Category: Science

Why a Grape Turns Into a Fireball in a Microwave

The internet is full of videos of thoughtful people setting things on fire. Here’s a perennial favorite: Cleave a grape in half, leaving a little skin connecting the two hemispheres. Blitz it in the microwave for five seconds. For one...

/ February 18, 2019

The biggest myths you believe about CBD

Now that hemp is legal, it follows that CBD oil is legal, too. That means that bakeries, restaurants, and coffee shops are free to add it to their cookies, cocktails, and lattes without fear of legal consequences. But no! The...

/ February 15, 2019

DARPA wants smart bandages for wounded warriors

Nowhere is prompt and effective medical treatment more important than on the battlefield, where injuries are severe and conditions dangerous. DARPA thinks that outcomes can be improved by the use of intelligent bandages and other systems that predict and automatically...

/ February 12, 2019

Monkeys With Superpower Eyes Could Help Cure Color Blindness

In the video, a preposterously cute grey squirrel monkey named Dalton bonks his head against a computer screen in front of him. Wide-eyed and muttonchopped, Dalton has quite the set up—the screen, wide in squirrel-monkey terms, displays dots of varying...

/ February 10, 2019

SpaceX’s Starship, Meant for Mars, Prepares for a First Hop

Last Sunday, as much of the country tuned into the Super Bowl, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and a crew of engineers were gathered in McGregor, Texas, the small city where the company maintains a rocket test site. For a few...

/ February 6, 2019

This is why cats bite you sometimes when you pet them

No matter what the animal psychologists, behaviorists, veterinarians, and crazy cat ladies try to tell you, there is one simple, immutable truth about cats: They're weird. Okay, they're also soft and fluffy, but they're mostly just weird. Just when you...

/ February 6, 2019

The craziest features on Air Force One

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the fourth quarter of 2018 the average American salary was roughly $46,800 per year. So grab a bucket to vomit into because you might find this nauseating: Operating Air Force One for...

/ February 5, 2019

Why Your Phone (and Other Gadgets) Fail You When It’s Cold

Across the Midwest today, hundreds of schools and businesses are closed, dozens of flights and trains have been cancelled, and the governors of Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan have declared states of emergency as a bone-chilling, breath-taking Polar Vortex bears down...

/ January 30, 2019

Great inventions that were made in garages

Okay, so it's not a Sidewinder missile, but it does have the power to mess you up, and it was (surprise!) invented in a garage. The modern stun gun arrived in 1999, and leaving aside the part where it totally...

/ January 29, 2019

Ultima Thule shows its lumps in latest images from New Horizons flyby

The rendezvous between the New Horizons probe and the distant object known as Ultima Thule was an historic moment, but after the mind-blowing imagery the craft sent back from Pluto, you could be forgiven for being a little disappointed in...

/ January 25, 2019

For Women Job Seekers, Networking Like a Man Isn’t Enough

To get a great job, you’ve got to network—make contacts, know the right people. You know the drill. But a study out today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that the kind of networking that works...

/ January 21, 2019

Watching the Super Blood Wolf Moon? What to Know About This Lunar Phenomenon

Our in-house Know-It-Alls answer questions about your interactions with technology and science. Today, we weigh in on the January 20, 2019, total lunar eclipse and the wild nomenclature surrounding it. Q: What does it mean to be a super blood...

/ January 20, 2019

This is what everyone gets wrong about rabbits

Actually, rabbits totally bite and scratch. If they didn't, they wouldn't have gotten very far as a species. It's not just predators that need to be aggressive in order to survive — prey animals need that, too, because once they're...

/ January 18, 2019

Scientists say this is why our hair turns gray

Gray hair has made plenty of people in the hair dye industry happy, but for many of us it's just a sign that we're about to get saggy and start complaining about kids these days. The moment you find ashen...

/ January 17, 2019

The Insane Numbers Behind Cycling’s Most Masochistic Race

I straddle my bike, clip into my pedals, and take a slow, deep breath. What I'm about to do won't take long, but it's going to hurt and I know it. Really, it's all I can think about. My bike...

/ January 11, 2019

What Earth would be like if it were actually flat

Flat Earthers call their ideas a "model," because that does make it sound all valid and science-y. What it really is, though, is a fine, shining example of whackjobedness. The basic idea boils down to this: The Earth is flat,...

/ January 5, 2019

Sophia Genetics bags $77M Series E, with 850+ hospitals signed up to its “data-driven medicine”

Another sizeable cash injection for big data biotech: Sophia Genetics has announced a $77M Series E funding round, bringing its total raised to $140M since the business was founded back in 2011. The company, which applies AI to DNA sequencing...

/ January 4, 2019

Finally, New Horizons’ First Photos of Ultima Thule

NASA just released the best images yet of Ultima Thule, the most distant world ever visited by a spacecraft. You'll want to grab your 3D glasses if you've got 'em—we're going stereoscopic. On New Years' Eve, following a 13-year trip...

/ January 3, 2019

What really happens at the CDC

Today, we live in a world where disease isn't just something that happens accidentally — it gets put in bombs, sent through the mail, and rubbed all over the blankets of our enemies. (Actually that last bit was something colonists...

/ December 24, 2018

Trigonometry Is Essential to Physics. Here Are the Basics

You might have already passed that silly course with a title something like "Introductory Algebra and Trigonometry." It covered a bunch of stuff, but the important part was that the class was a prerequisite for your physics course. But do...

/ December 20, 2018

SpaceX’s Failed Landing Still Ended With a Clean Plop

SpaceX launched its 20th rocket of the year just two days after lofting a record 64 satellites into orbit. On this flight, a brand-new Falcon 9 hoisted a Dragon spacecraft into orbit, bound for the International Space Station. But unlike...

/ December 5, 2018