Europe's Mars Lander Is Probably DeadMars has apparently claimed another robotic explorer. Europe's Schiaparelli Mars lander is most likely dead on arrival, after something went wrong during its parachute flight and its hover-rockets ... More >
Kodak Will Make A Camera-Focused SmartphoneWhen you think of Kodak, the words "Android smartphone" don't usually come to mind. But that may change: the camera company is shifting its gaze from film and disposable cameras to letting you ... More >
Speech Recognition Hits Human LevelsSpeech recognition software isn't perfect, but it is a little closer to human this week, as a Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research team reached a major milestone in speech-to-text ... More >
Maybe Alien Life Runs On Cosmic RaysEarth is very much powered by the sun. Beams of photons shoot down at us, dumping their energy into green plants. Then we eat the plants, or we eat the animals that eat the plants (or so on, up ... More >
Loading the Dice for Megadrought RiskAs the American Southwest grows hotter, the risk of severe, long-lasting megadroughts rises, passing 90 percent likelihood by the end of the century if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their ... More >
A gentle pulse of electricity can make bacteria dance (or rather, swim) to scientists' tune. Researchers reported on Tuesday in Nature Communications that electricity can flip certain genes in Escherichia coli cells on or off, making the microbes wave their limb-like flagella or relay info to their neighbors on command.
The latest bomber to make its debut over Iraq has four engines, no cockpit, and a flight time limited by the length of its battery. ISIS, the radical insurgent group holding territory in both Syria and Iraq, is fighting for its life in Mosul, the large city in Northern Iraq it has held since 2014. Most of the weapons ISIS uses are are familiar, if still horrific: rifles and mortars, artillery and suicidal car bombs. To that arsenal, ISIS recently added commercial drones, converted into tiny bombers.
While many animals become less fertile as they age, only three species—humans, pilot whales, and killer whales—have females that regularly live well beyond their reproductive prime. These are the only species where we see grandmas acting like grandmas: they've long stopped producing offspring of their own, so they pivot to helping care for their children's children.
We like to think that human speech is special. It defines our species and separates us from those animals that we'd rather think of as inferior. The trouble is that it's difficult to know when and how human speech arose because “language expressed via speech leaves no fossils behind.”
California is usually drenched with sunlight. But this week, it's just drenched. A series of storms have pummeled the state, dropping staggering quantities of rain and snow—leading to flooding, mudslides, and a whole lot of water pouring into reservoirs that were just about dried out. But is it enough to end the state's persistent drought?
I'm three and half years into a lifelong diet. It's not to lose weight or build muscle, and there are no cheat days—no, not even for a freshly-baked chocolate croissant that I can smell a block away. I get a metal probe put down my throat every year so my doctor can confirm that I'm really, truly, 100 percent adhering to my diet. As if that wasn't awesome enough, I also get to pay anywhere from 30-500 percent more for basic food.
It's a fact frequently shared at parties and across social media: urine is sterile, so you should drink it if you find yourself in a waterless pinch. But like so many cocktail party factoids, this one is absolutely not true. Urine ain't sterile, friends, and neither is any part of you.