Category: Science

The World’s Most Powerful Camera Took 3,200-Megapixel Photos

An array of sensors designed to collect images of far-away galaxies has taken photos of objects on Earth that are 3,200 megapixels, the highest resolution ever. The array will next be integrated into a camera and sent to Chile, where…

Mathematicians Made a Basic Discovery in Shapes After 2,000 Years

The Greek philosopher Plato described a set of three-dimensional shapes in the Timeaus, a dialogue written in 360BC. These shapes, known as Platonic solids, are made by putting together polygonal faces that are identical in shape and size in a…
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Exploding Stars Created the Calcium in Our Bodies, Says Study

“We are made of star stuff,” the famous astronomer Carl Sagan had once said in an early 1980s television series about the cosmos, encapsulating the mind-boggling reality that our bodies are literally made of elements forged in the cores of…
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Scientists are Renaming Dozens of Human Genes so Microsoft Excel Doesn’t Get Confused

Scientists have renamed some 27 human genes over the past year to stop Microsoft Excel misinterpreting their alphanumeric codes as dates. These alphanumeric codes, otherwise known as “symbols”, are used as a shorthand method for researchers to identify the tens…
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Pessimists Die Two Years Younger Than Optimists, According to Study

People who are pessimistic about the future may well have a right to be, as new research indicates they’re likely to die earlier than their more optimistic counterparts. A study from QIMR Berghofer's Genetic Epidemiology group in Queensland, Australia, found…
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Two Schoolgirls From India Just Discovered an Asteroid

As space enthusiasts prep to bid goodbye to the rare comet NEOWISE that has been visible almost all through this month, two girls from India have found another celestial body. The 14-year-olds spent the lockdown discovering an earth-bound asteroid, as…
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COVID has Caused the Longest and Deepest Reduction in Human Noise on Record

In the months since the global coronavirus pandemic ground the world to a standstill, the human race has become quieter than any other time on record. An international team of researchers and seismologists analysed datasets from more than 300 seismic…
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A Haywire Supernova Yeeted a Dead Star Across the Galaxy, Study Suggests

A dead star that is careening across the Milky Way at 900,000 kilometers per hour is likely a “supernova survivor” that blasted itself out of an orbital bond with another star, according to a new study. The speedy object, which…
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The Left Case against Open Borders

As the readers of my blog know, the opinions I express here are strictly non-partisan and non-ideological. My main interest is to go where science leads. Ideological thinking is different from science in that in science data triumphs over theories.…
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NASA Will Give You $20,000 If They Like Your ‘Lunar Loo’ Design

This article originally appeared on VICE India. Space travel might be exciting and glamorous but one question that most people have had for astronauts over the decades—apart from whether they have sex in space—is how they pee and poop up…
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Loneliness Rewires How the Human Brain Perceives Relationships

This article originally appeared on VICE India. Loneliness can be a terrible, terrible feeling. It alienates you from your surroundings, makes you feel misunderstood and unwanted by the people around you, and severely affects your understanding of other people. Now,…
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The Scientist Who Predicted 2020’s Political Unrest Reveals What Comes Next

In 2012, VICE published an article titled, "2012 Is Bullshit; 2020 Is When We'll Really Be in Trouble". That headline was fairly prophetic: while 2012 saw the embers of the Arab Spring uprisings and quaint fears of a foretold apocalypse,…
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The Science behind My Forecast for 2020

Quite a number of people, here and on Twitter, asked me about how I came up with my forecast for 2020. Here’s the story. By the early 2000s I had already delved into structural-demographic theory and its implications for historical…
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The long road to coronavirus herd immunity depends on a vaccine and how the virus spreads

The sought-after state of herd immunity — in which widespread outbreaks are prevented because enough people in a community are immune to a disease — is complicated by open questions about the effectiveness of a future vaccine and how COVID-19…
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2020

America is burning. Dozens of cities across the United States remain under curfews at a level not seen since riots following the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Most commentary is focusing on the immediate causes of this wave…
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Live updates: SpaceX to launch NASA astronauts Saturday

At 3:22 p.m. ET today, SpaceX is expected to launch NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station for the first time. Why it matters: The liftoff — should it go off without a hitch —…
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Live updates: SpaceX to launch historic crewed mission for NASA

SpaceX will attempt to launch NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station today. Why it matters: If all goes well, this launch — expected to happen at 4:33 p.m. ET — will mark the first…
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Hydroxychloroquine increases risk of death in coronavirus patients despite Trump’s praises

Coronavirus patients who took hydroxychloroquine or its related drug chloroquine were more likely to die or develop an irregular heart rhythm that can lead to sudden cardiac death, compared to those who did nothing, a retrospective review published in The…
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A Tale of Two Countries

Sweden and Denmark are both Nordic countries speaking similar languages, sharing a lot of culture and a lot of common history. But they followed very different approaches to managing the Covid-19 pandemic. Denmark was among the first in Europe to…
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Asian giant hornets, which kill roughly 50 people a year in Japan, have arrived in the U.S.

Asian giant hornets, called by some researchers as “murder hornets,” have arrived in the U.S., the New York Times reports. Why it matters: The insects, which were spotted by a beekeeper in Washington state in December, kill roughly 50 people…
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