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Updated: 10 hours 15 min ago

Space Radiation Remains Major Hazard for Humans Going to Mars

12 hours 3 min ago
During a conference this week in Washington D.C., enthusiasts are attempting to rouse support for a manned mission to Mars sometime in the next two decades. NASA is there, as are many key players in the spaceflight community. But there continue to be major obstacles to manned Mars missions. A new study highlights one of […]

Science Graphic of the Week: 19th Century Shipwreck Found Near the Golden Gate Bridge

12 hours 3 min ago
On a foggy night in 1888, the passenger steamer City of Chester was headed out of San Francisco Bay when disaster struck. The 202-foot boat was rammed by a much larger steamer, the Oceanic, coming into the bay from Asia. Sixteen people died in the accident, and the City of Chester quickly sank to the bottom. This multibeam sonar image from NOAA is the first look at the steamer in well over a century.

Award-Winning Microscope Images Come to Life in Extraordinary Videos

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 2:31pm
The Nikon Small World photomicrography competition was expanded to include video three years ago, and the result has been an incredible look into living things on the microscopic scale. This year's winning video is a three-dimensional look through a 10-day-old quail embryo growing inside its egg.

Genetic Tricks Could Make Bionic Ears Hear Better

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 2:00pm
Scientists have devised a strategy they hope will one day make bionic ears even sharper. The idea is to make neurons inside the cochlea sprout new branches and become more sensitive to signals from a cochlear implant.

A Map of Every Nuke-Scale Asteroid Strike From the Last Decade

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 1:16pm
Though dinosaur-killing impacts are rare, large asteroids routinely hit the Earth. In the visualization above, you can see the location of 26 space rocks that slammed into our planet between 2000 and 2013, each releasing the energy of our most powerful nuclear weapons.

Amazingly Vivid Dino Illustrations Reveal a Brutal Prehistoric World

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 6:30am
Over its lifetime, Earth has hosted countless species. But some of those species, like the dinosaurs, have managed to claw their way into a special place in our imaginations. Now, a new book illustrates the dinosaurs — and many of the beasts of millennia ago — in beautiful, spectacular and vicious style. In one illustration, […]

Juiced: How to Make Mass-Produced Wine Taste Great

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 6:30am
James Day Winemaking may conjure images of sun-­dappled vineyards and grand châteaus. But a typical ­bottle of Napa Cabernet owes more to lab-coat-­wearing chemists than to barefoot grape stompers. Like most foodstuffs, wine has been thoroughly industrialized. ­Million-­gallon batches are cooked up in ­behemoth factories in Australia or California’s less-dreamy-­sounding Central Valley and made of grapes […]

How Asteroid Strikes Preserved Signs of Ancient Life

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 6:30am
When an asteroid plows into the Earth, it destroys pretty much everything in its path. But new research has shown that glass created during a searing asteroid impact can actually trap microscopic signs of life for millions of years, providing scientists with a snapshot of the biology in the area just before and after the strike.

Use Science and Tech to Build the Ultimate Automated Garden

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 1:30pm
Let people who love sore backs and dirty fingernails painstakingly tend their gardenias. Today’s backyard should be a maximized, automated, hyperefficient system of caloric production. With a little science—and some engineering prowess—you can keep your plot tidy, pest-free, and healthy while barely lifting a finger. So kick back with a gin-spiked kombucha and let your self-maintaining yard crank out the zero-mile arugula.

Help Scientists Record One Day of Sound on Earth

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 6:30am
Bryan Pijanowski wants to capture the sounds of the world on a single day, and he needs your help. Beginning on Earth Day of this year, Pijanowski hopes to enlist thousands of people in recording a few minutes of their everyday surroundings with his Soundscape Recorder smartphone app.

These Are Some of the Oldest Living Things on Earth

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 6:30am
Animals sometimes sleep inside the hollows of giant 2,000-year old baobab trees inside Kruger Game Preserve in South Africa. Humans too, sometimes use the trees, for more dubious purposes -- a jail, a toilet, a pop-up bar -- as photographer Rachel Sussman discovered when she toured the park to photograph the trees for her new book, The Oldest Living Things in the World.

18 Maps From When the World Thought California Was an Island

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 6:30am
Glen McLaughlin wandered into a London map shop in 1971 and discovered something strange. On a map from 1663 he noticed something he'd never seen before: California was floating like a big green carrot, untethered to the west coast of North America. He bought the map and hung it in his entryway, where it quickly became a conversation piece. It soon grew into an obsession. McLaughlin began to collect other maps showing California as an island.

Absurd Creature of the Week: World’s Most Badass Ant Skydives, Uses Own Head as a Shield

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 6:30am
With a range stretching from Argentina all the way up into the southern U.S., this incredible genus of ants has also mastered the art of rainforest skydiving, leaping from the canopy to avoid predators, only to steer themselves mid-flight right back onto the trunk of their home tree. And they do it with remarkable agility.

Science Graphic of the Week: 5.3 Million Years of Sea Level Change on One Cliff Face

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 2:41pm
It's not often that we think about deep time. Lucky to live for a century, humans flitter like mayflies across Earth's surface, our own epoch an eyeblink in a planetary history that's largely hidden from everyday consciousness. Every now and then, though, that history punches right through into the present.

New Exoplanet Could Be Earth’s Cousin — Or Something Totally Alien

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 2:00pm
Astronomers are one step closer to discovering Earth Two. They have found an exoplanet slightly larger than our own, orbiting a star at a distance where it could have liquid water on its surface.

Scientists Discover Bugs With Sex-Reversed Genitalia Doing It for 70 Hours

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:30pm
Writing today in Current Biology, researchers for the first time describe a critter that has traded sex organs. Females are equipped with a penis-like structure called a gynosome, which “deeply penetrates” the duct leading to the male’s sperm storage organ.

What It’s Like to Spend 20 Years Listening to Psychopaths for Science

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 6:30am
Kent Kiehl has been interviewing psychopaths for more than 20 years. More recently he's acquired a mobile MRI scanner and permission to scan the brains of New Mexico state prison inmates. He talked with WIRED about what's different in the brains of psychopaths and why he views psychopathy as a preventable mental disorder.

People Like Their Music Served Medium Funky

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 5:57pm
For all but the shyest of wallflowers, moving to music is a natural human response. But what is it about a catchy tune that makes us groove? Scientists think they've figured out at least part of the recipe: just the right mix of regular rhythms and unexpected beats.

The Coolest Spaceships Ever Built, Compared by Size

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 6:30am
There are a lot of online resources for information about space history, but none can rival the combination of thorough and adorable you’ll find at Historic Spacecraft. The site is full of information about recent and past launches, old space programs, and much more, but it owes its unique charm to the drawings of spacecraft that […]

A Patient’s Bizarre Hallucination Points to How the Brain Identifies Places

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 5:14pm
Dr. Pierre Mégevand was in the middle of a somewhat-routine epilepsy test when his patient, a 22-year old man, said Mégevand and his medical team looked like they had transformed into Italians working at a pizzeria — aprons and all. It wasn’t long, the patient said, before the doctors morphed back into their exam room […]