Author and TED talker Mary Roach describes orgasms as "a reaction of the autonomic nervous system, the part of the nervous system we don't consciously control... and can be triggered by a surprisingly broad range of input." But did you know you can stimulate a dead person to orgasm? Or that the Journal of Ultasound Medicine published a paper describing "observations of in-utero masturbation" - yes you read that right, observations of a foetus apparently masturbating.
The Yanomami live in the rainforests and mountains of northern Brazil and southern Venezuela / Sam valadi via Flickr CC BY 2.0
The microbiome of an isolated tribe of hunter-gatherers in the Amazon contain the highest levels of bacterial diversity ever documented for humans, according to a study published in Science Advances this week. And despite never having been exposed to commercial antimicrobials, some of their resident microbes carry genes that confer resistance to manmade antibiotics. That means the ability to resist was there long before our drugs came along.
An artist's concept shows the MESSENGER spacecraft in orbit around Mercury / NASA
After traveling 7.8 billion kilometers (4.9 billion miles) in over a decade, NASA’s Messenger spacecraft will plunge into Mercury at more than 3.91 kilometers per second (8,750 miles an hour) around April 30 when it runs out of propellant.
Octopuses are rather odd. The sophisticated brains of these hunters are encased in a soft, squishy body that’s encircled by eight long, flexible arms. Now, researchers conducting the first kinematic analysis of their arm coordination reveal how it doesn’t matter which way their head is pointed, they can crawl in any direction. And that’s thanks to simple shortening and elongating movements. The findings were published in Current Biology this week.