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  • Rosetta Mission Lands On Rubber Ducky Comet [Update]

    Probe lands on comet!

    NASA planetary director James Green comments on the Rosetta mission's success: "How Audacious! To dare to land on a comet! … The solar system is mankind’s. This mission is the first ... More >
  • Is 'Interstellar' An Antidote To Humanity's Space Apathy?

    Could Interstellar Fix Our Space Apathy?

    A few years ago, I caught a glimpse of one of the biggest obstacles to space exploration. In a movie theater line, I overheard two people discussing the concept of building a human base on ... More >
  • How To Give A Mouse Ebola

    How To Give A Mouse Ebola

    If you give a lab mouse the mouse version of Ebola, it will die. But not in the same way humans with Ebola do. Lab mice infected with Ebola don't get hemorrhagic fever. They don't form tiny clots ... More >
  • The Co-Robots In 'Interstellar' Are Gorgeous--And Silly

    What the Heck is a Co-Robot?

    When humans finally set foot on an alien world, they’ll be joined by robots. That’s not a bold prediction. It’s a statement of the obvious. Machines have already beat us to Mars ... More >
  • Interstellar Travel Won't Look Anything Like The Movie

    Interstellar Travel Won't Look Like The Movie

    Christopher Nolan's Interstellar imagines a human journey to planets beyond our star. But that kind of trip would seem impossible in today's terms. Fortunately, a DARPA-funded task ... More >
at 06:57 AM Nov 21 2014
NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen, with data courtesy of the CloudSat team at Colorado State University and Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership
Science // 

Parts of the US got a lot of snow last week—or yesterday. They can blame this guy, above. The satellite image, taken November 8, shows a superstorm over the Bering Sea. The storm was one of the most intense ever recorded in the region, creating hurricane-force winds and 26-foot-tall waves. The storm was also a part of a series of meteorological events that eventually led to the recent cold snap in the American Midwest and northern New York State.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 06:57 AM Nov 21 2014
University of Oslo
Robots // 

Watching the University of Oslo’s three-limbed robot squirm across the floor like a dismembered starfish brings to mind shudder-inducing flashbacks of Stargate SG-1. More particularly, visions of SG-1’s creepy-crawly nemesis, the Replicators, spider-like robots capable of well...replicating themselves...but also able to learn from their surroundings, adapt and generally tear apart entire worlds (or spaceships).

at 10:45 AM Nov 20 2014

You can now buy your own, tiny, 3D printed livers. Haven't you always wanted one?

at 10:45 AM Nov 20 2014
Penn Medicine/Robert Press.

Scientists have been trying to figure out whether bed bugs can make people sick for more than a century. In the early 1900s, they tested the bugs for everything from leprosy to plague; in the 1970s, it was hepatitis B; and in the 1980s, especially during the height of the AIDs panic, scientists were feeding bed bugs blood laced with HIV to see if the virus could replicate in their tiny bodies. From these tests and others, dozens of pathogens have been detected in the bed bug, but, so far, none have proven capable of spreading from the pest to a human.

at 10:45 AM Nov 20 2014
Tech // 

The National Security Agency still has the authority to collect wide-ranging metadata about your phone calls, at least for now. A controversial bill aimed at reforming the intelligence agency failed to pass the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, with some arguing that it went too far in curtailing the NSA's powers, and others contending it didn't go far enough.

at 10:45 AM Nov 20 2014
Lunar Mission One

Most everyone supports efforts into space exploration, but there’s always one aspect of space travel that can be a deal breaker: the price tag. Thanks to gravity and our pesky atmosphere, getting off the ground (and back down safely) requires a lot of propulsion and engineering prowess, and that doesn’t come cheap.

at 10:45 AM Nov 20 2014

After 10 years of chasing down Comet 67P—and then landing on it—a robotic space mission has returned a tantalizing discovery: the rubber ducky-shaped rock is home to organic molecules of mysterious composition.

at 10:45 AM Nov 20 2014
David Goehring/Flickr

The padlock icon is our friend. We've all been trained to look for it in the address bar of our browser, especially when we're shopping online, logging into our webmail, or accessing sensitive information from our bank. But shouldn't secure browsing be the rule, rather than the exception? A project called Let's Encrypt wants to encourage just that, starting in mid-2015.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 10:45 AM Nov 20 2014
Kate Ter Haar/Flickr
Science // 

Talk about a polar plunge. This week all 50 states experienced freezing temperatures on the same day. Preparations for the (possible) deep freeze of this winter are already hitting cities and states where it hurts: in their wallets.

Dan Moren
at 11:44 AM Nov 19 2014

Even if you've spotted a payphone in the wild recently, it's probably been a while since you've actually reached out and touched one. But that may soon change: New York City is planning on replacing the old public phones with 21st century equivalents, which will even provide free, superfast Gigabit Wi-Fi Internet access.

Mike Jeffries
at 10:17 AM Nov 18 2014
Nature // 

Stink bug. As names go it is a PR disaster, each of the words alone hardly endearing, and, in combination, wholly off-putting. Which is a shame because stink bugs have a perky charm, a distinctive style and, for an insect, a surprising concern for their offspring.

Rafi Letzter
at 19:02 PM Nov 17 2014
National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration
Nature // 

There's an unwelcome guest on your doorstep, America.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 19:02 PM Nov 17 2014
Drones // 

Here's a roundup of the week's top drone news: the military, commercial, non-profit, and recreational applications of unmanned aircraft.

Daniel Engber
at 09:37 AM Nov 15 2014
Jason Schneider
Science // 

It’s easy to understand the theoretical minimum temperature: absolute zero. The absolute maximum, on the other hand, is squirrely. “We just don’t know whether we can take energy all the way up to infinity,” says Stephon Alexander, a physicist at Dartmouth University. “But it’s theoretically plausible.” 

Mary Beth Griggs
at 09:37 AM Nov 15 2014
Nature // 

Lava is still approaching the Hawaiian town of Pahoa. It already destroyed a house (see below; the red-roofed structure still standing is a garage) and is continuing its march, oozing slowly towards other structures, including the town's solid waste transfer station (a garbage facility) and power lines. In the picture above, the billowing smoke isn't coming from the lava, but from the asphalt parking lot that it is burning. Here are some of the more amazing pictures from this week, taken by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

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