Poopin' ain't easy in space—especially if you're stuck in a space suit for extended periods of time. Today's astronauts wear diapers when they need to don a space suit, but on future Martian getaways, mishaps could leave astronauts stuck in their suits for six days at a time. That's a long time to move around in a poopy diaper. And in a low gravity environment, the stuff in your diaper could float out and cover everything else in your space suit. Not good.
Fever, chills, vomiting, headache, mental confusion, and occasionally death: That's the prognosis for more than 200 million people infected with malaria each year. Preventative measures aimed at reducing risk exposure—that is, avoiding mosquito bites—have had some success. But the ultimate solution, a vaccine, has remained elusive for decades. In fact, the 2009 book The Elusive Malaria Vaccine: Miracle or Mirage? tracks the long history of scientific effort in that arena. Now, however, a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature suggests scientists may have cracked the code.
In 1939, the year World War II broke out, Winston Churchill was thinking about aliens. Not illegal aliens, actual extraterrestrial aliens. Although the looming Nazi threat surely commanded most of Churchill's attention, the renowned statesman still found time to formally ponder one of humanity's greatest mysteries in the aptly titled essay, “Are We Alone in the Universe?”
Rumors are circulating on Twitter that NASA is shaking up its schedule for the Space Launch System. According to the scuttlebutt, the rocket's maiden launch may carry astronauts onboard. Popular Science has confirmed with Stuart McClung, an engineer on the Orion capsule that's designed to ride on SLS, that NASA is indeed considering these changes.
Ever since CRISPR—the relatively cheap and easy-to-use genome editing technique—made its way to the scientific stage, researchers have grappled with one of its biggest ethical quagmires: Its ability to edit human embryos, thereby potentially altering the DNA of subsequent generations. The question of whether to allow such a drastic and permanent change has been discussed ad nauseum since it became clear that CRISPR would make this (relatively) easy to do. This week, a panel of experts from the National Academy of Science released a report endorsing this type of research—though a long list of caveats and precautions come in tow.
A little more than 40 years ago, Dubai was a tiny pearl-fishing village lined with dirt roads. Now it's the largest and most futuristic city in the world, the jewel of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). From manmade, palm tree-shaped archipelagos to jetpack-wearing firefighters and the world's tallest building, the city has a reputation for taking on insanely ambitious projects and executing them with swiftness and expertise. Now, the UAE has a vision to build an even crazier city—on Mars.
Our sun might not seem as enigmatic as more exotic, distant stars, but it's still a marvelously mysterious miasma of incandescent plasma. And it's certainly worthy of our scientific attention: Curiosity aside, a violent solar event could disrupt satellites and cause $2 trillion in damages for the U.S. alone. Yet, despite living in its atmosphere, we don't understand some of its defining phenomena. For sixty years, we haven't understood why the surface is a cozy 5,500 Celsius, while the halo called the corona—several million kilometers away from the star's surface and 12 orders of magnitude less dense—boasts a positively sizzling 1-2 million Celsius.
While NSW burns, a snowstorm hammered the Northeast US yesterday, dumping as much as a foot of snow in some places. And while the storm closed schools, grounded flights, and inconvenienced a lot of humans, the animals at the Bronx Zoo couldn't be happier about it. These photos of animals playing in the snow were taken today by zoo staff, and they're the perfect ending to a long week.
A lot of things can go wrong in the garden. Some seeds just won't sprout. A plant's leaves droop and turn colors they shouldn't. Thankfully, inventive people are starting to tackle this problem, manipulating hot tech to help you keep things...less dead. Don't fret about the color of your thumb; this stuff will bring you a few steps closer to becoming the 21st century's Frederick Law Olmsted (or whatever landscape architect inspires you).
This week, The Times of India reported on a 42-year-old Indian woman who went to the emergency room complaining of a severely painful “tingling, crawling sensation” in her head. Two sets of doctors couldn't figure out the cause of her pain, but the third set finally made a breakthrough: They determined it was a “foreign body that seemed to be mobile,” ordered a scan, and found a living, fully-grown cockroach lodged inside her nasal cavity. Doctors quickly guided a flexible tube called an endoscope up the woman's nose to remove the bug. Luckily, everything turned out okay for both the woman and sneaky pest, which doctors noted was crawling around a petri dish after it had been removed.