Chelsea Gohd

Science Writer covering everything from astrobiology to wildlife conservation technology

Roaring Earth

First Ever Recorded Behavior: Chimp Cares for Disabled Newborn

For the first time in history, a chimpanzee mother has been observed taking care of her severely disabled child. The chimpanzee infant, known as XT11, showed symptoms similar to down syndrome, a lack of motor abilities, an abdominal hernia, spinal damage, and an extra inactive finger. The infant was also not observed eating plants, suggesting that she was most likely dependent on her mother’s milk; and was unable to sit up without support. Christina, the mother of the young chimpanzee, rose to

Scientists Discover Theoretical Way to Reach Absolute Zero

Within quantum mechanics, there has been an observable limit (the quantum backaction limit) on how low you can cool an object experimentally. Up until very recently, that limit had not been challenged by conventional laser cooling techniques. However, physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cooled an object to a temperature below this quantum-limit. Theoretically, the novel technique they used could even cool objects to absolute zero.

NASA Just Released the Top Designs for Our Future Martian Homes

The surface of Mars is a barren landscape riddled with peril. From high energy radiation to barreling sandstorms, it is unbearably dry and currently unsurvivable for human beings. However, with the looming possibility of a manned mission to Mars, and future prospects of populated colonies on the Red Planet, NASA has been investigating different habitats that would best protect humans from the harsh elements. NASA accepted more than 165 applications for a Mars habitat design contest this past year as part of their Centennial Challenges program that engages the public in the advancement of technology. Utilizing the public to innovate in this manner has allowed for an influx of creativity. Applicants have 3D printed models of their designs, and while the ultimate winner was the ‘Mars Ice House,’ there were a number of promising and intriguing designs. Below are the top three winners of this contest.

Need a Therapist, Doctor? There's an App for That

In a time where healthcare often seems like a luxury, and even decent plans come with seemingly insurmountable out of pocket costs, many are turning to their mobile devices to pick up where our system has left off. In the past, I’ve used the pre-installed ‘Samsung Health’ app that mostly functions as a pedometer (it tracks how many steps you’ve taken). It has helped me hold myself accountable for physical activity…kind of. But as I see more and more apps rising in popularity, I am kind of skeptical of their validity—are some of them flashy but empty apps that are really just aiming to steal your data? Probably. But it seems that there should be something out there that is “genuine,” something that lets you do far more than simply measure your steps and really offers health assistance. To that end, let’s take a closer look at a few different types of health minded apps to see their benefits (and their limitations). Here’s a breakdown of how they weigh in.

Tentacle Serenade - The Mesmerizing Mating Dance of the Wunderpus

The octopus known as the wunderpus (Wunderpus photogenicus) is a species found in the shallows of the Indo-Malayan Archipelago. Although it is, as its name suggests, a popular quarry with photographers, especially in the Philippines scuba-diving haven of Anilao, much about this striking-looking species remains mysterious. The wunderpus was discovered in the 1980s and has only been the object of serious study for a decade. It lives in mucky surroundings that are hard to traverse. Its soft mantle cannot be tagged, making it extra-difficult to track its movements. Its population count in the wild is still unknown.

Gimme Shelter - The Many Homes of the Coconut Octopus

The coconut octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) inhabits the western Pacific and coastal areas of the Indian Ocean. This intelligent species does two things that very few underwater creatures do: it manipulates found objects and, at times, moves in a manner that’s awfully close to walking. Its favorite objects, as its name implies, are coconuts shells, which the coconut octopus puts to use as a crucial shield and shelter. Upon finding a discarded and split-open shell, the coconut octopus blows water into it, to clean out the mud, and takes one or both shell halves along. In order to effect this transport, the coconut octopus has been known to ‘walk’ along the seafloor on tiptoe.

Microbiome Monday: The Top Three Questions from Visitors

As part of the Museum’s special exhibition The Secret World Inside You, visitors can interact with live presenters who are on hand to field questions about the emerging science of the microbiome—the trillions of microbes that live on and in us—and how it affects us all. Presenter Chelsea Gohd, who has a background in public health and biological sciences, recently shared some of the most common questions she hears from visitors—and, of course, her answers to them.
All That Is Interesting

Google And The WWF Have Teamed Up To Stop African Poachers

Google and the World Wildlife Fund have teamed up to use some very cool technology to thwart some very ruthless animal poachers in Africa and Asia. Poaching and illegal wildlife trading, particularly in Africa, threaten countless species. Despite decades of conservation efforts, these criminal acts are only growing (rhinos, for example, were reported to have been poached 13 times in 2007 and 1,175 times in 2015). But according to Colby Loucks, Senior Director of the World Wildlife Fund’s conse
Imaginative Science

Between Quacks and Quarks

In the cutthroat fast paced world of empirical data analysis, conclusions are often plucked first by the media. Information is replaced by estimations, and correlations magically transform into causation. In an age where many fields are experiencing massive influx of discovery and media is weaved into all aspects of life, pseudoscience and science seem to overlap more often than not. In one example, the field of microbiology has seen incredible progress within the last decade or so, almost rein