Friday Coffee Break

Every Friday at Nothing in Biology Makes Sense! our contributors pass around links to new scientific results, or science-y news, or videos of adorable wildlife, that they’re most likely to bring up while waiting in line for a latte.

From Sarah: Have humans pushed the planetary environment headed toward a “tipping point” of rapid change? Very possibly.
“Everything that happened the last time around is happening now, only more of it,” said [UC Berkelely paleoecologist Anthony] Barnosky of the last ice age’s end and ongoing changes to Earth’s climate and biosphere. “I think the evidence makes it pretty clear that another critical transition or tipping point is very plausible within the next century.”
From CJ: America’s “brainiest” cities, calculated. Well, okay, then:
5. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose
6. Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City & Dubuque, Iowa
7. Honolulu
8. Johnstown-Altoona, Pennsylvania
9. Champaign & Springfield-Decatur, Illinois
10. Minneapolis-St. Paul
11. Boston-Manchester (Massachusetts/New Hampshire)
12. Austin
13. Rochester, New York
And from Noah: Video of a cockroach’s preferred method of escape, which has inspired robot design.