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  • Why The CDC Thinks 1.4 Million People Might Contract Ebola By February

    1.4 Million People Might Contract Ebola By February

    Last June, the Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone built a temporary ward in anticipation of an influx of Ebola patients. The makeshift building was covered with thin, tin metal sheets, ... More >
  • Facebook Says Wi-Fi Drones Will Be Jumbo Jet-Sized

    Wi-Fi Drones the Size of 747s

    If a new Facebook plan is successful, the easiest way to access the cloud may be ... in the clouds. Facebook wants to spread Wi-Fi Internet to unconnected parts of the world with drones, and ... More >
  • Spoiler Alert: Statistician Predicts Future Chapters Of 'Game Of Thrones' Novels

    Statistician Predicts Game Of Thrones

    Desperate for details as you wait for the next installment in Game of Thrones? You're in luck. In what may be the first mathematics paper to include a spoiler alert, a New Zealand ... More >
  • Earth's Water Is Older Than The Sun

    Earth's Water Is Older Than The Sun

    Since water is one of the vital ingredients for life on Earth, scientists want to know how it got here. One theory is that the water in our solar system was created in the chemical afterbirth of ... More >
  • The Ozone Layer Is On The Mend

    The Ozone Layer Is On The Mend

    An international agreement to phase out use of chemicals that damage the ozone layer appears to be working. A new report finds that ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere are down by 10 to ... More >
Michael Nuñez
at 10:21 AM Sep 30 2014
Sam Kaplan
Tech // 

Every mechanic knows that moving parts break down over time, and David Weiner, founder of Priority Bicycles, knows it better than most. Weiner spent six years as a bike mechanic in his hometown of Walnut Creek, California, and much of his job was spent fixing the same handful of problems: tuning derailleurs, adjusting brakes, greasing chains, and replacing flat tires.

Katharine Hayhoe
at 10:21 AM Sep 30 2014
NASA
Science // 

Editor's note: Our profile of Bill Nye [September 2014] elicited an impassioned response from readers. We received more than 100 letters, many from readers grappling with how to reconcile scientific concepts like climate change with religion. We asked climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, an evangelical Christian, why science doesn't have to conflict with faith. (We wrote about Dr. Hayhoe previously in July.) Popular Science does not necessarily support or endorse the views expressed here. The text has been edited for grammar and style.

Francie Diep
at 10:21 AM Sep 30 2014
Valve Corporation
Gaming // 

Like many people, Val Shute likes playing video games. But while she's gaming, she doesn't exactly think about the same things the average person does.

Francie Diep
at 10:20 AM Sep 30 2014
Orangutan Outreach
Tech // 

Human-computer interaction is a fast-growing field of study that examines questions like how people feel about robots, or what people choose to click first when they visit a webpage. With some clever setups, researchers are even able to investigate scenarios aren't quite technologically possible, such as how people react to a robot that begs not to be put away. The results of human-computer interaction studies can be fascinating, even if some of them are not applicable to everyday life… yet. 

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 10:20 AM Sep 30 2014
Courtesy of the researchers
Robots // 

Inspecting a ship’s cargo is a dull, tedious, time-consuming task. So a pair of researchers at MIT, including graduate student Sampriti Bhattacharyya and her advisor Harry Asada, created a small robot that resembles a squished foam ball to inspect ship cargo quickly, cheaply, and silently. They presented their findings earlier this month at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems.

Andrew Rosenblum
at 10:20 AM Sep 30 2014
Shek Graham via Flickr CC By 2.0
Energy // 

Cryan's research, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that certain species of tree-roosting bats are more likely to be killed by wind turbines when the blades are moving at low speeds. By tracking the bats with thermal surveillance cameras, near-infrared video, acoustic detectors, and radar, the researchers discovered that bats tend to approach turbines from downwind, particularly when the turbines spin slowly relative to the wind speeds around them. This led researchers to theorize that the wind currents around slow moving turbines may resemble those created by trees, where the bats gather to roost and hunt insects.

Loren Grush
at 10:20 AM Sep 30 2014
NASA/SNC

With the recent retirement of the Space Shuttle program in 2011, NASA has been in desperate need of some space taxis -- vehicles designed to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station. For the past three years, the space agency has had to rely on Russia’s Soyuz rocket to fulfill this need, which hasn't been cheap or ideal.

Rafi Letzter
at 10:20 AM Sep 30 2014
U.S. National Forest Service via Wikimedia Commons
Nature // 

Much of the American Southwest has been in drought conditions for more than a decade—harsher in some places than the dry spell that caused the Dust Bowl of the 1930's. Until recently, however, California had largely been spared. That changed when an air mass dubbed the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge appeared over the Pacific in the winter of 2013—an event Daniel Swain, lead author on the study and weather blogger, says is likely the result of human activity.

Lois Parshley
at 11:11 AM Sep 29 2014
Morgana Wingard for USAID

The dusty hills around Lima sprout concrete at all angles. There are many words here for the gray delineation of poverty-struck areas: áreas tugurizadas (slum zones), the less formal tugurios (projects), solares (tenements), barriadas asistidas (assisted shanty towns). The average shanty-town income is less than $150 a month, which makes it a difficult place to conduct public health campaigns. In the 1990s, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, now the president of the World Bank, worked with the non-profit Partners in Health (PIH) to identify and then control an epidemic of multiple-drug-resistant tuberculosis in Lima. Kim called it “Ebola with wings.”

Neel V. Patel
at 11:11 AM Sep 29 2014
Vision Research
Gadgets // 

In the time it takes to blink, the Phantom v2511 has already captured more than 7,500 frames of video. Expand that rate to one second, and the v2511 captures 25,600 frames at a resolution of about 1 megapixel. That’s still a far cry from the 1-trillion-FPS camera MIT researchers developed in 2011, but unless you plan to record the motion of light, it should work just fine.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 11:11 AM Sep 29 2014
Tangopaso, via Wikimedia Commons
Drones // 

After four years of lobbying by the Motion Picture Association of America, the Federal Aviation Administration announced yesterday that movie producers can fly drones to shoot film. This is good news for commercial drone use in the United States, but it might be too little, too late. As the FAA stalls on defining drone regulations, leaving commercial UAVs grounded throughout the U.S., other countries are leading the world in civilian drone applications. Allowing them to fly in Hollywood through exemption shows just how far the FAA is from fully integrating drones into American skies.

Loren Grush
at 11:11 AM Sep 29 2014
NIAID

As the Ebola outbreak continues to spread throughout West Africa, one thing is on everyone’s minds: finding a cure. But while many researchers are toiling away, trying to fulfill this desperate need, others are trying to capitalize on it. Various companies are claiming to have treatments that can cure or prevent Ebola, and those treatments can be yours! For a fee, of course.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 11:11 AM Sep 29 2014
United States Geological Survey, via Wikimedia Commons
Drones // 

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

Alissa Zhu
at 11:11 AM Sep 29 2014
AMNH/D. Finnin
Science // 

165: number of pounds Lonesome George weighed at the time of his death, before scientists stuffed and mounted him for display.

Brett Carter and John Retterer
at 00:27 AM Sep 27 2014
Flickr/The U S Army
Science // 

Three American soldiers* may have died in Afghanistan’s battle of Takur Ghar because of disruptions caused by plasma bubbles – a form of space weather – according to a new study.

 
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