Anand Vallabh

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Science Of Sadness And Joy: 'Inside Out' Gets Childhood Emotions Right

Hollywood's version of science often asks us to believe that dinosaurs can be cloned from ancient DNA (they can't), or that the next ice age could develop in just a few days (it couldn't).<p>It zeroes in on one of the most poignant times in an individual's life, which is the transition to the preteen …

Beyond dinosaurs, what would we need to create a Jurassic World?

Pleistocene Parks may be a realistic possibility, but whatever you do, don’t forget the dung beetles

Rare Sea Creature Photography by Matty Smith

Matty Smith’s “Over/Under” photo series captures ocean life above and below sea level.<p>Australian photographer Matty Smith‘s “Over/Under” photo series …

As Pluto Flyby Nears, Spare a Thought for the Dwarf Planet’s Moons

With its strangely colored surface and remarkably puffy atmosphere, Pluto promises to be among the weirder worlds we’ve ever explored. But out there, at the edge of the classical solar system, icy Pluto is not alone: It’s surrounded by at least five moons.<p>Recently, we learned that some of those …

Astronauts return to Earth in 'textbook homecoming' after monthlong delay

Trio landed safely in Kazakhstan on Thursday after return from ISS was delayed by Russian rocket failure<p>Two Western astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut have landed in Kazakhstan, safely returning to Earth after their flight back home was delayed for a month by a Russian rocket failure.<p>Both Russian …

How Poverty Alters the Young Brain

New research reveals a strong connection between income and the surface area of several key neural regions.<p>Behavioral scientists have made some truly groundbreaking insights into the cognitive costs of poverty in recent years. We now know, for instance, that scarcity puts a huge strain on our …

Saturn's Phoebe ring is huge -- and invisible to the human eye

Saturn's biggest ring just broke its own record. Scientists have found that the planet's Phoebe ring is more than twice the thickness once thought – even though it can't be seen with the human eye.<p>The study, published in the journal Nature, also finds that this oversized ring is made mostly of tiny …

Astronomy

LightSail spacecraft declared a success after unfurling solar sail in orbit

Tiny privately funded vehicle will re-enter atmosphere after testing thin sails that could be used to gain propulsion from sun’s rays<p>A privately funded space project to demonstrate an innovative solar sail passed with flying colours despite a series of near-fatal technical issues, program managers …

Space Travel

To Build Multitasking Robots, Mimic The Human Brain

Brains learn better and forget less when connections are clustered<p>Our brains are complex organs, separated into many parts and units for different functions and computations. According to new research published today in <i>PLOS Computational Biology</i>, this compartmental complexity is what helps us learn …

The Brain

Never, Ever Interrupt Mating Giant Tortoises

Changing Planet<p>Run like shell. (Photo by Neil Gelinas)<p>At 183 years old, Jonathan the Aldabra tortoise is the oldest known living animal in the world, and I’ve just had an unexpected encounter with one of his younger relatives here on Assumption Island.<p>I’ve come as leader of the National Geographic …

Young moon after sunset June 25

From most places worldwide, except at far-northern latitudes, the moon will set better than hour after sunset on June 25. Look for it near the sunset …

Why Artificial Intelligence Will Not Obliterate Humanity

It's not smart enough to turn sinister<p>Elon Musk is terrified of artificial intelligence (AI). The founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors predicts it’ll soon be "potentially more dangerous than nukes," and recently he gave $10 million toward research to "keep AI beneficial." Stephen Hawking has likewise …

How to view the solar eclipse safely - and without glasses

Solar eclipses have captivated and mystified mankind for centuries. But what's the safest way to view one?<p>The most important message is never to look directly at the Sun, even through sunglasses or dark material such as a bin liner or photographic negative.<p>Makeshift filters may not screen out the …

This Box Can Figure Out Your 4-Digit iPhone Passcode

Luckily, there's an easy way to make your device more secure<p>If you needed any more incentive to beef up your iPhone's password, here's one: security researchers at MDSec have tracked down a device called an "IP Box" that can brute force the phone's 4-digit security code and gain access to its …

Information Systems

Beyond Carbon Fiber: The Next Breakthrough Material Is 20 Times Stronger – Feature

Carbon Nanotube: The nanotube’s strength stems from the tight bonds joining every carbon atom.<p>From the April 2015 issue<p>Now that carbon-fiber composites have migrated from the world of blank-check motorsports to semiaffordable production cars such as the BMW i3 and Chevrolet Corvette, what’s next? …

Why Doesn’t Ireland Have Snakes?

It ain’t because of Saint Patrick<p>Legend has it that, back in the fifth century A.D., St. Patrick exterminated Ireland’s snakes by driving them into the sea. He would appear to have done a thorough job, because Ireland is free of native snakes to this day.<p>Except, Ireland never actually had snakes. …

I fucking love science

The Aurora borealis, as seen from the International Space Station.

New Species Of Catfish Named 'Greedo' After Star Wars Bounty Hunter

Three new species of suckermouth armored catfish have been discovered in South America, and one of them is named after Greedo of Rodia, the enigmatic …

Here's What the Beginnings of Spaceflight Looked Like in the 1950s

For a small, remote site in the desert with a modest staff, the High Speed Flight Station saw some incredible advances in aviation's that ultimately led to spaceflight.<p>North of Los Angeles and north of the San Bernardino mountains is the Mojave Desert, home to scorchingly hot days, bone chillingly …

Space Exploration

Shadowless Skyscrapers Designed For London

Hey, who turned on the lights?<p>London isn't exactly known for its bright and sunny climate, so the idea of more skyscrapers darkening the horizon of that metropolis isn't very appealing to people who enjoy seeing the sun every once in a while. But the skyscrapers are coming. A projected 250 are …

Skyscrapers

SXSW 2015: AeroMobil Says It Will Put Its Flying Car On The Market In 2017

And once that's done? A self-flying car<p><i>Updated 3/16/2015, 4:33 p.m. ET.</i><p>In October 2014, Slovakian company AeroMobil unveiled a prototype vehicle that exhilarated <i>Back To The Future</i> fans, as well as pretty much everyone else: the long fantasized flying car. Dubbed AeroMobil 3.0, the car/plane hybrid …

Roadsters

3 Ways Pi Can Explain Practically Everything

Eagle Films Flight From World’s Tallest Building, Sets Record [Video]

The Bird Khalifa<p>For a brief moment, there was an eagle on top of the world. With a camera strapped to its back and a gentle release, the eagle swooped down from the tallest point on the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and in minutes landed on the hand of its falconer, on the ground.<p>Made …

China's Largest-Ever Space Rocket Takes Another Big Step Forward

Hainan Island is becoming China's Cape Canaveral<p>On sunny, tropical Hainan Island, China is assembling its largest-ever space rocket, the Long March 5. Chinese authorities state that this LM-5 prototype will launch in early 2016 from the Wenchang Space Launch Center. The LM-5 is a 62-meter-tall, …

Faraway Planet Gains a Fourth Sun

Starstruck<p>Discovery shows that quadruple-star systems may be more common than previously thought.<p>The <i>Star Wars</i> world of Tatooine has nothing on a distant planet now known to have a whopping four suns.<p>Only the second known quadruple-star system found with a planet, 30 Ari hosts a gaseous …

Pull Quote

Book Talk<p>Up to 93 million cows and counting—find out how our reliance on industrial feedlots is affecting the environment.<p>They provide us with beef and milk, the gel coating for pills, soap, ice cream, baseballs, and printing ink. But our dependence on cattle, especially the beef we consume in …

40 years and counting: the team behind Voyager’s space odyssey

On a chilly March morning, Steve Howard, aged 65, is at work in his office on the northern edge of Pasadena, California. Two computer screens are squeezed on to his corner desk along with family photos, a tissue box and tins of Altoids Curiously Strong Peppermints. The office is in a quiet business …

Space

The Looming Threat of Artificial Unintelligence

Stop fantasizing about super-smart A.I., and start worrying about dumb algorithms<p>Brace yourself. In these crucial weeks before the May release of <i>The Avengers: Age of Ultron</i>, editors and writers are going to unleash an onslaught of think pieces about the real-life threat of artificial intelligence …

University of Washington