William pilkington

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Today in science: 1st planet orbiting a sunlike star

On October 6, 1995, astronomers announced 51 Pegasi b, a planet about half the mass of Jupiter, orbiting a star not unlike our sun.<p><b>October 6, 1995</b>. …

Astronomy

Top 4 keys to mastering moon phases

The most important key is to think of the moon as a world in space, with a day and night side.<p><b>Why does the moon seem to change its shape every night?</b> …

5 Amazing Stories of Devoted Dogs

A new book shows how our canine companions enrich our lives.<p><b>Dog owners know how how much joy our beloved canine companions bring to our lives.</b><p>They enrich us in small and undramatic ways every day—by making us laugh, keeping us company, and offering us unconditional love. My new National Geographic …

A Campaign To Save The World's Ugliest Endangered Animals

The pig-nosed frog deserves your love (and cash for conservation), too.<p>It's well-known that the more adorable and charismatic of the endangered animals get most of the funding. That doesn't mean the cute animals, like the iconic panda, aren't worth saving, but it leaves a lot of the less photogenic …

Some Rattlesnakes Losing Their Warning Rattle In S. Dakota

There are few things more chilling than the sound of a nearby rattlesnake. That distinctive sound serves as a warning that trouble could be on the way. The only thing worse than hearing a rattlesnake within striking distance — is not hearing it at all. A herpetologist in South Dakota's Black Hills …

South Dakota

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Which Organs Can I Live Without, And How Much Cash Can I Get For Them?

First, a disclaimer: Selling your organs is illegal in the United States. It's also very dangerous. Handing off an organ is risky enough when done in a top hospital, even more so if you're doing it for cash in a back alley. No, really: Don't do this. OK? OK.<p>There are many organs one can …

Why Do We Kiss?

Blood worms infest Oklahoma town's tap water

There's something in the water — and it isn't an ice cube. Residents of one small Oklahoma town are being ordered to sip exclusively bottled water, after tiny red blood worms started popping up in drinking glasses earlier this week.<p>The outbreak in Colcord, OK, has all but shut down the community, …

Mystery Animal Contest: Who Is This Upside-Down Tree-Dweller?

Guess the species (either common or Linnaean) by tweeting at us--we're @PopSci--and get your name listed right here! Plus eternal glory, obviously. Update: we have a winner!<p>So, here are the rules: To answer, follow us on Twitter and tweet at us with the hashtag #mysteryanimal. For example:<p><b>Hey</b> …

Dipping into the ice cream tub to find a little science

As the (English) summer holidays draw to a close, school beckons the young, and the long hot days of July feel like a distant memory, it seems timely to consider ice-cream. The sensory and gustatory pleasures of ice-cream may have originally been concocted by trial and error, but there is a good …

Japanese scientists create sperm bank of endangered animals ‘to colonise other planets’

A Japanese university and zoo are creating a sperm bank for endangered animals that could one day be used to bring extinct species back to life and even help to colonise other planets with Earth’s rarest creatures.<p>To date, scientists at Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Medicine and the city’s …

Skin germs tweak immune system and vice-versa

A branch of the immune system plays a part in governing the microbes that live on our skin, according to new research with mice.<p>In turn, it appears …

Immune System

Snapping turtles finding refuge in urban areas

Snapping turtles are surviving in urban areas as their natural habitats are being polluted or developed for construction projects.<p>In the Midwest, …

Discoveries in the Amazon: 15 new bird species

Birds’ formal description printed in special volume of Handbook of the Birds of the World. Not since 1871 have so many bird species been introduced …

Whole fruits protect against diabetes, but juice is risk factor, say researchers

Eating blueberries, grapes, apples and pears cuts the risk of type 2 diabetes but drinking fruit juice can increase it, a large study has found.<p>Researchers including a team from Harvard School of Public Health in the US examined whether certain fruits impact on type 2 diabetes, which affects more …