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  • Navy's Long-Awaited Drone Moves Closer To Reality

    Don't Let This TERN Poop On You

    DARPA'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 Tastes

    Warming Climate Could Change How Food Tastes

    There 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 >
  • NASA Is Testing This 18-Engine Aeroplane Wing

    NASA Is Testing This 18-Engine Aeroplane Wing

    What happens if you put 18 engines on an airplane? Well, if you or I did it, the answer is likely “a disaster." But when NASA does it, we get the Leading Edge Asynchronous Propellers ... More >
  • Did The Future Begin In 1610?

    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 >
  • Why A Real CHAPPiE Robot Would Be More Of A Mystery Than A Friend

    A Real CHAPPiE Would Be... Weird

    Neil Blomkamp's new film CHAPPiE, which hits US theaters this weekend, follows the unlikely transformation of a defective robot into a one-of-a-kind conscious machine. The movie inserts ... More >
Alexandra Ossola
at 10:45 AM Apr 1 2015
Courtesy Open Humans

To make well-informed conclusions about health and medicine, scientists need a lot of data. Small studies don't accurately represent the population at large, but scientists often have trouble recruiting enough test subjects to do powerful studies. Now an online platform called Open Humans hopes to bridge the gap between people who want to participate in studies and the scientists conducting them.

Loren Grush
at 10:45 AM Apr 1 2015
NASA/JPL-Caltech
Space // 

Perhaps the most iconic symbol to emerge from the science fiction genre over the last century is every alien's favorite mode of travel: the flying saucer. Often depicted as a spinning disc that smoothly glides through space, the flying saucer has become somewhat of a caricature of itself--a goofy, unrealistic way for extraterrestrials to travel the cosmos. But it turns out there may be something to the rotating disc design after all.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 10:45 AM Apr 1 2015

It isn't often that environmental scientists get good news. But a new study in Nature Climate Change found that for the past few years, the earth has been getting a little bit greener, accumulating an additional 4 tons of biomass (vegetation) between 2003 and 2012. That's a good thing, because plants take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, locking harmful greenhouse gas away in the new growth.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 10:45 AM Apr 1 2015
Thales

The last thing an admiral wants to do is send his own sailors face-to-face with explosives. A new project, jointly funded by the defense ministries of the United Kingdom and France, wants to create a team of robots that can face down and defuse underwater mines, all without risking a human life in the process. The project has cleared the design stage, and now engineers will begin building and testing the underwater minesweepers.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 10:45 AM Apr 1 2015
Screenshot by author, from YouTube

For an organization at the heart of the future of war, DARPA can sometimes really undersell what it's making. Late last night, the agency released a video about drone and missile swarms, full of intelligent war machines working together to outwit, defeat, and destroy enemies. They titled this concept a “system of systems,” which only makes sense in deepest Pentagonese.

Dan Moren
at 10:45 AM Apr 1 2015
Gadgets // 

Remembering to buy new filters or toner or even pet food can be a pain. So why not have your appliances remember for you? That's the intent behind Amazon's new Dash Replenishment Service, which hardware makers can integrate with their devices to let your appliances re-up on supplies when they deem you need them.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 10:45 AM Apr 1 2015
Science // 

Tampons are pretty much only made for their one purpose, but engineers at the University of Sheffield figured out a way for this feminine hygiene product to clean up the environment.

Sarah Fecht
at 10:45 AM Apr 1 2015
Paul Wootton
Nature // 

When a rodent feels pain, its face gets all scrunched up. Its ears flatten, its eyes narrow, and its nose and cheeks swell. Is this just a reflexive response that helps the animal cope with the pain? Or does it also help the rodent communicate its pain to others, either as a warning signal or a call for help? Findings from a new study suggest that rats can read the pain on other rats' faces, and use that information to make decisions.

Alexandra Ossola
at 09:19 AM Mar 31 2015

Bloodletting, mercury cures, holes drilled in the head—many ancient medical remedies seem ill-advised based on our modern understanding of medicine. But researchers recently found that a thousand-year-old Anglo-Saxon treatment for eye infections works as an antibiotic against one of today's most notorious bacteria, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The British researchers will present their findings this week at an annual microbiology conference held in the United Kingdom.

Dan Moren
at 09:19 AM Mar 31 2015
University of Manchester
Science // 

Graphene is a material with marvelous properties: It can be used to make square ice and night vision contact lenses. It can even be made from your leftover dinner. And soon this form of pure carbon--which boasts a super-strong hexagonal structure at just a single atom thick--may even light your home.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 09:19 AM Mar 31 2015
Hacks // 

You know all those stories where humans accidentally create a monster that eventually runs amok and destroys everything? That cautionary tale is playing out in real-time in Florida right now. With termites.

Alexandra Ossola
at 09:19 AM Mar 31 2015

Though some may consider them a nuisance, opossums are amazingly hardy and opportunistic eaters, feeding on everything from the contents of a garbage can to fruits or snails. They also eat snakes and, thanks to an evolutionary chemical arms race, are immune to basically every kind of snake venom. Now, a team of researchers has isolated the peptide from the opossum that makes the animals resistant to snake bites, hoping to use it as a new, inexpensive antivenom in humans. The researchers presented their work on Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Denver.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 09:19 AM Mar 31 2015
Kelly Sponberg, NOAA

Weather is free, of course, but predicting it, and anticipating changes like sudden storms or flash floods--that takes technical equipment and sensors. Thanks to 3D printing and cheap commercial electronics, USAID thinks they can bring weather stations to the developing world. And they should only cost about $200 each.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 09:19 AM Mar 31 2015
DARPA
Drones // 

DARPA'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 its avian namesake, TERN will be a sea-based flyer. The drone is designed as a sort of super crow's nest, flying from small vessels and scouting out the ocean ahead.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 09:19 AM Mar 30 2015
Nature // 

Antarctica is a frozen, beautiful continent, that might not be completely frozen for much longer. Just like the Arctic, Antarctica's ice shelves are disappearing, and fast, which could have impacts on coasts much closer to home.

 
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