Alex

1,165 Flips | 2 Magazines | 77 Likes | 5 Following | 87 Followers | @Aleick | Writer, Graphic Designer, Artist, Gamer, Humanist.

Sea level rise from ocean warming underestimated, scientists say

Thermal expansion of the oceans as they warm is likely to be twice as large as previously thought, according to German researchers<p>The amount of sea level rise that comes from the oceans warming and expanding has been underestimated, and could be about twice as much as previously calculated, German …

Global Warming

Scientists Unveil the World's First Cyborg Plant

The concept of “green energy” got a whole lot more literal this week, when scientists announced they’d successfully turned living roses into …

This Super Glass Material Is Almost As Strong As Steel

A cracked cell phone screen could become a thing of the past<p>As engineers continue to push what is possible for our buildings and gadgets, so too do they find new ways to tweak the properties of glass. Typically, glass is produced by heating minerals to a high temperature then letting them cool, but …

Why Can’t We Live On Mars? Blame The Sun

Findings from the MAVEN spacecraft suggest solar eruptions helped to destroy Mars' atmosphere<p>Billions of years ago, Mars might have looked a lot like Earth. It had vast amounts of water on its surface, and it was wrapped in a nice thick atmosphere. Now, after losing 99 percent of its atmosphere, …

Children brought up with no God are MORE generous and tolerant, study finds

GETTYA study says non-religious kids are more generous and tolerant than religious children<p>Agnostic and atheist kids were significantly more likely …

Organic ‘computers’ made of DNA could process data inside our bodies

We invariably imagine electronic devices to be made from silicon chips, with which computers store and process information as binary digits (zeros and ones) represented by tiny electrical charges. But it need not be this way: among the alternatives to silicon are organic mediums such as DNA.<p>DNA …

Researchers draft the first comprehensive tree of life

It's very poetic to talk about a tree of life, where every species can trace its roots, but actually <i>illustrating</i> this tree is no mean feat when Earth has been home to at least 2.3 million known species. However, scientists have finally given it a shot. They've published the first draft of a …

Duke University

Elon Musk To Stephen Colbert: Nuclear Weapons Could Terraform Mars

Is he a supervillain?<p>Elon Musk has often been compared to Tony Stark. The billionaire entrepreneur is the brains behind SpaceX’s reusable rockets, Tesla’s electric cars, and the solar power provider SolarCity. But last night when comedian Stephen Colbert pressed Musk to decide whether he’s a …

We Can Edit Genomes, Create Synthetic Life, and Remake the World. But Should We?

A report from DARPA's Wait, What? conference<p>ST. LOUIS — Four years ago, scientists in the Netherlands and the U.S. very carefully created a potentially devastating disease. They made a few mutations to a virulent strain of bird flu that induced it to become airborne and infect mammals, giving …

What Would Happen If We Burned All The Fossil Fuels On Earth?

We'll burn that bridge when we come to it<p>If you've ever poured yourself some iced tea on a hot summer's day, you know that that icy goodness doesn't stick around for long. That's because (SPOILER ALERT) ice doesn't do well in heat.<p>Those same (wildly obvious) laws of thermodynamics that govern your …

Richard Dawkins interview: 'It must be possible to construct life chemically, or in a computer'

Photograph: Terry Smith/The Life Images Collection/Getty<p>Richard Dawkins at Oxford in 1976, pictured right, studying insect behaviour with student Ted …

Mark Twain

New Species On Human Family Tree Discovered In Ancient Mass Grave

Homo naledi had small brains but human-like traits, upending the fossil record<p>In September of 2013, two cave explorers, on a routine exploration in South Africa happened upon a collection of fossils that would soon question our current understanding of humans’ ancestral history. While probing a …

Life Might Spread Across Universe Like an 'Epidemic' in New Math Theory

As astronomers get closer to finding potential signatures of life on faraway planets, a new mathematical description shows how to understand life's …

The Tech Behind Each Letter In Google’s Alphabet

GIF Animations

In the game engine wars, Epic and Unity aim at enabling VR

Epic Games and Unity Technologies are in a battle for the hearts and minds of game developers. At a time when game budgets are soaring — even for mobile titles — developers rely on the engine makers to reduce their production costs and make it easier to craft works of art that rival cinema. The …

Watch a Boston Dynamics humanoid robot wander around outside

Boston Dynamics, which Google bought in 2013, has begun testing one of its humanoid robots — those that are designed to function like humans — out in the wild.<p>Marc Raibert, the founder of Boston Dynamics, talked about the research and showed footage of the project during a talk on Aug. 3 at the …

A geneticist says any new parent should 'roll their child on floor of the New York subway' — here's why

They found some icky stuff, including the bacteria that give people food poisoning, and the bugs that can cause meningitis.<p>But before opting for an Uber, keep this in mind: Almost all of the germs they found were completely harmless.<p><b>In fact, those creepy-crawlies might actually be good for …

Stephen Hawking is doing his first Reddit AMA next week

If you have some questions on AI that can only be answered by one of the top minds in theoretical physics, you're in luck. Stephen Hawking is going to be taking the public's questions next week during his first ever AMA — one that's going to be handled a bit differently from how they usually play …

Another Day, Another Deepdream

Dreamscope web app lets you choose your nightmare<p>Instagram meets DeepDream.<p>A web app called Dreamscope developed by Lambda Labs allows users to upload an image and apply different filters, including ones inspired by the computerized nightmares “dreamed” up by Google’s artificial neural networks. …

Web Applications

This week's best images of Pluto and its moons

Solar System

Pluto's flowing ice and mysterious red haze highlight 'a scientific wonderland'

Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images<p>Alan Stern, principal investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission team, holds up a bumper sticker at Nasa headquarters on …

Solar System

Three scientists investigating melting Arctic ice may have been assassinated, professor claims

Cambridge Professor Peter Wadhams suspects the deaths of the three scientists were more than just an ‘extraordinary’ coincidence<p>A Cambridge Professor has made the astonishing claim that three scientists investigating the melting of Arctic ice may have been assassinated within the space of a few …

Colonizing The Moon May Be 90 Percent Cheaper Than We Thought

And that in turn could help us get to Mars, says NASA-commissioned study<p>Only 12 people have walked on the moon, and we haven't been back since 1972. But a new NASA-commission study has found that we can now afford to set up a permanent base on the moon, by mining for lunar resources and partnering …

The Way Humans Get Electricity Is About to Change Forever

The renewable-energy boom is here. Trillions of dollars will be invested over the next 25 years, driving some of the most profound changes yet in how …

Stanford researcher declares that the sixth mass extinction is here

Paul Ehrlich and others use highly conservative estimates to prove that species are disappearing faster than at any time since the dinosaurs' …

Biodiversity

Designers debut ‘urban algae canopy’ that produces oxygen, energy, and shade

Environmentalist urban design company, ecoLogicStudio, unveiled the prototype for a new “algae canopy” last week in Milan. The canopy houses living …

Biofuel