Questions in the Science & Nature category.
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I've recently taken an interest in the intersection between brewing/fermenting and historical medicinals (such as Bald's Leechbook or traditional bitters). Are there English-language texts or academic papers that review and compile some of these old recipes?
What is this rock my friend found in the woods? A fossil? [more inside]
How can I test an ant to see whether it and it's family will bite or sting? Other than to get it to bite or sting me, I mean. [more inside]
When researchers talk about the overlap between Neanderthal DNA and the DNA of some modern humans, are they talking about whole sections of DNA which are completely different? Or are they talking about stretches of DNA which are identical to other humans with the exception of a SNP or three every couple of hundred base pairs?
Help me, ornithologists of MetaFilter! A black-capped chickadee has decided my car’s passenger side mirror is a great place to poop. Then it spreads the poop, rendering the mirror useless and the car door revolting! Why, and how can I get it to go do something else instead? [more inside]
When I was a teenager back in the 70s I was almost albino white. So I'd try to self-tan with my dad's old sunlamp. Oy. [more inside]
I'm wondering if there's a protein or something that is less abundant in such people. [more inside]
Has anyone experienced short-term depression as a vaccine side effect? [more inside]
Why do I find old buildings soothing to look at? Looking at a cathedral built over 500 years ago in real life brings out an inner peace. Looking at a modern skyscraper does nothing for me. [more inside]
During a space launch, the flight director has all the different people check in on the net and say "go flight" clearly so that no objection can be missed. But if there were an objection, hopefully it would have been raised offline before that process, and you'd never actually get as far as the person objecting at that point. Has that process ever failed? Has anyone ever, during that "go flight" roll call, called for an abort because their objection didn't get registered before?
Looking to buy a present for a child turning 5 years of age who can't stop talking about stars, planets, the solar system, meteors, different species of animal, different species of plants, etc. [more inside]
Nobody on iNaturalist has identified this 1-1/4", pearl-gray pupa found in Durham County, NC. Can you help? I want to make sure it has food and appropriate moisture when it emerges. Also I'm curious. [more inside]
For a long while, we were told that achieving herd immunity would be when the future returned to normality. Now, we are being told that we likely won't achieve herd immunity; many have vaccinated, but we won't get there. Speaking from science and epidemiology (not people's opinions), what's next? (See inside.) [more inside]
I am trying to recall some research on humans, and maybe apes, using tools. I read this few years ago, and I'm not sure if I came across this in an academic paper, or just read a few sentences about it on some science website. I think the information had a scientific basis. The gist was that when humans use tools the tool becomes incorporated into our minds image of our body, which is why we can use tools so dang well. [more inside]
SARS, MERS, COVID-19... The next viral outbreak is inevitable. What should nations be doing to prepare? What should individuals be doing to encourage these preparations? [more inside]
Asking for a name of a mental health philosophy/method from any Mefite therapists, LCSWs, psychiatrists or psychologists – and what alternatives exist to it. [more inside]
I read a popular science book sometime between 1998 and 2005 that was an intellectual history of chemistry. I am trying to find it again but don't remember the title. Do you have any idea what book I am remembering? [more inside]
AskMe, it's come to this on a Friday night in late-stage pandemic parenting. My family and I are wondering why some gas (read: flatulence, farts) makes you feel sick to your stomach. Sick like nauseous, queasy, like you ate something bad. [more inside]
I was talking to a kiddo in my life about tree pollen, and she said she wanted another "science story". Through more conversation, and me wracking my brain for random science facts I felt I could explain well enough, I realized she wanted to just.. know everything. :) She loves learning stuff, on all subjects. I'm thinking that some kind of encyclopedia, compendium, or the like might be a great gift. She's 8 but is definitely reading at a higher grade level. [more inside]
I was reading this article about Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, and I came upon an interesting quote. I hope that the quote can be explained to me by someone with a background in math and/or physics. [more inside]