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Brain stimulation: The military’s mind-zapping project

Shocking the brain with mild electrical current was once a controversial treatment for the mentally ill. Now evidence is emerging that it could quicken learning and improve attention, and as Emma Young discovers, the US military is very interested in its potential.<p>An unusual trial is underway at …

The Brain

The mammoth that trampled on the history of mankind

Next month, scientists will meet in the Dordogne to mark the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the La Madeleine mammoth – an engraving on ivory that proves man had lived alongside these prehistoric creatures<p>Just a few weeks from now, scientists from across the globe will gather in the town of …

NASA discovery of Kepler-10c steps up claims for alien life

A newly revealed rocky mega-planet shows the universe was capable of creating extraterrestrial-friendly worlds shortly after the Big Bang.<p>NASA and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics just made a discovery that could turn the theory of how planets were created within our universe onto …

Harvard

Hubble Team Unveils Telescope’s Most Colorful Cosmic View

More than a decade after they started, scientists have finally filled out their view of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field on the ultraviolet side of the spectrum. The updated image, released Tuesday, incorporates all the colors that the Hubble Space Telescope can detect, visible and invisible.<p>The Hubble …

Universe

This is the first look at the hardcore Porsche Cayman GT4

Porsche's GT3 guru loves mid-engined cars. This is the result.<p>The 2014 911 GT3 engine fire debacle was a black eye for Porsche. As the smoke clears, though, there are a couple things we know. Porsche's commitment to the GT3 philosophy of keeping revs and driver involvement at a slow boil is intact, …

Porsche

2015 Porsche Cayman GT4 Spy Photos: More Power, Plus Glorious Wings and Things

Uh-oh, 911 . . . your little brother's growing up.<p><b>What It Is:</b> A Porsche Cayman prototype wearing an aggressive front fascia and a giant rear wing. A prototype of what, you may ask? It appears to be a GT4, the long-rumored, range-topping ultra-high-performance Cayman variant that will follow in the …

Alfa Romeo

Self-driving car drops off driver, finds parking spot

Technology that helps park a car is no longer new. But what about a car that drops you off, parks itself, then when you’re ready to go, it comes and gets you?<p>It’s not KITT from Knight Rider and you don’t need to be David Hasselhoff. It’s Valet Park4U, the latest evolution of self-parking technology …

New super-heavy Element 117 confirmed by scientists

Atoms of a new super-heavy element the as-yet-unnamed element 117 have reportedly been created by scientists in Germany, moving it closer to being officially recognized as part of the standard periodic table.<p>Researchers at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research, an accelerator laboratory …

Magnetic fields of neutron stars explained: 'Like cream in coffee' - Futurity

Neutron stars have some of the strongest magnetic fields in the universe, but why those fields remain strong as some stars age has been a mystery.

Nearest hypervelocity star found speeding through space at 1 million mph

Astronomers think hypervelocity stars happen when the galaxy’s central back hole captures one of two stars in a binary system and slingshots the …

Habitable Planets May Not Look Exactly Like The Earth

When I was a kid we had <i>Star Trek</i> reruns showing twice a day. These were, without a doubt, the most important hours of my day. One thing that came from watching the Enterprise zoom around the galaxy so much was the recognition that there were a whole lot of "class M planets" out there. Back in the …

The complex controls of an F1 steering wheel revealed

The modern Formula 1 car is among the most amazing machines ever made. And when you're going wheel-to-wheel with someone like four-time world champ …

The BMW M5 30 Jahre M5 is redundant, rare, and rare

Rare. Very rare.<p>This is the most powerful BMW M5 ever sold: the M5 30 Jahre M5. Yes, that's its real name. It puts 600 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque to the rear axle thanks to a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8. That's 25 more hp than the standard M5, thanks in part to the standard Competition Package. The …

BMW

McLaren weighing dedicated P1 Track version

Start drawing parallels between Ferrari and McLaren and you're not likely to be left with much white space on the page when you're done. Both are Formula One racing teams first and foremost, and only started building cars for the road once they'd proven themselves on the racetrack. They both top …

2015 Lamborghini Huracán first drive review

You slide into the low, bolstered seat, flip up the aircraft-style cover, press the start button, and hear the V-10 engine roar to life. Bump the …

Chinese Air Force Takes Delivery of New J-16 Strike Fighters

By the end of April 2014, the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has taken delivery of a regiment of J-16 multirole fighters, with an expected initial operational capability in late 2014. Marrying the survivability and air combat power of the Russian Su-30MKK airframe with the Xian JH-7A's …

Military

The Conspiracy Theorist Who Duped The World's Biggest Physicists

Popular Science spoke with Rick DeLano, whose movie The Principle shows the world's most famous cosmologists promoting the idea that the Earth is the center of the universe.<p>In December, the trailer for a star-studded new documentary about the universe was uploaded to YouTube. "Everything we think …

Living organism with 'alien' DNA is created by scientists

Breakthrough in understanding of evolution after scientists modify E.coli bacteria to create organism with unique new DNA structure<p>A living organism with synthetic DNA has been created by scientists in a breakthrough which could change what we know about the evolution of life.<p>The DNA of all life on …

Unlocking the mysteries of the Earth's twin, Kepler-186f, and other exoplanets

Dr Giovanna Tinetti of University College London explains why newly discovered planets outside our solar sysem are so exciting<p>Astronomers have recently discovered Kepler-186f, a planet of similar size to the Earth orbiting its star within its so-called "habitable" zone. We ask Dr Giovanna Tinetti …

Scientists create 'alien' life form with artificial genetic code

For the first time, researchers create a new organism based on E. coli that passes along artificially engineered DNA.<p>Scientists made a substantial breakthrough in understanding how to alter the fundamental nature of life, and they did so by creating for the first time a partially artificial life …

Genetics