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 >
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 EbolaIf 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 >
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 Like The MovieChristopher 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 >
Glaciers are having a hard time all around the world. A new book outlines the findings of a years-long effort by researchers and research groups across the world. Titled Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS), the book isn't going to hit bestseller lists anytime soon (it's a scientific tome, geared towards professionals), but it is the first truly comprehensive look at the state of the glaciers all over the globe. And that state is... not good.
Behold the fiery sphere of pain in the heavens! No, not the sun, this one is much, much closer to Earth, and much stranger still. Aboard the International Space Station, scientists have an electromagnetic levitator that lets them suspend a sphere of liquid metal in place. Why? To observe how it cools when it's free of a container or constraints like the strong gravity on Earth.
Mental health continues to be one of society's greatest concerns. Its enigmatic nature leaves both the public and the health professional in a quandary to understand not only the cause but also the means to cure. Though research has been conducted for centuries, at times it feels we are up against intractable odds.
Remember that uncle who convinced you that your nose was actually in his hand? Or your conviction that you definitely heard reindeer hooves on the rooftop? Kids are gullible – at least that's the conventional wisdom. But new research pinpoints the time that a child's sense of truth and fiction becomes acute: around age 5.
By the end of the year, nearly 3 billion people in the world will have Internet access, according to the latest annual Measuring the Information Society (MIS) Report from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). That's an increase of 6.6 percent over the previous year, continuing a steady trend upward that's been in place for the last decade.
You probably don't think of them that way, but Blu-ray discs have a gorgeous color. In fact, the same physics that gives butterfly wings and housefly eyes their iridescent shine are also at work on Blu-ray. All are examples of what physicists call structural color, which are colors created not from pigments, but from translucent, microscopic shapes that capture light and reflect it in such a way that it appears colored to the human eye.
In the ongoing effort to lower the cost of commercial spaceflight, private companies hope to conquer a facet of rocket design NASA hasn't fully explored yet: reusable rockets. Up until now, all space rockets have used disposable launch systems, meaning they're designed to launch only once, and afterward, their parts are never recovered. The Space Shuttle was mostly reusable, but it still required an expendable -- and pricey -- external tank for lift-off. If a truly reusable launch system can be achieved, such a rocket could dramatically lower the cost of getting to space, since manufacturers wouldn't need to replace their rockets after each liftoff.
Right now, the U.S. Navy has a warship with a laser gun patrolling the Persian Gulf. The USS Ponce is an old ship that first saw service as an amphibious transport in the 1970s, designed to carry troops, vehicles, and helicopters close to beaches. Saved from a scrapyard, the U.S. Navy strapped a laser to its back and sent it forward, turning it into a cold warrior testing the waters of the future.
A decade ago, we set out to unravel deep ocean crime scenes we weren't even sure existed. The crime? Endangered Steller sea lions were rapidly disappearing in parts of Alaska. Their numbers dropped by 80 percent in three decades, yet only rarely did anyone see or sample dead sea lions. Live sea lions studied in the summer when they haul out to breed seemed healthy and had healthy pups.
"Unless you have direct exposure to groups like Deepmind, you have no idea how fast -- it is growing at a pace close to exponential. The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five-year timeframe. Ten years at most. This is not a case of crying wolf about something I don't understand."
Drones, the monosyllabic catch-all for remote controlled unmanned aircraft, have become a striking symbol of modernity in the past decade. First as military scouts and assassins, then as delivery gimmicks and backyard toys, the simple category of craft captured the imagination of everyone clever enough to put the words “Game of Drones” together. But the history of drones goes back more than a century. This video, created by Mashable, captures a lot of that history in just nine minutes: