Top stories: 'Vampire' squirrels, Bigfoot DNA, and disappearing plastic

(left to right): CHRISTIAN JASIUK/THINKSTOCK; HARUKO OBOKATA; DALE O'DELL/ALAMY

Top stories: 'Vampire' squirrels, Bigfoot DNA, and disappearing plastic

People would rather be electrically shocked than left alone with their thoughts

It seems many of us don't like being left alone with our thoughts. According to a new study, 67% of men and 25% of women would rather give themselves an electric shock than just sit quietly in a room and think.

Ninety-nine percent of the ocean's plastic is missing

There should be millions of tons of plastic floating in the world’s oceans, given our ubiquitous use of the stuff. But a new study finds that 99% of this plastic is missing. One disturbing possibility: Fish are eating it.

Nature retracts controversial stem cell papers

Earlier this year, two papers published in the journal Nature reported that simply stressing adult cells could turn them into powerful stem cells called STAP (stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency) cells—and immediately drew accusations of plagiarism and image manipulation. Now, Nature has published a much-anticipated retraction of both papers.

'Vampire' squirrel has world's fluffiest tail

The rarely seen tufted ground squirrel is a weird little animal. It’s twice the size of most tree squirrels, and it reputedly has a taste for blood. Now, motion-controlled cameras have revealed another curious fact: It has the bushiest tail of any mammal compared with its body size.

Nearly one-third of Americans aren't ready for the next generation of technology

Although most Americans have access to the Internet, a large percentage of them may be suffering from a lack of digital readiness. A new survey finds that nearly 30% of Americans either aren’t digitally literate or don’t trust the Internet.

'Bigfoot' samples analyzed in lab

Scientists have performed the first peer-reviewed genetic survey of biological samples supposedly collected from yetis, Bigfoots, and Sasquatches around the world. The results? At least in the lab, these elusive, hairy, humanoid creatures are nothing more than bears, horses, and dogs.

Posted in Scientific Community