Chun Leng Quek

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Ocean Waves On Saturn's Moon Titan May Have Been Spied By NASA's Cassini Spacecraft

After years of searching, planetary scientists think they may finally have spotted waves rippling on the seas of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. If confirmed, this would be the first discovery of ocean waves beyond Earth.<p>NASA’s Cassini spacecraft spied several unusual glints of sunlight off the …

Asteroid to eclipse bright star Regulus tonight

Millions of people in New York City and points north can watch late tonight (March 19-20) as the bright star Regulus winks out when the asteroid …

Astronomy

Ask Anything: Why Is The Milky Way A Spiral?

The galaxy getdown<p>The shape of our galaxy is nothing special. Among the other clusters of stars that can be easily observed from our corner of the universe, a few are blobby and egg-shaped, but more than two-thirds are so-called “disc galaxies,” or ones whose stars have settled into flat orbits, as …

Universe

Elizabeth Kolbert On The Vanishing Of Species

Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction, talks with Popular Science's reporter about the prehistory and the present of mass species die-offs<p>Elizabeth Kolbert writes about ecological disasters-in-progress with such perception and verve that readers come away wanting more. Al Gore recently …

The Information Parasites

Parasites can take many forms. Just this week, I’ve written about a giant virus that reproduces inside amoebae (and has survived being frozen 30,000 years in permafrost), along with a wasp that performs brain surgery to zombify hosts for its young. Viruses and wasps are radically different …

4,000-year-old Dartmoor burial find rewrites British bronze age history

Some 4,000 years ago a young woman's cremated bones – charred scraps of her shroud and the wood from her funeral pyre still clinging to them – was carefully wrapped in a fur along with her most valuable possessions, packed into a basket, and carried up to one of the highest and most exposed spots …

Alphard is the Snake’s Heart

Alphard – Heart of the Snake in constellation Hydra – is ascending in the east in the evening now, a sign of spring coming.<p>In skylore, the star …

Plasma Plume Keeps Earth Safe From Solar Storms

Thanks, buddy!<p>Earth has a magnetic field, which begins at the core and stretches far out into space. Typically, this magnetic field is a useful shield for solar activity. However, if the Earth's magnetic field bumps up against the sun's magnetic field, all types of madness can ensue, including …

Magnetism

IBM's Watson Made Me A Kebab

Designed it, anyway. And pro chefs cooked it. Recommended!<p>You've probably heard of Watson, IBM's super-intelligent supercomputer that dominated on <i>Jeopardy!</i> not too long ago. Turns out he's not a bad cook, either.<p>At South By Southwest, IBM has set up a food truck staffed with chefs from the …

Four new gases that harm ozone layer found, despite bans: study

OSLO (Reuters) - Scientists have detected four new man-made gases that damage the Earth’s protective ozone layer, despite bans on almost all production of similar gases under a 1987 treaty, a study showed on Sunday.<p>The experts were trying to pinpoint industrial sources of tiny traces of the new …

Wellcome image awards 2014: life in extreme close-up - in pictures

Beautiful, strange and occasionally alarming pictures from the shortlist for this year’s Wellcome image awards – which celebrate the very best in science photography and imaging – from an x-ray of a bat to a micrograph of a kidney stone. The exhibition opens on 12 March at three science centres and …

The Woman Who Can Will Herself Out Of Her Body

The case of the voluntary out-of-body experience.<p>After a class on out-of-body experiences, a psychology graduate student at the University of Ottawa came forward to researchers to say that she could have these voluntarily, usually before sleep. "She appeared surprised that not everyone could …

Ancient "Giant Virus" Revived From Siberian Permafrost

Climate change could release more ancient viruses. Is there a risk to humans?<p>Buried deep in the Siberian permafrost and untouched for over 30,000 years, researchers have discovered what is thought to be the newest representative of what are loosely known as "giant viruses."<p>A team led by Jean-Michel …

Born To Swim?

Try this to trigger one of the cutest reflexes around. Just blow into a baby’s face and watch him or her gulp air, close eyes, and stop whatever they’re doing. Parents have used this as a way to get their little ones to stop crying – but it’s also the path to swimming.<p>The response is what’s known …

Scuba Diving

'Red Dragon' could visit Mars in proposed NASA mission

Is there life on Mars? NASA is still trying to find out, discovering evidence of water in a Martian meteorite just over a week ago. But though scientists are happy to investigate meteorites and live vicariously through robotic rovers roaming the Red Planet, they're really itching to get their hands …

The '60s Are Gone, But Psychedelic Research Trip Continues

In 1966, psychedelic drug advocate and former Harvard professor Timothy Leary appeared on the <i>Merv Griffin Show.</i><p>"I'm in the unfortunate situation of being about 20 years ahead of my time," Leary said. When asked how many times he'd taken LSD, he answered 311. The audience gasped.<p>Leary was fired for …

Where Plastic Goes

Tracking where the waste ends up<p>In the U.S. most used plastics are never collected for recycling. Of the roughly 10 percent that is, easily sortable items like bottles tend to be recycled domestically, while most everything else gets exported, typically to countries that can sort it cheaply by …

Electronic Waste

Neil deGrasse Tyson: 'We Will Know Whether There's Life On Other Planets'

Chatting about the universe with Neil deGrasse Tyson<p>He’s the legendary astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. Tyson's new TV series, <i>Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey</i>, will premiere on Sunday, March 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, and again on March 10 at 10 …

Rosetta the comet chaser awakes, a cosmic Catherine wheel and the Hand of God – in pictures | A month in space

This month's roundup of the best space-related imagery includes the wake-up signal from a hibernating spacecraft, the spectacular Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, and a nebula powered by a dead, spinning star. <b>Plus:</b> the Tarantula Nebula, a new home for the space shuttle's successor, and a glimpse of the …

How I Transformed Sewage Into Fresh Water [Video]

A little DIY distilling<p>Say the apocalypse happens tomorrow. The good news: You survive! No more credit card debt or miserable commutes. The bad news? Infrastructure has collapsed and there’s no clean drinking water. Most people can’t last a few days without it, so what we need is a reliable way to …

DIY

Your Next Cooking Oil Could Come From Hemp

A new strain of hemp produces oil with all the qualities needed for fine frying.<p>Agricultural hemp produces strong and decay-resistant fibers, a versatile oil, and requires little in the way of herbicides, since it outcompetes weeds. Hemp oil isn't widely used for cooking, though, partially because …

APOD: IC 1805: Light from the Heart (2014 Feb 14) Image Credit & Copyright: César Blanco González http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140214.html Explanation: Sprawling across almost 200 light-years, emission nebula IC 1805 is a mix of glowing interstellar gas and dark dust clouds about 7,500 light-years away in the Perseus spiral arm of our galaxy. Stars were born in this region whose nickname, the Heart Nebula, derives from its Valentine's-Day-appropriate shape. The clouds themselves are shaped by stellar winds and radiation from massive hot stars in the nebula's newborn star cluster Melotte 15 about 1.5 million years young. This deep telescopic image maps the pervasive light of narrow emission lines from atoms in the nebula to a color palette made popular in Hubble images of star forming regions. The field of view spans about two degrees on the sky or four times the diameter of a full moon. The cosmic heart is found in the constellation of Cassiopeia, the boastful mythical Queen of Aethiopia. http://www.cieloprofundo.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140214 #APOD

Male sexual orientation influenced by genes, study shows

A study of gay men in the US has found fresh evidence that male sexual orientation is influenced by genes. Scientists tested the DNA of 400 gay men and found that genes on at least two chromosomes affected whether a man was gay or straight.<p>A region of the X chromosome called Xq28 had some impact on …

In The World's 'Sixth Extinction,' Are Humans The Asteroid?

The dinosaurs were killed during the Fifth Extinction — which scientists suspect was caused by an asteroid. Now, we are living through an epoch that many scientists describe as the Sixth Extinction, and this time, human activity is the culprit. As one scientist put it: We're the asteroid.<p>Elizabeth …

When Dinosaurs Came in Color

It’s probably hard to believe, but there was a time, not that long ago, when scientists thought dinosaurs were extinct. No, seriously! That was …