikimedia

Doctors first identified the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in the early 1980s at the height of an epidemic. Tens of thousands of HIV-positive people around the world were dying as HIV developed into the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS.

Where did this plague come from? In the 1980s, fear and ignorance gave rise to speculation. In the United States, the religious right saw the virus as a cruel God’s punishment for homosexuality. Urban legends sprouted about crazed bestial encounters between monkeys and human beings.

This was all nonsense.

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Boffins Gone Bonkers: The Best Science Pranks

You don’t want to get into a prank war with a scientist. While today’s scientists adhere to the rigors of the scientific method, they come from a long lineage of thinkers who were not above using their intelligence to have some fun at the expense of another. Here are some of the best science pranks of them all.

Prank Perrin’s Gyroscope

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Project Isabela: When Slaughtering 250,000 Goats Meant Saving A Species

Project Isabela Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands Source: Flickr

Charles Darwin called the Galapagos Islands “a little world within itself.” It’s hard to imagine what his life and work would have looked like without this Pacific Island archipelago, and it’s just as challenging to think of the island chain without the giant tortoises which give the islands their name. For a time, though, those tortoises were at risk of disappearing. To save them, Galapagos enthusiasts began to think about conservation in new, lethal and not-so natural terms.

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#TheDress Making You Question How Well You See Color? Take The Test!

Have you ever really thought about how weird it is that we all see and experience color differently? It’s true for everyone, not even those who are color-blind. To a certain extent, the subtleties of seeing our surroundings in living color vary among all of us. That’s one of the major reasons that, when this image of a dress went viral on the internet this week, no one could agree on whether it was black/blue or white/gold. The reason? We all experience color differently. In fact, our experience of seeing color alters depending on the time of day — one reason that #TheDress so quickly became a viral sensation.

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