Man develops 'thunderclap headaches' after eating one of the world's hottest chili peppers

cbc.ca – A 34-year-old man who ate a Carolina Reaper, one of the world's hottest chili peppers, during an eating competition developed dry heaves, severe neck pain and a "thunderclap headaches." The symptoms went on for days, according to a new report in BMJ Case Studies.

Source: Satish Kumar Boddhula, Sowmya Boddhula, Kulothungan Gunasekaran, Edward Bischof. An unusual cause of thunderclap headache after eating the hottest pepper in the world – “The Carolina Reaper”. BMJ Case Reports, 2018.

Science helps police close in on ivory cartels

cbc.ca – Genetic analysis has helped to identify three major ivory cartels operating out of Africa responsible for 70 per cent of the $4-billion US global ivory trade.

Source: Samuel K. Wasser, et al. Combating transnational organized crime by linking multiple large ivory seizures to the same dealer. Science Advances, 2018.

Gambling monkeys help scientists find brain area linked to high-risk behavior

sciencedaily.com – Monkeys who learned how to gamble have helped researchers pinpoint an area of the brain key to one's willingness to make risky decisions.

Source: Xiaomo Chen, Veit Stuphorn. Inactivation of Medial Frontal Cortex Changes Risk Preference. Current Biology, 2018.

Removing faulty brain cells staves off dementia in mice

theguardian.com – Researchers say that when they swept away the senescent brain cells in mice, the outwards symptoms of their dementia vanished

Source: Tyler J. Bussian, et al. Clearance of senescent glial cells prevents tau-dependent pathology and cognitive decline. Nature, 2018.

Gene-Edited Skin Patch Prevents Cocaine Overdose in Mice

the-scientist.com – With a built-in supply of a powerful cocaine-chomping enzyme, the transplant might also curb addiction.

Source: Yuanyuan Li, et al. Genome-edited skin epidermal stem cells protect mice from cocaine-seeking behaviour and cocaine overdose. Nature Biomedical Engineering, 2018.

Physicists train robotic gliders to soar like birds

sciencedaily.com – Scientists know that upward currents of warm air assist birds in flight. To understand how birds find and navigate these thermal plumes, researchers used reinforcement learning to train gliders to autonomously navigate atmospheric thermals. The research highlights the role of vertical wind accelerations and roll-wise torques as viable biological cues for soaring birds. The findings also provide a navigational strategy that directly applies to the development of UAVs.

Source: Gautam Reddy, Jerome Wong-Ng, Antonio Celani, Terrence J. Sejnowski, Massimo Vergassola. Glider soaring via reinforcement learning in the field. Nature, 2018.

Image of the Day: The Imitation Game

the-scientist.com – A bioinspired robot helps researchers study insect flight.

Source: Matěj Karásek, Florian T. Muijres, Christophe De Wagter, Bart D. W. Remes, Guido C. H. E. de Croon. A tailless aerial robotic flapper reveals that flies use torque coupling in rapid banked turns. Science, 2018.

Versatile robotic skin gives stuffed horse, other inanimate objects some giddyup

digitaltrends.com – Researchers at Yale University have developed a new sensor-packed robot skin that can be wrapped around inanimate objects, such as toys, to transform them into functioning robots. Here's why that's so exciting -- and which robots the team has created with their new tech.

Source: Joran W. Booth, et al. OmniSkins: Robotic skins that turn inanimate objects into multifunctional robots. Science Robotics, 2018.