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Updated: 18 hours 20 min ago

New Book Explores the Building Blocks of Everything From Poison to Soap

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 6:30am
New Book Explores the Building Blocks of Everything From Poison to Soap

Theodore Gray's new book, Molecules, is dedicated to exploring chemistry's building blocks on their own terms.

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The Futuristic Gadgets Running Today’s High-Tech Vineyards

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 6:30am
The Futuristic Gadgets Running Today’s High-Tech Vineyards

Sure, the label on your Côtes du Rhinoceros suggests that the grapes were tended by craggy, distant-eyed, French-accented wine savants who nurture the earth, as did their fathers and their fathers' fathers before them. But the truth is, if modern technology can make for better vino and cut costs, plenty of winemakers are going to buy it. (Anyway, between hotter summers and an influx of bulk wine from around the world, that French guy will soon be out of a job.) Here's how they keep the Tempranillo flowing.

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Absurd Creature of the Week: The Wasp That Lays Eggs Inside Caterpillars and Turns Them Into Slaves

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 6:30am
 The Wasp That Lays Eggs Inside Caterpillars and Turns Them Into Slaves

Few parasitoids are more bizarre or disturbing than the wasps of the genus Glyptapanteles, whose females inject their eggs into living caterpillars. Once inside, the larvae mature, feeding on the caterpillar’s body fluids before gnawing through its skin en masse and emerging into the light of day. And despite the trauma, not only does the caterpillar survive---initially at least---but the larvae proceed to mind-control it, turning their host into a bodyguard that protects them as they spin their cocoons and finish maturing. Then, finally, the caterpillar starves to death, but only after the tiny wasps emerge from their cocoons and fly away.

The post Absurd Creature of the Week: The Wasp That Lays Eggs Inside Caterpillars and Turns Them Into Slaves appeared first on WIRED.








New Algorithms Search for Signs of Consciousness in Brain Injury Patients

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 2:00pm
New Algorithms Search for Signs of Consciousness in Brain Injury Patients

After a severe brain injury, some people remain in a vegetative or minimally conscious state, unable to speak or move intentionally, and apparently unaware of the world around them. But in recent years, neuroscientists have found signs that some of these patients may still be conscious, at least to a degree. Now researchers have used a branch of mathematics called graph theory to search for neural signatures of consciousness.

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So Lockheed Martin Says It’s Made a Big Advance in Nuclear Fusion…

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 6:30am
So Lockheed Martin Says It’s Made a Big Advance in Nuclear Fusion…

Making perfect energy isn’t so easy: Companies and government labs have spent 60 years being just a decade away from nuclear fusion.

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Italian Scientists Appeal Absurd Conviction for Quake Deaths

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 8:53pm
Italian Scientists Appeal Absurd Conviction for Quake Deaths

This month in Italy, three judges have a chance to undo the Kafkaesque nightmare that has ensnared some of the country’s top scientists for almost five years. So far it looks doubtful they will. In 2012, seven scientists and engineers were convicted of manslaughter for things they said and did not say in the days […]

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Travel Through Time With These Strange and Beautiful Visualizations of the Universe

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 6:30am
Travel Through Time With These Strange and Beautiful Visualizations of the Universe

What does the universe look like? How about the sun, moon, planets, and stars? These are probably question that humans have been asking themselves ever since we first looked up at the sky. A new book, Cosmigraphics: Picturing Space Through Time, looks at the imaginative variety of ways that people have answered these questions throughout […]

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Fantastically Wrong: The Murderous, Sometimes Sexy History of the Mermaid

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 6:30am
 The Murderous, Sometimes Sexy History of the Mermaid

Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid is a heartwarming tale of a mermaid falling in love, battling evil to be with her love, and living happily ever after as a human. Just kidding. That’s the Disney version. In Andersen’s, the young mermaid has her tongue cut out, gets burned hard by the prince when he […]

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Why Bats Are Such Good Hosts for Ebola and Other Deadly Diseases

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 6:22am
Why Bats Are Such Good Hosts for Ebola and Other Deadly Diseases

Some of the planet’s scariest, most lethal viruses find a natural refuge inside bats, including Ebola, rabies, Marburg and the SARS coronavirus. Many high-profile epidemics have been traced back to bats, and scientists are discovering new bat-borne viruses all the time.

The post Why Bats Are Such Good Hosts for Ebola and Other Deadly Diseases appeared first on WIRED.








What’s Up With That: Why Some Wines Taste Better With Age

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 2:28pm
 Why Some Wines Taste Better With Age

Imagine you have two glasses of wine in front of you. Each was made from grapes grown on the same vines, but 10 years apart. The glass on the left is young, smells like ripe berries, and when you take a sip it fills your mouth with tart bitterness. You swallow, and your mouth feels dry and […]

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Huge Flock of Minisatellites Aims to Photograph the Entire Earth Every Day

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 6:30am
Huge Flock of Minisatellites Aims to Photograph the Entire Earth Every Day

Tracking what's happening on Earth from space is becoming more and more feasible as Earth-observing satellites increase in both number and resolution. The USGS's Landsat mission has an incredible 40-year record of the planet's changing landscape, with virtually every spot imaged every eight days. It's an incredible scientific asset. But what if you could see every bit of the globe, every single day? That opens up a whole new range of possible uses for satellite imagery. This is the mission of Planet Labs.

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This Man’s Simple System Could Transform American Medicine

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 6:30am
This Man’s Simple System Could Transform American Medicine

Newman’s goal for the site is nothing short of a revolution in medical practice. He wants doctors to base their treatments on good scientific evidence, not tradition, hunch, and the fear that patients will see them as doing nothing. And he wants patients to start demanding such care.

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The Strange and Radical New World of 3-D Printed Body Parts

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 8:30am
The Strange and Radical New World of 3-D Printed Body Parts

A few years ago, if a horrific infection ate your jawbone, doctors had to build makeshift mandibles from your fibula, a process that left you sliced open as surgeons painstakingly whittled away at replacement bone. Yech. Today they can just hit Control-P: Based on MRI and CT scans of your busted-up body parts, hyperspecialized 3-D […]

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Learn to Make Stone-Age Tools to Help Study the Origins of Language

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 6:30am
Learn to Make Stone-Age Tools to Help Study the Origins of Language

A team of researchers are going to monitor modern subjects as they learn how to make Stone Age-style hand axes to see if there's a link to how we process language.

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The Greatest Maps in History, Collected in One Fantastic Book

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 6:30am
The Greatest Maps in History, Collected in One Fantastic Book

Maps are more than a measure of space, they are also records of how humans have understood, examined, and reconsidered the earth throughout history.

The post The Greatest Maps in History, Collected in One Fantastic Book appeared first on WIRED.








Absurd Creature of the Week: The Beautiful But Deadly Undersea Raver That Digests Its Victims Alive

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 6:30am
 The Beautiful But Deadly Undersea Raver That Digests Its Victims Alive

Up here on terra firma, we’re treated to all kinds of wildly colorful wildlife: polychromatic parrots, iridescent green beetles, unicorns galloping on rainbows that one time I ate too many pot brownies. But in the depths of our oceans things are decidedly more drab—gaudy colors ain’t going to do you no good nohow in the […]

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Doctors Really Used Those Amazing Devices and Treatments on The Knick

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 6:30am
Doctors Really Used Those Amazing Devices and Treatments on The Knick

The Knick is about a lot of sexy things, but it's also full of real-world historical science. The discoveries and inventions are real—which is both fascinating and horrifying.

The post Doctors Really Used Those Amazing Devices and Treatments on The Knick appeared first on WIRED.








Elusive Form of Evolution Seen in Social Spiders

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 6:30am
Elusive Form of Evolution Seen in Social Spiders

As a rule, spiders are antisocial. They hunt alone, zealously defend their webs from other spiders, and sometimes even eat their mates. “Cannibalism and territoriality comes naturally to Arachnida, even during sex,” said Jonathan Pruitt, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Pittsburgh. But a handful of the more than 40,000 known arachnid species on the planet have learned to rein in that aggression. Like ants or bees, they cooperate for the good of the group.

The post Elusive Form of Evolution Seen in Social Spiders appeared first on WIRED.








This Device Could Detect Dozens of Cancers With a Single Blood Test

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 6:30am
This Device Could Detect Dozens of Cancers With a Single Blood Test

Early detection, we’re often told, is the surest way to beat cancer. It’s the reason why, year after year, men and women of a certain age dutifully visit their doctors and undergo uncomfortable tests to screen for things like prostate and breast cancer. But what about the other hundred or so types of cancer out […]

The post This Device Could Detect Dozens of Cancers With a Single Blood Test appeared first on WIRED.








Two Incredible Views of Super Typhoon Vongfang From Space

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 2:59pm
Two Incredible Views of Super Typhoon Vongfang From Space

This beautiful image of Super Typhoon Vongfang over the Philippine Sea was taken by NASA’s Aqua satellite at 12:25 a.m. ET this morning. Below, another incredible view of the massive storm was taken by NASA astronaut Reid Weissman from the International Space Station around 7 a.m. ET this morning. Vongfang (which is also being spelled […]

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