50 Years of NASA in One InfographicEver since NASA established its history program in 1959, the agency has periodically compiled the world’s aeronautics advances into a single report. Assembled mostly from ... More >
Which Weapon Shot Down Flight MH-17?Earlier today, Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over Eastern Ukraine, killing all 295 people on board. Following Ukraine's ouster ... More >
The US Air Force Is Working On A New BomberThe U.S. Air Force is quietly ramping up spending on a future bomber, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service published earlier this month. The Air Force also sent ... More >
Should We Worry About That Smallpox?Earlier this week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced something surprising: Federal researchers discovered six 60-year-old vials with smallpox virus in them. The vials ... More >
Can This Scientist End The Climate Culture Wars?Texas Tech professor Katharine Hayhoe is among the American Geophysical Union's 2014 award-winners for science communication, announced on July 3. "She's someone who has been tireless in having ... More >
When it comes to fighting suicide, knowing who is at risk can be tricky and, moreover, a very subjective process. Scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine are trying to bring a level of objectivity into the search for those at high risk of attempting suicide – in the form of a simple blood test.
Taking apart a microwave and building your own ray gun is a bad idea. A really really bad idea - especially when you use it to explode a radio. But thanks to YouTube, we can watch someone else do it with no danger to ourselves. So what is really going on in the video and why aren't they getting fried?
India's Central Bureau of Investigation is questioning an open-source map project sponsored by Google. Google's possible crime: Revealing information about sensitive military installations. Relying on locals to document the area around them, Google's contest may have documented what was known to locals but unavailable on previous maps of India.
This week, Amazon announced its new 3-D printing store. We were immediately giddy, imagining the endless possibilities of being able to upload any design and, in Amazon fashion, have it shipped to us in solid form overnight. But the online book purveyor that has diversified to sell basically everything on the planet seems to have squandered its opportunity to transform the 3-D printing movement; the products in its new online marketplace are not customizable, fairly expensive, and slow to be delivered.
When you get a vaccine, it's typically injected into the muscle below the skin with a needle. But vaccines administered through the skin can use smaller pin-prick methods that could be useful for those afraid of needles, such as children. These cutaneous vaccines have the potential to be relatively painless, and could also possibly require less vaccine material. Unfortunately, the chemical adjuvants used in intramuscular vaccines can cause scarring and ulceration, and therefore new adjuvants for cutaneous (skin-administered) vaccines are "urgently needed," as various researchers have written. Adjuvants are chemicals like aluminum salts and oils which work by mimicking components of pathogens (like bacterial cell walls) that the immune system has evolved to recognized and react to.
Additive manufacturing, more commonly known as 3-D printing, is inherently creative. Materials are layered together and built up, constructing an object from powder and heat and code. In the future, the U.S. Army wants to turn this innovation to far more destructive ends, by printing new warheads.
Last night Sydney enjoyed an amazing winter sunset that slowly faded between endless colours. While beautiful sunsets are common, this one was particularly long lasting and photogenic. Not surprisingly, Facebook and the internet was soon awash with pictures. But what made the Sydney sunset so spectacular?
There’s some evidence that microbes living inside a rock could be blasted from their home planet, travel through space, and then crash-land on a new planet relatively unscathed. Throughout the ALH84001 debate, scientists assumed fossils could also withstand the grueling journey, but it looks like nobody actually set out to test it—until now.
As a traditionally Catholic country, Peru has been slower than most to accept contraceptives. Over the past decade, most citizens’ ideology has gradually stretched to accommodate the need for birth control, but emergency contraception (AKA the “morning after” pill) is still highly controversial in Peru. Although some question the pill on moral grounds, others are starting to question it based on sinister scientific findings: some of the pills are not the pill.
For the July issue of Popular Science, we—the Office for Creative Research—created a data visualization celebrating NASA’s long history of aerospace innovation. Since 1959, NASA has published a document called “Astronautics & Aeronautics Chronology” nearly every year, compiling news coverage of science, technology, and policy at the agency. In these compilations, NASA is reporting its own history. What kinds of stories do these documents hold? How has their language changed over the last six decades? To explore these questions, we created “The Whole Brilliant Enterprise,” a text-based visualization drawn from—by our count—4,861,706 words of NASA history.
Ever since NASA established its history program in 1959, the agency has periodically compiled the world’s aeronautics advances into a single report. Assembled mostly from press releases and news stories, the documents recount coverage of budget negotiations alongside milestones like the shuttle program and the moon landing. Data illustrators at the Office for Creative Research distilled the trove of reports from 11,000 pages and 4.9 million words into just over 4,000 discrete phrases. Their illustration charts the frequency of some of the most important terms, colored by topic and arranged by time, and presents a new view of how NASA took humanity to the stars.