Wired Weird Science

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Updated: 18 hours 20 min ago

9 Things to Know About Reviving the Recently Dead

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 8:30am
In 1986, a two-and-a-half year-old girl named Michelle Funk fell into a stream and drowned. By the time paramedics found her, she hadn’t been breathing for more than an hour. Her heart was stopped. In other words, she was dead. Somewhat inexplicably, the paramedics continued to work on her, and so did doctors in the […]

Fantastically Wrong: The Angry, Enormous Eagle That Could Carry Off Elephants

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 6:30am
On the 556th evening of successfully not being murdered by her chucklehead king of a husband in the Arabian Nights, Scheherazade relates the tale of Sinbad’s tanglings with a beast most cruel. Sailing from city to city with merchants, Sinbad eventually comes to a deserted island, where he spies a huge white dome half buried […]

What’s Up With That: Why Does Your Dog Seem to Know What Time It Is?

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 6:30am
It’s five o’clock, and your dog is excitedly wagging her tail and nuzzling against you. Your furry friend is hungry and seems to know that this is the hour you usually feed her. But was this performance a simple reaction to a rumbling in Ginger’s tummy or are canines actually able to somehow read the clock? […]

These Medical Apps Have Doctors and the FDA Worried

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 6:30am
Iltifat Husain has seen an awful lot of sickness and injury during his time as an emergency room doctor, but lately, he’s worried about something new. He’s worried about the ill effects of mobile healthcare apps. There are hundreds of medically themed apps in Apple’s App Store and Google Play, and by most accounts, they’ve […]

Watch Live: Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower Lights Up the Night Sky

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 8:00pm
[HTML1] You can watch the spectacular night sky show of the Delta Aquarid meteor shower with a live online broadcast from the Slooh Space Camera, starting tonight at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET. Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through the debris left behind by a comet as it swung in close to the […]

New Head of Prestigious Physics Institute Describes Her Hunt for Dark Matter

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 6:30am
Katherine Freese, a physicist who will soon lead the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics, reflects on the hunt for dark matter and how dark matter heating may have produced the first stars.

Watch 80,000 Neurons Fire in the Brain of a Fish

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 6:30am
In a new study, scientists tracked the activity of 80 percent of the neurons in the brain of a baby zebrafish as the animal as the animal responds to what it sees. The scientists who made it say their new technique, called light-sheet imaging, will allow them to study the neural mechanisms of behavior in unprecedented detail.

Absurd Creature of the Week: Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko Wears the World’s Most Unbelievable Camo

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 6:30am
“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare once asked, apparently in Romeo and Juliet, which I just learned from Google because I did not pay attention in that class in college. “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” I think this means that a name doesn’t matter for much, because […]

Science Graphic of the Week: Mapping Climate Change on Tatooine Over 110 Galactic Years

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 3:28pm
Just because Luke Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine is fictional doesn’t mean it’s immune to the effects of climate change. This map shows how, in the past 110 Galactic Standard Years, Tatooine has turned from a sprawling, desert wasteland into an even hotter sprawling, desert wasteland. It comes from Tatooine’s first Intergovernmental Report on Climate […]

Mapping the Mass of an Enormous Galaxy Cluster

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 2:07pm
You are looking at the most precise gravity map ever made of a distant galaxy cluster. Using the map, astronomers have determined that the cluster is roughly 650,000 light-years across and contains enough matter to make 160 trillion suns. The cluster, known as MCS J0416.1–2403, is located about 4 billion light-years away and consists of […]

Tomorrow’s Fastest Cars Could Be Covered in Morphable Skins

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 6:30am
Researchers at MIT have created a ball with a customizable surface texture through the science of wrinkling.

Have a Drone? Check This Map Before You Fly It

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 3:58pm
The popularity of drones is climbing quickly among companies, governments and citizens alike. But the rules surrounding where, when and why you can fly an unmanned aerial vehicle aren’t very clear. The FAA has tried to assert control and insist on licensing for all drone operators, while drone pilots and some legal experts claim drones […]

Fantastically Wrong: The Strange Real-Life Origins of the Fiendish Werewolf

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 6:30am
Name a culture somewhere on Planet Earth and more than likely the werewolf stalks its folklore, from African and Asian tribes all the way up to the classic (and confusing) Altered Beast of Sega Genesis.

The Epic Fight to Protect Whales From the U.S. Navy

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 6:30am
On the morning of March 15, 2000, 17 beaked whales stranded themselves on beaches in the northern Bahamas. It was an terrible and extraordinary event: beaked whales are the world's deepest-diving mammals, and these creatures had spent most of their lives in deep undersea canyons. For just one to show up in shallow water would be extremely unusual. For 17 to strand was almost inconceivable, and it might have remained a mystery but for an equally extraordinary coincidence.

Shape-Shifting Wings, From Soviet War Planes to Top Gun’s Tomcat

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 6:30am
Take off. Rise. Soar. Bank. Turn. Stall. Swoop. Dive. Land. For each of the different kinds of flying an airplane has to do, there’s an ideal shape and configuration for its wings. Even though bird-like flappability isn’t feasible with struts and steel, engineers since the dawn of aviation have been trying to make wings that […]

What’s Up With That: Why Does Sleeping In Just Make Me More Tired?

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 6:30am
Oversleep causes a feeling similar to feeling hung over and it's caused by the same biological function that gives you jet lag.

The Quest to Brew Beer With Space Yeast

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 2:07pm
A small team of people gathered in the Nevada desert earlier this week to take another step toward answering one of mankind’s most pressing questions: What does beer taste like in space? At least that’s one of the most pressing questions that comes up when a bunch of brewers get together with a bunch of […]

Absurd Creature of the Week: The Aquatic Menace That Gives the Worst Hickeys Ever

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 6:30am
To quote the great Austin Powers, when provided floss to escape being lowered into a tank of ill-tempered sea bass: “OK, I get it. I have bad teeth.” Sure, it’s easy to stereotype the British for shunning American advances in oral hygiene. But it’s time to set our dental differences aside and celebrate the most […]

Science Graphic of the Week: When a Volcano Erupts Under a Glacier You Get a Jökulhlaup

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 12:49pm
Though we often think of the earth beneath our feet as static, we also know that our planet is a dynamic object. In this image, we can see how geologic processes---namely a glacial outburst flood known as a jökulhlaup---can cause major changes to an area. But in time, even these huge alterations are eroded away and the landscape can return to something close to its previous state.

The Moral Hazards and Legal Conundrums of Our Robot-Filled Future

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 6:30am
Whether you find it exhilarating or terrifying (or both), progress in robotics and related fields like AI is raising new ethical quandaries and challenging legal codes that were created for a world in which a sharp line separates man from machine. Last week, roboticists, legal scholars, and other experts met at the University of California, Berkeley law school to talk through some of the social, moral, and legal hazards that are likely to arise as that line starts to blur.