Could There Really Be a Ninth Planet?Scientists have long suspected that our solar system might harbor a hidden planet. Now, after decades of searching, they may be on to something. More >
2015 Was The Warmest Year EverThe envelope, please. There are so many great nominees, but there can only be one winner. The year with the record-setting highest temperature goes to...2015! We all knew you were headed for ... More >
This Robot Just Built A Launch PadHumans have never built another structure on another planet. So far, everything hurled beyond our atmosphere and into the great beyond was constructed on Earth, made by human hands or human-built ... More >
Giant Megacopter Drone Lifts Weights, Sets RecordWhen it comes to setting new world records, sometimes the key is just finding a task that hasn't been done before. “Fastest human in the 100 meter dash” is a record first set in the ... More >
Brains Could Store 10x More Memories Than We ThoughtLike computers, our brains have an impressive capacity to store memories. Scientists have long known that the brain stores memories as patterns of electrical pulses that move through and between ... More >
Around 60,000 years ago, modern humans left Africa to begin exploring other continents. Along the way they met other early humans, such as Neanderthals, and the different species periodically bred together. Scientists have known this for a few years—there's evidence in our DNA, of which 1.5 to 4 percent in modern Europeans and Asians is Neanderthal. But scientists never knew if those bits of genetic code had a lasting effect on our health. After analyzing specific parts of DNA in 28,000 people, a team led by researchers at Vanderbilt University discovered correlations between Neanderthal DNA and 12 different health conditions, including depression and disorders of the skin and blood. The researchers published their work today in the journal Science.
HBO's Silicon Valley is the best comedy about the tech industry in recent years (sorry Big Bang Theory — but not really). Actually, I would go as far as to say that Silicon Valley, created by former tech drone Mike Judge (of Office Space, Idiocracy and Beavis and Butthead fame), is actually one of the best comedies overall on TV these days. And now it's returning for a glorious third season on April 24.
Today, February 11, 2016, LIGO scientists announced they had detected gravitational waves in September 2015—the first direct evidence of the cosmic inflation that created our universe. "The Tantalizing Quest For Gravity Waves," written by Arthur Fisher and originally published in the April 1981 issue of Popular Science, explores the international effort to detect these ripples in space-time.
Situated behind a mall and next to an open pit of a construction site, the northern Virginia headquarters of DARPA, the military's most forward-looking appendage, aren't so much nondescript as they are deliberately non-assuming--a shrine to technological triumph glistening like the infinite offices of suburbia. Inside, I joined a dozen or so other reporters for a meeting with DARPA director Arati Prabhakar and Steve Walker, DARPA's deputy director. We were invited here to discuss a very elaborate game of guesswork: what threats will emerge in the future, and what investments now can protect against them?
DARPA is the Pentagon's future-looking technology projects wing, and it's also the world's foremost source of bad pun acronyms for military machines. Even if the President is turning down Death Stars, there's still plenty more of the future to mine for upcoming wars. At a media roundtable in northern Virginia yesterday, DARPA director Dr. Arati Prabhakar and deputy director Dr. Steve Walker gave a glimpse of something new and strange: on April 7th, they'll be christening a new ship that's 132 feet long and features an onboard crew of exactly zero people.
On Thursday, the scientists at LIGO announced they'd officially found gravitational waves. This truly is a remarkable discovery, and confirms the final piece of Einstein's general theory of relativity. Read more about the announcement, and what it means for science, here. And check out our gravitational waves explainer for more background on this scientific phenomenon.
The band Ok Go is renowned for its amazing music videos, and today's glorious video for its song, "Upside Down and Inside Out" is no exception. The band takes to the sky, experiencing weightlessness in the belly of a jet. And of course, no Ok Go video would be the same without the amazing props, from paint-filled balloons to piñatas, and even ball-filled suitcases.
Despite efforts to make it something people actually want to use, the condom hasn't changed much in the past few decades. Now researchers in Australia have discovered a compound derived from wild grasses that can make latex condoms significantly thinner that are just as strong and flexible, according to a press release from the University of Queensland and reported by Gizmodo.
For months, the science world has been buzzing about the rumor that gravitational waves, the ripples in spacetime that Einstein predicted a hundred years ago, have finally been detected. Today, at press conferences all over the world, researchers at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) confirmed that the hype is true.
Learning to code is increasingly becoming an important part of education in the 21st century. Knowing the basics of code is nearly as important in the world of the web as knowing one's ABC's. But in the world we live in, new apps and games release constantly—there's almost no time for teachers to keep students current while simultaneously teaching old, but necessary, lessons. That's what Games For Change hopes to address.