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 >
First Exosekelton Approved for SaleA motorized exoskeleton, designed to help paralyzed people walk again, just earned U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval. It is the first such device to do so. The device, called ReWalk, ... More >
On Wednesday the 23rd of July, a team of UNSW students successfully attempted to break a 26 year old world speed record for the fastest electric vehicle over 500 kilometres. The team broke the record, but is still waiting for final approval from the world Motorsport governing body, FIA. The car averaged a speed of more than 100 km/h during the attempt, beating the previous world record of 73 km/h.
US based Mad Scientist Nick Klein built the poop powered flame thrower for the National Geographic's show Doomsday Preppers. Impressively the device can shoot flames up to 10 meters but probably doesn't smell too good. While environmentally friendly as far as flame throwers go, how and why does one build a poo powered flame cannon?
Nuclear bombs are seen as weapons of mass destruction, but some scientists imagined their use for good. Controlled explosions could be used to divert rivers, dig reservoirs, drill for oil and even create natural harbours. Located in Kazakhstan, Lake Chagan was one of these tests, performed by the Soviet Union in 1965. A 408m wide, 100m deep crater created with a 140 kiloton nuclear explosion. But would you really want to swim in it?
So DARPA wants a reusable spaceplane. I mean, who doesn't? For decades, space experts have tried to design quick-turnover, reusable launch systems. So far, however, no one has made one that works. "There really isn't any kind of vehicle today that does exactly what they're asking people to do," Micah Walter-Range, director of research and analysis at the Space Foundation, tells Popular Science. "You can certainly compare it to existing vehicles, but it seems to be a new class."
The Space Shuttle Columbia carried the Chandra X-ray Observatory into space on July 23, 1999. To commemorate the telescope's quinceañera, NASA has released four beautiful new images of supernova remnants, processed from Chandra's readings, that showcase the observatory's capabilities.
Putting his original bi-copter hoverbike design on hold for now, Chris Malloy has a new innovative overlapping quadcopter design nearing completion. Of course flight testing a hoverbike costs real money, so the team is raising funds by selling 1/3 scale models directly, as well as running a Kickstarter campaign. Well on the way to meeting their goals, we are already envisioning beating the traffic to work on our own hoverbike.
Gadzooks! The world's largest aquatic insect has reportedly been found in China. This cute/terrifying little creature, which is definitely worth writing home about, was found in the the mountains of Chengdu in Sichuan province, Scientific American reports. It boasts a wingspan of 8.3 inches. That breaks the previous record held by a species of South American helicopter damselfly, with a wingspan of 7.5 inches. (Helicopter damselflies, by the by, feed on spiders, one species of which makes fake spiders in its web, likely to scare the predators away.)
Generations before anyone came up with the idea of "citizen science," an 18-year-old Richard Hendrickson called in his first weather report to what was then the U.S. Weather Bureau. That was in 1929. Hendrickson is now 101 years old and has provided the National Weather Service with twice-daily observations from his Long Island farm for 84 years.
Following the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over separatist-held eastern Ukraine, Russian state-owned media started focusing a lot on a strange little plane. The Sukhoi Su-25 "Frogfoot" is a jet fighter from the late Cold War, designed to support ground troops from closer overhead, and in the MH17 tragedy, what the Su-25 can and can't do is a centerpiece of Russian denials.
Forty-five years ago, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made the first footprints on the Moon, and it was epic. Popular Science covered this enormous achievement with an article by Wernher von Braun– a German-born engineer, now known as "The Father of Rocket Science," who built the Saturn V launch vehicle that brought Apollo to the Moon. In our July 1969 issue, he described the plans for Armstrong and Aldrin's two-hour rendevous with the Moon.
Late last month, something extraordinary happened at the edge of the rainforest in Acre, Brazil. Members of an uncontacted Amazonian tribe voluntarily approached scientists from the Brazilian government, Science magazine reports. This is the first time in decades that an uncontacted community chose to meet with outsiders.
Desert woodrats are picky, but not in the way you might expect: several woodrat populations in the U.S. Southwest specifically eat a type of highly toxic creosote bush. Another group eats juniper, which is also toxic to many animals. This gives the woodrats (Neotoma lepida) a nice niche, allowing them to dine on a plant that others avoid. But how do they do it? A new study suggests that the microbes in their gut break down the toxic chemicals in the plants, which had been hypothesized but not clearly shown until now.