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New form of carbon said to be strongest material ever found

The strongest known material in the world may have just been dethroned. Researchers from Rice University have calculated the properties of a little-studied form of carbon known as carbyne, and they've determined that it should have a "specific strength surpassing that of any other known material." …

New Awesome Mammal In The Raccoon Family Found In South America

It's been right under our noses for years, and we never noticed it.<p>We don't discover new mammals very often, let alone new mammals in well-known families like Procyonidae (which includes the raccoons, coatis, and ringtails). So we are <i>very</i> pleased to introduce you all to the newest member of the …

A hot alien planet that's as big as Jupiter and cobalt blue in color has been spotted crossing in front of its parent star in the X-ray spectrum, a first for scientists. http://oak.ctx.ly/r/9rge This illustration depicts HD 189733b, the first exoplanet caught passing in front of its parent star in X-rays. The inset contains the Chandra image of HD 189733.

Personal jetpack gets go-ahead for manned test flights

Many a morning on a stalled subway car involves dreams of personal jetpacks wafting through my commute-addled brain. So that same brain lit up with cautious excitement on news that a much-hyped jetpack from New Zealand's Martin Aircraft has gotten the green light for manned test flights.<p>"For us, …

If an astronaut fell into a black hole, would he stretch or burn?

Crack open a middle-school science textbook, and you might see a picture of an astronaut in a black hole: stretched out like a spaghetti noodle as the rapidly increasing gravity pulled different parts of their body at different speeds, then crushed by the same force. A growing scientific …

A century-long debate: are 'intelligent' people less likely to hold religious beliefs?

Over most of the past century, researchers have been trying to determine whether there's any link between religion and intelligence. The studies haven't all come to the same conclusion, but a group of researchers led from the University of Rochester decided to look at a large number of them …

Is Hair In Food A Health Risk?

A dermatologist investigates<p>Finding a hair in your spaghetti is gross, no question. But it is not, for the most part, a health threat. It's so benign that the Food and Drug Administration in its Food Code guidelines doesn't even place a limit on strands per plate. The FDA has received no reports of …

The Hyperloop: flawed fantasy or achievable challenge

The Hyperloop, an ambitious new form of transport proposed by SpaceX and PayPal founder Elon Musk, could be possible but faces some flaws, according to those who have analysed his plans.<p>The unveiling of the designs of Musk's "fifth mode of transport", which would fire passengers in pods at speeds …

How Post-Earth Humans Will Survive In Space [Infographic]

This diagram from 1963 imagines how future humans will adapt to hostile environments.<p>"The wheel, the ski, the kayak, the sports car—pure geometry in motion," wrote aviation researchers Toby Freedman and Gerald S. Lindner in the November 1963 issue of <i>Popular Science</i>. "No doubt the engineers of these …