Science

SYSK Selects: How HeLa Cells Work

In this week's SYSK Select episode, after she was diagnosed with the cervical cancer that shortly killed her, a tissue sample was taken from Henrietta Lacks in 1951 without her knowledge. Those cells would go on to become the first immortal line of human cells, something of enormous benefit to science and humanity as a whole. But while the line, called HeLa cells, became a multi-billion-dollar industry, her family languished without health care insurance. Learn about this complex case of private rights and scientific advancement in this episode.

Jellyfish: Even Cooler than Octopi?

Jellyfish are among the most adaptable, competitive organisms on the planet. They can grow back into their juvenile stage when resources are scarce, reproduce in massive groups and kill an adult human, among lots of other neat stuff. Learn all about em!

The Delightful History of Steam Technology

One of the coolest things humans have ever figured out is how to use steam as power. It made the Industrial Revolution possible and even today, 88% of America's electricty comes from steam turbines.

How Woolly Mammoths Worked

It was only 11000 years ago that the last true woolly mammoths died out, close enough to the modern age that humans lived alongside them. But were humans the cause of mammoths' sudden extinction or was climate change to blame?

How Triage Works

Triage is a system that provides immediate attention and categorization for medical emergencies that hopefully will never be a big part of your life. Unless you work in an ER. Learn all about the interesting history and current methods for this life saving system today.

How Chaos Theory Changed the Universe

Since the age of Descartes, science has put all of its eggs in the basket of determinism, the idea that with accurate enough measurements any aspect of the universe could be predicted. But the universe, it turns out, is not so tidy.

Research tips from SYSK

People often ask us how we do our research. We're not going to disclose all of our secrets, but we'll give you some tips on how to root out the bad studies from the good ones. Learn all about shady studies and reporting right now!

How Steadicams Work

There have been many inventions that have advanced filmmaking, but maybe none as important as the steadicam. Invented in the mid-70s, it literally changed the way movie making happened, and made the impossible possible. Learn about the fascinating history behind this amazing technology today.

What's the deal with controlled burns?

Starting a fire to prevent fire seems counterintuitive, but it makes a lot of sense once you understand it. But controlled burns aren't just to help prevent forest fires. They're also a vital part of keeping the local ecosystem healthy and thriving. Learn all about how controlled burns work right here, right now.

How Motion Sickness Works

Motion sickness is the worst and hits about 25 to 40 percent of humans when they ride in cars, boats, or simply watch the wrong 3-D movie. Join us as we break down the science behind this nausea-inducing affliction.