Did Earth Collide with a Long Lost Twin?Our beloved Moon, often the staple of a peaceful and tranquil nighttime scene, has a pretty violent origin story. In 1970, researchers proposed the “giant impact” hypothesis, which ... More >
Shark Attacks Are So Unlikely, But So FascinatingSharks are incredibly unlikely to bite you. They're even less likely to kill you. However, we remain fascinated with their ability--and occasional proclivity--to do just that. With so many things ... More >
Don't Let This TERN Poop On YouDARPA's latest drone program just took a turn for the better. The Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node (TERN) is designed as a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) flyer for the US Navy. Like ... More >
Warming Climate Could Change How Food TastesThere might be some very tangible, selfish reasons for foodies to care about climate change. It turns out that warming temperatures could not only impact our food supply, but they might also ... More >
Did The Future Begin In 1610?Time is a valuable commodity for humans. We like our news up to the minute and our technology up-to-date. But when it comes to some temporal boundaries scientists are still trying to figure out ... More >
It's a transparent armor so good it might turn the phrase “glass cannon” on its head. The Naval Research Laboratory developed a manufacturing process to reliably make a strong, transparent ceramic that also allows infrared cameras to look through it, which most commercial glass can't do. Now that the process is complete, the NRL is sharing the technology with industry so they can scale it up to make giant sheets of transparent, lightweight, bulletproof clay.
China and Russia, as part of closer strategic ties, have finalized a long-awaited deal for very long range S-400 surface to air missile (SAM) system. The deal is not only the largest Sino-Russian arms deal in over a decade, but S-400 missile defense capabilities would provide China with a quick missile defense upgrade at the moment neighboring states like North Korea acquire more ballistic missiles, and the U.S. and Japan look to buy stealthy anti-ship missiles.
The normal human response to reports of a deadly shark in the water is to boil the sea, move inland, and spend the rest of one's life in peaceful isolation at the top of a remote desert mountain. (Okay, perhaps that's just me). For Animal Planet's River Monsters show, Jeremy Wade instead goes into the ocean to look for salmon sharks.
In 2013, almost 600,000 people died of malaria, a disease caused by a parasite passed to humans through mosquito bites. But these deaths--mostly among children in Africa--are preventable. For years researchers have been working on different tactics to reduce malaria's prevalence, such as creating innovative drugs or highly effective repellants as well as engineering the mosquitoes themselves to prevent the disease from spreading. After four years of tests on thousands of infants and children, an anti-malarial vaccine has emerged as one of the most promising candidates to prevent the spread of the disease. The results of the clinical trial are published this week in The Lancet.
People find all sorts of inventive ways to continue the legacy of their recently deceased relatives. Some start charity funds; others hang on to photographs or old keepsakes. But as Katia Apalategui, a 52-year-old French insurance saleswoman, mourned the death of her father seven years ago, she was inspired to try to capture his scent in a perfume. She teamed up with researchers from the Université du Havre, who have also been working on distilling the human scent.
Falcons are perfected aerial machines, evolved over millennia to be very, very good at being falcons. Unfortunately, upstart Homo sapiens have put a few obstacles in the path of these raptors, like intruding quadcopters or deadly wind turbines. What's the best way to still capture all the renewable energy from the wind while leaving the creatures of the air alive and unharmed? Recruit a falcon as a guide and strap a GPS on his back, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
North of Norway, the robots wait. From a laboratory on Svalbard, a team of researchers led by Christopher Zappa of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are sending at least two Manta UAVs over the Arctic Ocean. Between Svalbard and Greenland, the drones measure melting ice with every flight to help humans better understand climate change and its impact on the Arctic.
Like its namesake, DORA was born to explore. Specifically, the robot—which was built by a team of students at the University of Pennsylvania—is designed to be a kind of exploration surrogate, able to move its head with the same speed and flexibility as the human seeing through its eyes. DORA's movements are mapped to an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, so when the goggle-wearer swivels left, the robot follows suit. It provides something seemingly unprecedented in robotics: telepresence from the neck up.
Crispy cricket tacos, bee larvae sandwiches, banana worm bread--you may already know that bug-based recipes are all the rage lately. But even in the face of evidence that eating bugs is good for the planet, you might still think that insects are icky. According to a team of psychologists and culinary experts, arguments that appeal to your logic aren't going to convince you to ingest insects. Instead, it will require appealing to your taste buds and eyes, making food with bugs simply more enjoyable to eat. The researchers recently published a paper in the journal Food Quality and Preference looking into why we aren't eating more bugs and what proponents can do about it. (One of the study authors, Charles Spence, spoke with us not long ago about how to make pie even more delicious.)
In 2001, the Parkes Radio Telescope picked up an extremely energetic burst of radio waves that lasted a mere five-thousandths of a second. Since then, astronomers have found several more so-called fast radio bursts, or FRBs, and even observed one of these pulses in real time last May. Based on these observations, the FRBs seem to be coming from more than 3 billion light years away, far beyond the Milky Way.
In recent years, foodies and earth-conscious eaters alike have grown increasingly interested in entomophagy (for the uninitiated, that's the practice of eating insects). There are several reasons why, but a big one is that we're facing a looming global food crisis. According to entomophagy proponents, insects could be one answer to this crisis because the critters require fewer resources—specifically, feed, land, and water—than other popular sources of protein such as poultry, pigs, and cattle. Part of the reasoning behind this hinges on the idea that insects are better at converting feed to protein compared to larger livestock.
A lot of agriculture is bug herding. Predators and pesticides keep the bad bugs off, while strategically placed plants attract the good bugs. It's a lot of work, but a student at the University of Queensland has figured out a way to get beneficial bugs right where crops need them, by dropping them from a drone.