Jack O'Connor

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Climate change could temporarily make Alaska the new Florida

Detroit isn't looking so bad, either<p>Without coordinated global action, climate change will inevitably render places across the world uninhabitable. The good news: maybe Alaska won't be so cold for a while.<p>In a new article for the <i>New York Times</i>, Jennifer A. Kingson quotes experts who give jarring, …

Lion Conservation: Does it Come Down to Cows?

Wildlife<p>I write this story from my tent in Samburu. I am looking out, watching the dry landscape in front of me. I see two warthogs coming to graze in the only place they can find some grass – outside our tents. I see the dik diks and squirrels searching for water under the buckets where we wash …

Week's Best Space Pictures: The Sun Stretches, Dust Swallows Africa, and the Milky Way Arcs

The sun sends out magnetic material, dust blows across the Atlantic, and the Milky Way arcs over the Himalaya in this week's best space pictures.

In a Planet-or-Not Debate, Some Astronomers Say "Long Live Planet Pluto"

Disagreements continue over Pluto's planetary status, with a recent debate held at Harvard for scientists to weigh the pros and cons.<p><b>Pluto is a planet.</b><p><b>No, it's not.</b><p><b>It depends what you mean by "planet."</b><p>Last week, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics revisited the perennial debate over how …

Harvard Wants To Help You Make Your Own Squishy Robot

Modern robotics has gone soft.<p>Ever sit alone in your room and think to yourself, “If only I had a soft robot to call my own.” All right, so that scenario is pretty unlikely, but for those who might have wondered how to create a squishy automaton, Harvard has the blueprints you’ll need.<p>In …

Moonwalking Astronauts Can Move Surprisingly Fast

Astronauts may be able to walk on the moon faster than previously thought, a new study reports.<p>The findings could help scientists design better …

Space Exploration

Complex organic molecule found in interstellar space

<b>Scientists have found the beginnings of life-bearing chemistry at the centre of the galaxy.</b><p>Iso-propyl cyanide has been detected in a star-forming cloud 27,000 light-years from Earth.<p>Its branched carbon structure is closer to the complex organic molecules of life than any previous finding from …

Chemistry