Jasmine Henderson

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Forget recycling. Let’s turn old plastic into fuel.

Plastic is a big problem, like, bigger-than-Texas big. Giant islands of plastic trash — one in the North Pacific Ocean is estimated by some to cover …

Jennifer Doudna, inventor of gene editing technology CRISPR Cas9, is coming to Disrupt

Berkeley professor of chemistry and molecular and cell biology and the inventor of the revolutionary CRISPR Cas9 gene editing technology Jennifer Doudna is going to join us for the first time on our Disrupt stage in SF this September.<p>We’ll chat with Doudna about her discovery of a tool called Cas9 …

Grow Your Own Food Right in Your Kitchen With This DIY Aquaponics Kit

Imagine herbs, flowers and other plants thriving with your pet fish. Aqua Biofilter’s Aquarium Garden is a DIY aquaponics kit that lets you grow food …

Aquaponics

The Wikipedia for New Species (No Unicorns, Please)

When it comes to identifying all of the species on the planet, there’s not much you can say with certainty. Unicorns don’t make the cut; bunnies do. …

Blindsight: the strangest form of consciousness

Some people who have lost their vision find a “second sight” taking over their eyes – an uncanny, subconscious sense that sheds light into the hidden depths of the human mind.<p>When Daniel first walked into London’s National Hospital, ophthalmologist Michael Sanders could have had little idea that he …

Magnetism

Meet the Chimps That Lawyers Argue Are People

In a new study, chimpanzees were trained to walk upright. The fine print: They’re also plaintiffs in a landmark lawsuit.<p>The plaintiffs of a historic lawsuit seeking legal rights for chimpanzees finally made a public appearance—not in court, but in a study on the mechanics of walking on two feet.<p>The …

Ethnology

Is another human living inside you?

You may think your body and mind are your own. In fact, you are a fusion of many organisms - including, potentially, another person. Words by David Robson, photography by Ariko Inaoka.<p><i>This story is part of BBC Future’s “Best of 2015” list, our greatest hits of the year.</i> <i>Browse the full list.</i><p><i>-</i><p>Once …

Genetics

The Oldest Galaxies in the Universe

Peering through a wrinkle in spacetime, astronomers have just seen the first galaxies.<p>More than 12 billion years ago, a sea of stars fell into orbit around a baby black hole, and became a galaxy, one of the first.<p>The formation of this galaxy, and others like it, was a momentous event in cosmic …

Robot Buses Are Coming To America, To Pave The Way For Driverless Cars

Perhaps the best place for autonomous vehicles to start out is in this kind of training ground, although given the safety record of Google’s …

The brain’s miracle superpowers of self-improvement

We used to believe our brains were hardwired at birth. Now we believe we can will them to change. Is that true? Will Storr analyses the truth and hokum about 'neuroplasticity'.<p>For years she had tried to be the perfect wife and mother but now, divorced, with two sons, having gone through another …

The Brain

Homo Spaciens: How humanity will leave Earth behind

Welcome to a BBC Future special series about how we will live beyond Earth.<p>In the timeline of human history, our species’ time spent exploring the Universe outside our planet is a mere blip.<p>Yet in the few short decades since we first ventured into space, our ambitions have switched from simply …

How to build the world's first underground park

"It’s at the heart of the Lower East Side, the meeting point of five different ethnicities," Ramsey says. "The entire neighborhood above it was literally knocked down in the ’70s. So I think this is an opportunity to begin to knit back together a tear in the urban fabric."<p>Not that the abandoned …

Don't give blood, grow it in a lab

Back In 2007, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) issued an open call for a project. It required applicants to make a bioreactor …

13 of the best best science books of 2015

To help sort through 2015's books, the <i>Science News</i> staff offers its must-read picks, many of which have been previously reviewed in the magazine.<p>Read those reviews at the links below or in our Editor's Pick: Favorite books of 2015.

Gene editing treats disease in mice

<b>Researchers in the US have used gene editing to treat mice with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.</b><p>A team at Duke University used a system known as CRISPR-Cas9 to delete DNA that was preventing cells from producing a protein essential for muscle function.<p>And a virus was used to deliver DNA alterations …

Will hacking nature protect us from climate change?

<b>(CNN) —</b> To avoid a global warming catastrophe by the end of the century, humans may need to actually hack the climate.<p>Whether you call it hacking, or "fiddling with the knobs in the climate system," or the less-imaginative "geoengineering," it revolves around this question: Can humans game the …

Carbon Emissions

Big Idea For 2016: Marijuana Reaches New Highs

Reduced restrictions will make it easier for scientists to study pot's potential<p>It’s now easier to buy marijuana in the U.S. for personal consumption than it is for scientists to procure it for research: 23 states and D.C. have legalized it (at least as medicine), and several others may have it on …

All of the Reasons Scientists Are Certain We Are Now Living in the Anthropocene

24 scientists from top universities around the world say they have hard evidence that humans have irrevocably altered Earth’s geology.<p>"Human activity is leaving a pervasive and persistent signature on Earth." So begins one of the more depressing scientific papers I've ever read.<p>What follows in "The …

Scientists Discover Meteorite 'Older Than Earth Itself' in Australian Outback

A team of Australian geologists have unearthed a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite that appears to have traveled from farther away than Mars, retrieving …

Can You Spot a Liar?

Probably not. But here are some techniques grifters use, courtesy of Maria Konnikova and her new book about con artists.<p>In November, I came across a story that made absolutely no sense to me. A 33-year-old consultant named Niall Rice gave $718,000, little by little, to two Manhattan psychics who …

‘Genetic testing is a responsibility if you’re having children’

Anne Wojcicki, CEO of California-based personal genetic testing company 23andMe, which enables people to check their DNA, on why she co-founded the project<p>23andMe <b>offers a saliva test to create a DNA profile covering health, traits and ancestry. Have you taken the test yourself?</b><p>My family and I were …

A Universal Basic Income Is The Bipartisan Solution To Poverty We’ve Been Waiting For

By Ben Schiller6 minute Read<p>There’s a simple way to end poverty: the government just gives everyone enough money, so nobody is poor. No ifs, buts, …

Norovirus and the anatomy of a scientific discovery

The process of scientific discovery is far from mysterious, even if it is often more convoluted than you might imagine<p>“A virus,” wrote the celebrated immunologist Peter Medawar, “is a piece of bad news wrapped in protein.”<p>The bad news from norovirus, one of the main preoccupations of my research …

UK scientists get permission to 'gene edit' human embryos

They still need "ethical approval" though.<p>A team of British scientists has been approved to use "gene editing" techniques on human embryos, in the hope that it will better our understanding of early human life. A group at the Francis Crick Institute in London wants to research newly fertilised eggs …

Genetics

Researchers are looking into how to use cryotherapy safely

After a cryotherapy death last year, researchers are looking into the unregulated therapy.<p>Cryotherapy, not to be confused with cryogenics, involves short-term exposure to sub-zero temperatures, and is used by athletes to reduce pain, improve recovery time, and sometimes in itself for pain relief …

Blood Vessels

Was Einstein right? Ripples in space-time may have been found

Are the rumors true? Whispers about a possible detection of actual ripples in space-time have been swirling for weeks, and on Thursday, the world may …

A sigh's not just a sigh - it's a fundamental life-sustaining reflex

Research reveals that sighing is more than a sign of depression or despair: it’s a reflex that happens several times an hour and helps preserve lung function<p>Californian scientists have identified the source of the sigh. It is not just a response to sadness, depression or despair: it is, also, they …

Donald Trump

Does mental illness enhance creativity?

It’s widely held that it does – but what does the evidence say?<p>Everyone can cite famous people from Vincent Van Gogh and Virginia Woolf to Tony Hancock and Robin Williams, who were exceptionally creative and experienced mental health problems. There are so many examples that it seems obvious that …

Up for the ride? Where self-driving cars are really taking us

When most people think about self-driving vehicles, they picture themselves sitting in the passenger seat with their legs up, arms folded behind their head, as the car autonomously drives itself from Point A to Point B. It could be cross-country, down the street.<p>Or, maybe they’re not even in the …