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  • New Mars Rover Will Have Lasers, X-Ray Vision, And More

    New Mars Rover Does Cool Tricks

    The Curiosity rover (or Mars Science Laboratory, as NASA wonks call it) has been an immensely successful mission so far. But now NASA is planning the next mission to Mars, and today the agency ... More >
  • Milky Way Has The Mass Of 800 Billion Suns, Study Finds

    How Much Does The Milky Way?

    Astronomers have performed yet another checkup on our home galaxy, this time asking it to step on a scale. The Milky Way has a mass equal to 800 billion suns, according to the team of ... More >
  • How Did The Deadliest Strain Of Ebola Travel From Central To West Africa?

    How Ebola Continues to Spread

    Of all the strains of the Ebola virus, the Zaire strain (Zaire ebolavirus) is the deadliest. That's the species now infecting people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia; in the ... More >
  • The Whole Brilliant Enterprise: NASA’s First 50 Years In One Interactive Graphic

    50 Years of NASA in One Infographic

    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 ... More >
  • What Sort Of Weapon Shot Down Flight MH-17?

    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 >
Lindsay Handmer
at 10:57 AM Aug 1 2014
Charlie Surbey
Make // 

Holding a steak up on a really long metal fork during a storm is one option, but there is an easier way. Kind of. The mildly crazy folks over at Bompas & Parr teamed up with scientists at the University of Southampton’s Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory to cook some food with man made lightning. But how did it taste?

at 08:43 AM Aug 1 2014
IceXperience
Hacks // 

At first, it’s a delightful shade of periwinkle blue.  Then, it turns into a lilac purple before settling on a vibrant magenta.

Douglas Main
at 08:43 AM Aug 1 2014
Lawrence Gilbert / Science
Nature // 

There are not many creatures that can stand up to fire ants, nor their famously painful sting. Besides causing discomfort in mammals like humans (I've been stung, and it doesn't feel great), this venom has potent insect-killing powers, with the ability to knock out many of its ant rivals and other six-legged prey. But the venom is not effective against tawny crazy ants, a new invader spreading in areas of the U.S. Gulf Coast that can outcompete fire ants (Solenopsis invicta).

Sarah Fecht
at 08:43 AM Aug 1 2014
NASA

The Curiosity rover (or Mars Science Laboratory, as NASA wonks call it) has been an immensely successful mission so far. But now NASA is planning the next mission to Mars, and today the agency announced the gadgets that will be riding on a new rover that launches in 2020.

Francie Diep
at 08:43 AM Aug 1 2014
Bev Sykes on Flickr

Of all the strains of the Ebola virus, the Zaire strain (Zaire ebolavirus) is the deadliest. That's the species now infecting people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia; in the ongoing outbreak, it's killed more than half of the people who contracted it.

Francie Diep
at 08:43 AM Aug 1 2014
Science@NASA, Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Astronomers have performed yet another checkup on our home galaxy, this time asking it to step on a scale. The Milky Way has a mass equal to 800 billion suns, according to the team of researchers from Europe, Canada and the U.S. The team also found there's a 95 percent chance that the Milky Way is smaller than Andromeda, which is the closest spiral galaxy to our own whorled home, and a sky-watchers' favorite. (You can spot Andromeda with your naked eye.)

Lindsay Handmer
at 08:56 AM Jul 31 2014
Dan Granett
Make // 

The boffin in question, Dan Granett, doesn't want to juggle just any cars - the robot will be a BugJuggler. The 21 meter tall bot would use powerful hydraulics controlled by a human pilot to toss entire VW Beetles into the air, juggling three at a time. Of course this is a bit of a tall order, so Dan wants to first built a smaller proof of concept.

Francie Diep
at 07:32 AM Jul 31 2014
Max J. Kory et al., "Gram-scale synthesis of two-dimensional polymer crystals and their structure analysis by X-ray diffraction," Nature Chemistry, 2014
Tech // 

In spite of its looks, this is not the lovechild of an accordion and an earthworm. It is actually a whole new material photographed in the middle of its creation process.

Emily Gertz
at 07:32 AM Jul 31 2014
via BitcoinTalk

Is there a deity out there who hates cryptocurrency? To the list of disasters that have befallen the bitcoin economy in 2014, including the bankruptcy of the enormous Mt. Gox exchange as well as the theft of about $2.7 million in bitcoins from Silk Road 2.0 (both in February), add this morsel of bad luck: A lightning strike has taken out the only bitcoin ATM in all of Arizona, less than a month after it was installed.

Loren Grush
at 07:31 AM Jul 31 2014
Gavin Woodruff
Nature // 

But not all of these colorful couples result in a happy ending – especially if you’re differing species of worm.  For female nematodes, hooking up outside the genetic family tree can end in a pretty grisly demise.

Francie Diep
at 07:31 AM Jul 31 2014
SubtleGuest on Wikimedia Commons

A number of experimental stem cell treatments have shown promise in patients recently. Facelifts, breast augmentations, and vaginal rejuvenation procedures (!!!) using stem cells, however, are not among the promising techniques. Nevertheless, unscrupulous clinics are selling these cosmetic "stem cell" procedures, a team of doctors and stem cell researchers found.

Douglas Main
at 07:31 AM Jul 31 2014
Bruce Robison et al / PLOS ONE
Nature // 

This octopus went about brooding her eggs for a total of 53 months (aka 4.5 years), which is by far the longest on record for any animal and more than twice the lifespan of many shallow-dwelling species. The longest any octopus had previously been known to brood was 14 months. But deep-sea creatures live in much colder waters, and it was previously unknown how long they might take to "raise" their offspring. The authors of the study, published today (July 30) in PLOS ONE, compare it to other known brooding records:

Loren Grush
at 19:53 PM Jul 30 2014
Wikimedia Commons

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.

Lindsay Handmer
at 10:01 AM Jul 30 2014
Kreosan
Science // 

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?

Sarah Fecht
at 08:41 AM Jul 30 2014
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI
Space // 

A map of more than 100 geysers on the surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus has helped scientists determine where those water jets are spouting from—and the results are encouraging for scientists who want to look for life there.

 
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