Christopher Keene

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A Tractor Beam Made Of Sound Waves

The device can move around centimeter-sized objects.<p>Tractor beams (short for "attractor beams," which can bring one object closer to another from a distance) are a common trope in science fiction. But could they be made in real life? Researchers made news earlier this year when they created a kind …

‘Earth’s Cousin’: Scientists Find Alien Planet That’s Most Like Home

Scientists say a world that's 490 light-years away qualifies as the first confirmed Earth-sized exoplanet that could sustain life as we know it — but in an environment like nothing we've ever seen.<p>The planet, known as Kepler-186f, is "more of an Earth cousin than an Earth twin," Elisa Quintana, an …

Astronomy

How CERN's Discovery of Exotic Particles May Affect Astrophysics

You may have heard that CERN announced the discovery (confirmation, actually. See addendum below.) of a strange particle known as Z(4430). A paper …

Doctor Who: 50 things you didn't know

1. The Doctor lives longer in France<p>French audiences watching Doctor Who dubbed into their native tongue obviously can’t be expected to know the difference between Christopher Eccleston’s Lancashire vowels and David Tennant’s adopted southern accent – but isn’t there some metaphysical conundrum …

TV Series

NASA teams up with Planetary Resources to launch asteroid-finding contest next year

Asteroid mining startup Planetary Resources has partnered with NASA as part of the agency's mission to track rogue asteroids and find a candidate to pull into orbit around the moon. The company has been chosen as the first partner for NASA's Asteroid Grand Challenge, building on existing …

No siblings: A side-effect of China's one-child policy

<b>What's it like to grow up in a world where no-one has brothers or sisters? Are siblings really that important? Researchers have been asking those questions for years - and China, with its famous one-child policy, has been a good place to look for an answer.</b><p>Chinese families used to have an average …

How Did Mars Die? NASA's Newest Spacecraft Aims to Find Out

MAVEN will try to decipher the history of Mars' atmosphere and how it was lost.<p>CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — In their infancy, maybe even into their adolescence, Earth and Mars were more alike than they were different. Each rocky world was pockmarked by volcanoes, and waterways carved both surfaces. …

Manned Mission to Largest Known Asteroid Designed

Sending people to Ceres is no harder than sending them to Mars, study says.<p><b>Rocket scientists who have plotted a course for a human mission to the largest known asteroid, Ceres, say that such a voyage may not be much more challenging than sending people to Mars, according to a new study.</b><p>Research …

Our 10 Favorite Sci-Fi Space Stations of All Time

Photo Credit: Columbia TriStar Marketing Group<p>Slide 1 of 21<p>Amazing Sci-Fi Space Stations<p>From Babylon 5 to the Death Star, space stations have been …

TomTato plant grows both tomatoes and potatoes

We've seen a number of innovations that allow for gardening in small spaces, including a ferris wheel-like contraption, a mat that shows you where to …

1st Black Holes Discovered in Milky Way Star Clusters --"May Produce 'Ripples' in Spacetime"

Black holes in globular clusters may provide a way for them to get close enough to one another to merge into bigger black holes that may produce the …

Will we ever... live in underwater cities?

Living below the sea is possible, at least for a short time. So what is stopping us creating colonies to ease over-population, or guard against disasters?<p>Ian Koblick hoped the colourful seaweed samples he brought into class would impress. His marine biology professor at Stanford University …

Why can men grow facial hair but women cannot?

We all agree that beards look a lot better on men than they do on women, but why? Greg Foot combs through the evidence.<p>In the beginning all babies are hairy, covered in a soft light down called vellus hair. Once we hit puberty everything changes. The sex hormones arrive. Androgens are present in …

Ocean living: A step closer to reality?

Life on the sea has been one of mankind’s enduring visions, but the technology hasn’t been up to the task... until now. Are we on the cusp of housing communities permanently on the ocean?<p>The 1995 film Waterworld was one of Hollywood’s most infamous budget busters – a mega-million-dollar …

Preventative genetics: The ultimate way to halt disease

Can the information in our genes reveal serious medical issues years in advance? A leading geneticist thinks it’s possible.<p>We’re entering a new era that’s greatly enabled by progress in molecular biology and genetics, says George Church, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School. It is not …

We must become a multi-planet species

The technology to reach nearby planets is possible, and one astronaut thinks we must colonise other worlds for our long-term survival.<p>One person who would like to see humans living outside the Earth in our lifetime is former astronaut Jeff Hoffman. The technology to reach nearby planets is …

Carbon Dioxide

Potato power: the spuds that could light the world

With a simple trick, the humble spud can be made into a battery, so could potato powered homes catch on?<p>Mashed, boiled, baked or fried? You probably have a preference for your potatoes. Haim Rabinowitch, however, likes his spuds “hacked”.<p>For the past few years, researcher Rabinowitch and colleagues …

Prattle of the sexes: Do women talk more than men?

When it comes to conversation, are women really more likely to be bigger talkers than men?<p>Women use an average of 20,000 words a day, compared to the mere 7,000 that men utter. At least that’s the assertion of a number of self-help and popular science books. Quoted by apparently authoritative …

Psychology

Associated Press News

Surgical Needle That Sucks Wine From Bottle Without Removing Cork

A tasty white or red, any time.<p>Wanting only a glass or two of wine puts drinkers in a tough spot. Once the bottle’s opened, the wine starts to oxidize and lose its flavor. No rubber stopper will halt the process, leaving partial bottles to go to waste. Greg Lambrecht, a medical-device entrepreneur, …

Heavy atoms help give black hole jets their power

Jets of a black hole known as 4U1630-47 contains heavy particles, such as iron and nickel. It helps explain why black hole jets pack such a …