Space

All Scientific Research Funded by NASA Is Available For Free

There’s something very special about all the awesome research funded by NASA – it’s accessible, for free, to everyone. It was a particularly special moment when NASA announced this shift to open access back in 2016. Not only would all published research funded by the space agency be available at no cost, the agency also launched a public web portal …


Tech

Microsoft Is Making a Tool to Track Down Biased AI, But That’s Just Half The Problem

Microsoft is the latest tech company to try and tackle algorithmic bias — that is, artificial intelligence that was fed subpar data and came to mirror society’s own prejudices or unfair perspectives.   The company wants to create a tool that will detect and alert people to AI algorithms that may be treating them based on their race or gender, …


This 3D Printer Can Help Grow Organs With Scaffolding Made Out of Sugar

Sugar, that amazingly sweet treat some of us just can’t get enough of, has long been the fascination of children (and those with a child-like sweet tooth). Its ability to be melted down into a glass-like substance enables confectionery artists to create tasty displays worthy of museums, or being served as a 3D printed dessert.   In fact, the same …

Astronomers Just Zoomed Stunningly Close to The Event Horizon of Our Galaxy’s Black Hole

Telescopes around the world have joined forces to try to provide us with our first photograph of a black hole. That’s still a few months off, at least, but all that staring at a black hole is already starting to produce results.   In 2013, the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) radio telescope in Chile joined the global telescope collective that …

Why Scientists Are Actually Super-Excited About Hawaii’s Massive Volcano Eruption

Through the laze and vog, Kīlauea is giving up some of its secrets. The volcano that began a new round of eruptions on May 3 is proving to be a bonanza for volcanologists, as it cracks apart at its base and blows periodically at its top to jettison lava and plumes of ash across much of an anxious Big Island. …

This Brilliant Interactive From NASA Lets You Virtually Explore Planets Far, Far Away

Ever dreamt of stepping onto a faraway planet? Well, NASA has you covered with this incredible virtual planet simulator. The Exoplanet Travel Bureau drops you into vastly different star systems to explore distant worlds.   You can enjoy Trappist-1e’s blood red sky, a planet we now know has a large iron core. (NASA/Exoplanet Travel Bureau) The Trappist system has seven …

Muscles Thought to Be Exclusively Human Have Just Been Found in Apes

It’s thought that humans, unlike other primates, have evolved certain muscles unique to us. But now those muscles have been found in other apes – and this challenges our core perceptions about human evolution.   According to anatomist Rui Diogo of Howard University in the US, a large part of the human narrative revolves around our “special” place in nature, which can …

The Few Birds That Survived The Dinosaur Extinction Had an Unexpected Advantage

For quite a while now, scientists have known that birds made it through a deadly asteroid catastrophe when most dinosaurs didn’t. But, according to a new study, it was really just a lucky handful of avian ancestors that survived.    The deadly asteroid strike in Chicxulub, Mexico happened some 66 million years ago, and it wiped out three-fourths of all …

The Catastrophe That Killed Dinosaurs Created 100,000 Years of Global Warming, Study Shows

On a very bad day 66 million years ago, a mountain-sized object from space slammed into Earth, initiating a cascade of calamities that eradicated three-fourths of the species on the planet, including the non-avian dinosaurs.   The buried remnants of the 125-mile-wide (200 km wide) crater have been identified on the Yucatan Peninsula and in the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists …

Hawaii’s Volcano Is Now Producing Eerie Blue Flames: Here’s What They Are

The Kīlauea volcano in Hawaii is behind a new, potentially deadly phenomenon – eerie blue fire streaming up from below the ground. The flames, which can only be seen well at night, are caused by methane buildups, a by-product of the lava flows which have been enveloping the area around the volcano since it erupted last week on the Big …

This Is What Happens When Your Camera Gets Too Close to a Space Launch

If you’re shooting photos of a space rocket launch, the risk to damage equipment is all too real, as one NASA photographer demonstrated this week. Exhibit A is the melted Canon 5DS DSLR camera you can see in the picture above, by Bill Ingalls. The device, which was set up remotely, was scorched beyond repair at this week’s SpaceX Falcon …

There’s a Wild Conspiracy Theory on Hitler’s Death, And It’s Finally Been Debunked

It sounds like a work of alternative history fiction: as Soviet forces closed in on Adolf Hitler’s bunker in Berlin, the Führer fled in the nick of time to South America where he lived in hiding for another 17 years.   As far as conspiracy theories go, it’s up there with Elvis and Roswell, but you’d better believe there are …

An Unbroken, Million-Year-Old Core of Ice Has Been Found Lurking Under Antarctica

The history of Earth isn’t written in ink, but in ancient ice – buried under places so unforgivingly frozen, they’re usually mistaken for wastelands. And if you extract deep, concealed cores of ice from within these extreme latitudes, you can learn almost anything: about metal workers vanquished by the Black Death, or the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, …

Pluto May Not Be a Planet, But It Could Be Made Out of Millions of Comets

Pluto may not be categorised as a planet any more, but it still holds plenty of fascination. For instance, how did the dwarf planet form, and why is it so different from the planets? By examining its chemical composition, researchers have come up with a new idea: Pluto is made of comets.   According to the currently accepted model, planets …

If a Nuclear Bomb Explodes, Government Officials Will Probably Use These Scripts to Calm You Down

The US government prepares for all sorts of threats, ranging from biowarfare and chemical weapons to volcanoes and wildfires. But none match the specter of a nuclear explosion. A small nuclear weapon on the ground can create a stadium-size fireball, unleash a city-crippling blastwave, and sprinkle radioactive fallout hundreds of miles away.   The good news is that the Cold …

An Incredible Fossil Just Changed What We Know About The Split of Pangaea

A 130-million-year-old fossil has revealed that the ancient super-continent Pangaea may have broken apart more slowly than scientists previously thought. The fossilised skull, which was found in eastern Utah, has revealed an entirely new group of reptile-like mammals that existed in North America.   “Based on the unlikely discovery of this near-complete fossil cranium, we now recognize a new, cosmopolitan …

These Lynx Yelling at Each Other Sound Like People, And It’s Hilarious

A video recently captured in Ontario, Canada shows a truly rare sight: two Canada lynx, yowling their furry little faces off at each other – seeming for all the world like they’re locked in an intense debate, but without any physical blows.   The encounter was filmed by Edward Trist and his girlfriend Nicole Lewis on a rural logging road. “We …

A Major Staple Food For Billions of People Is at Risk of Becoming Less Nutritious

Human-caused greenhouse gas emissions threaten to make rice less nutritious, scientists said in a study released Wednesday, raising a worrying possibility about the staple food item for billions of humans.   Rice, the scientists found, contains lower levels of key vitamins when grown amid high concentrations of carbon dioxide, the most common of the greenhouse gases driving climate change. “If …

Scientists Have Found The ‘Holy Grail of Shipwrecks’ And Up to $17 Billion in Treasure

For centuries, untold riches of gold, silver, and jewels buried with the world’s most valuable shipwreck were dreamt of by generations of sailors, squires, and treasure hunters alike.   But when eyes were finally laid on the so-called ‘holy grail of shipwrecks’ – the Spanish galleon San José, which went down off the coast of Colombia in 1708 – they …

We’ve Mapped a Pulsar in Unprecedented Detail, Finding Clues to a Cosmic Mystery

Picture a flea on Pluto’s surface as seen through a telescope. This gives you some idea of the feat pulled off by astronomers, who managed to distinguish between spots of light on a 20-kilometre (about 12.5 mile) wide pulsar 6,500 light years away.   The result is mind-blowing on its own, but the physical processes behind the observation could help …

Amazing Photos Have Captured The Moment an Eagle Swooped a Fox Clutching a Rabbit

It only lasted for a savage, fleeting instant, but for 8 intense seconds last week an eagle, a fox, and a rabbit flew across the sky as one. In an incredibly rare scene, photographers have captured the moment a bald eagle swooped down upon a young red fox clutching a rabbit, and in its whirlwind attempt to steal the fox’s …

Neuroscientists Have Cracked The Science of Michael Jackson’s Gravity-Defying Dance Move

In 1987, the music video Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson stunned audiences around the world with a gravity-defying move – leaning forward to a staggering 45 degree angle.    There was some footwear magic happening there, for sure – but a group of neuroscientists have looked at the spine biomechanics behind the technique he performed in concerts all over the world. And …

Hawaii’s Massive Volcano Eruption Is Now Making The Island Larger

There is something special and awe-inspiring about watching new land form. This is what is now happening in Hawai’i as its Kīlauea volcano erupts. Lava is reaching the ocean and building land while producing spectacular plumes of steam.   These eruptions are hugely important for the creation of new land. But they are also dangerous. Where the lava meets the …

Giant Predatory Worms Quietly Invaded France, And Biologists Are Shocked

When Jean-Lou Justine received the first photograph of a giant worm with a head like a shovel, the biologist was astounded. Hammerhead flatworms, which grow to a foot or more in length, do not belong in European vegetable gardens.   “We do not have that in France,” said Justine, a professor at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. …

A Sinkhole ‘Growing Larger by The Day’ Has Developed on The White House Lawn

The White House North Lawn has developed a sinkhole, which is now blocked off by two traffic cones and yellow tape. On Tuesday, Steve Herman, a reporter from Voice of America, and Breitbart’s Charlie Spiering tweeted images of the sunken turf.   Located outside the entrance to the press briefing room, the hole is “growing larger by the day,” according …

You Could Get Credit For a Supernova Discovery by Participating in This Free Online Project

Calling all citizen scientists! A project looking for those dying, exploding stars called supernovae out in deep space is also searching for volunteers to help in the work, and you can get real science credit for it along the way – even if you’ve never done a second of star-gazing before.   Astronomers from the Australian National University (ANU) want eager …

Lightning Inside This Ferocious Hurricane Blasted a Beam of Antimatter at Earth

When Hurricane Patricia shredded into the west coast of Mexico in October 2015, it was the strongest Pacific hurricane on record – but something else inside the swirling maelstrom also helped the violent storm make history.   From inside the most intense tropical cyclone recorded in the Western Hemisphere, for the first time ever scientists observed a downward beam of …

China Is About to Put The First-Ever Lander on The Dark Side of The Moon

Nobody has ever put a lander on the far side of the Moon before, but China is well on its way to being the first. Over the weekend, the country launched a craft called Queqiao – a satellite that will orbit the Moon to relay messages from the yet-to-be-launched lander, Chang’e-4.   the Moon is tidally locked with Earth – …

A Man Was Stalked by a Pig in The Middle of The Night, So He Called The Police

When you’re out late at night, realising that you’re being followed can be pretty scary. But one man in Ohio wasn’t so much terrified of his stalker as baffled by it, and ended up calling the police at 5:26 am last Saturday.   “Uh, hi, I’m walking from the Elyria train station to my house in North Ridgeville and a …

Here’s Why Different Conspiracy Theories Keep Contradicting Each Other

Flat Earthism and the idea that human activity is not responsible for climate change are two of the most prevalent conspiracy theories today. Both have been increasing in popularity since the late 20th century.   Currently, 16 percent of the US population say they doubt the scientifically established shape of the Earth, while 40 percent think that human-induced climate change …

Humans Are Just 0.01% of Life on Earth, But We Still Annihilated The Rest of It

Humankind is pathetically lightweight in comparison to the mass of almost all other living things on Earth, but while our bodies (and thinking) may be tiny, our crushing footprint is not.   The most comprehensive study ever of the weight of all living biomass on the planet has discovered humans account for only about 0.01 percent of life on Earth …

Huge Cache of Human Bones Has Revealed ‘Barbarian’ War Rituals During The Roman Empire

Archaeologists in Denmark have made a rare and extremely valuable find. Preserved in wetlands peat sediment, the remains of a fierce battle that raged in the first century CE, leaving nearly 2,100 bones to tell the tale millennia later – challenging what we know about barbarian warfare.   The Germanic tribes were ferocious warriors, instrumental in taking down the Roman …

Experts Say There Was “Something Wrong” With The Cougar Who Killed a Seattle Cyclist

The two mountain bikers, authorities say, did what they were supposed to do. They made loud noises to drive the cougar away. One of them even struck the animal with his bicycle.   But none of it worked. The big cat that had been following the two friends as they were mountain biking in rural Washington state pounced, lunging at …

Scientists Are About to Catalogue All The Life in Loch Ness Once And For All

Some claim it’s a prehistoric relic. Others believe it’s a giant sturgeon. Many think it’s just a figment of our imagination. The legend of the Loch Ness monster has been around since the Dark Ages, but despite a few disputed photographs and sonar readings, evidence for the mythical creature has remained purely anecdotal.   For over a thousand years, humans …

The Tiny House Trend Has Officially Peaked. Meet The World’s Smallest House

You may think you’ve seen tiny buildings before, but this microhouse constructed by nanoengineers is the craziest one yet. From front to back it measures less than 20 micrometres, which means you could squeeze a village of 50 of them on a pinhead.   The sides of the structure are just 1.2 micrometres thick – a little over a millionth of …

Supernovae Could Be to Blame For Mass Extinctions on Earth, Study Shows

Nothing lasts forever. If you look for it, mounting evidence of an impending mass extinction event is all around us, and the forces behind these epic die-offs could be greater than we ever knew.   New research into supernovae millions of years ago suggests dying stars exploding in sufficient proximity to Earth could help bring about changes in our atmosphere …

An Interstellar Object Has Been Hiding in Our Solar System This Whole Time

Interstellar asteroid ‘Oumuamua raised an interesting possibility: if objects could enter our Solar System from somewhere out beyond its reaches, maybe it’s happened before. New research has found that that is indeed the case – and that interstellar object has been living here a long time.   It’s the first known permanent fixture of our Solar System that wasn’t formed …

NASA Astronaut Forgets GoPro SD Card on Spacewalk, Internet Has a Field Day

Ever been foiled by technology while trying to take pictures of something awesome? Don’t fret, it can literally happen to the most amazing of humans. On last week’s spacewalk outside the International Space Station (ISS), flight engineer Drew Feustel found himself stumped by a GoPro camera complaining about the lack of a memory card. Whelp.   Feustel and his crewmate …

The Size of The Town You Live in Has a Huge Effect on Happiness Levels

Heaven is wide open spaces – at least, it is for most people, according to a massive new data set of happiness in Canada. A team of happiness researchers at the Vancouver School of Economics and McGill University recently published a working paper on the geography of well-being in Canada.   They compiled 400,000 responses to a pair of national …

US Fertility Rates Have Plummeted Into Uncharted Territory, And Nobody Knows Why

The US birth rate has hit a new record low, with women in nearly every age group giving birth to fewer babies than a year ago. New figures show just 60.2 babies were born in 2017 for every 1,000 women of ‘childbearing’ age (15-44) – a low not seen in the US since officials began charting national birth rates decades …

NASA Is About to Create The Coldest Temperature in The Universe, Using Lasers in Space

In the quest for ever-colder temperatures, NASA is sending an apparatus to the International Space Station that will create a spot 10 billion times colder than the vacuum of space.   It’s called the Cold Atom Laboratory, a payload about the size of an ice chest aboard Orbital ATK’s Cygnus rocket, and it will help scientists observe the weird quantum …

Browsing The Internet at Work May Not Make You Less Productive, Says Study

Are you reading this while you should be working? The personal use of the internet during work hours has been dubbed ‘cyberloafing’, but a new study shows that you might not really be to blame for your constant scrolling.   The researchers, from the University of Haifa in Israel and the University of South Florida, focused on whether cyberloafing is …

The First Known Injury From Hawaii’s Volcano Eruption Has Been Reported

Hawaii officials on Saturday reported the first known injury related to heightened volcanic activity from Kilauea after a Big Island resident was hit by lava spatter while standing on a third-floor balcony.   That person, identified only as a homeowner on Noni Farms Road, shattered his leg from his shin to his foot when lava spatter struck him, a spokeswoman …

This Nightmare Shark With a Snake Head And 300 Teeth Is Absolutely Horrifying

Maybe it’s time we Homo sapiens reevaluated our relationship with the oceans of the world. It has been a good few millennia, sure, but our love affair may have been a little rushed. After all, what do we really know about the ocean? Roughly 95 percent of it remains unexplored, and it seems as if every other day we’re finding …

Some Lizards Have Green Blood That Should Kill Them And It’s a Scientific Mystery

If you were to see certain New Guinea skinks lose their tails, you’d notice that their blood isn’t the usual red colour we’re used to but rather a virulent shade of green. What’s even more bizarre is that the substance that’s responsible for the green colour of the lizards’ blood (and bones, tongues, muscles and mucous membranes) would be toxic …

Do You Cry More on Planes? Here’s Some Scientific Reasons to Explain Why

Very few people enjoy air travel. The chances something will go wrong are incredibly tiny, but that doesn’t mean it’s a pleasant experience. Your feet may swell up, your ears may pop, and, for some people, you may end up crying like a baby.   In 2011, Virgin Atlantic conducted a study that revealed 55% of respondents had heightened emotions …

Elon Musk Thinks Flying Cars Could ‘Guillotine’ People on The Ground

While he’s founded companies that are trying to define the future of transportation with electric vehicles, space exploration, and tunnels that would house high-speed transit systems, Elon Musk doesn’t like flying cars.   During an event for his tunnel-digging company, The Boring Company, on Thursday, Musk explained why flying cars could be more trouble than they’re worth. Musk said his …

Fake Facebook Accounts And Online Lies Multiply in Hours After Santa Fe School Shooting

In the first hours after the Texas school shooting that left at least 10 dead Friday, online hoaxers moved quickly to spread a viral lie, creating fake Facebook accounts with the suspected shooter’s name and a doctored photo showing him wearing a “Hillary 2016” hat.   Several were swiftly flagged by users and deleted by the social network. But others …