Eric Wilkerson

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This Scientist Helped Quietly Save The World From Soviet Nukes

Siegfried Hecker spent more than a decade securing a nuclear test site the size of New Jersey.<p>When the Soviet Union broke apart at the end of the Cold War, several of its military and science facilities fell into disrepair. One of them, the Semipalatinsk Test Site, just happened to be a nuclear …

How we can bring extinct animals back to life

Mankind has been responsible for the extinction of many animal species. But natural history futurist Stewart Brand says we may now have the technology that could help reverse the decline.<p>As homo sapiens has emerged as the dominant species on Planet Earth, it has often been at the expense of other …

Evolution

New Clues To Why Some Autistic Kids Are So Good At Math

Differences in cognitive organization turns some people with autism into math whizzes.<p>Though children with autism spectrum disorder often have difficulty with social interaction and communication, they're also much more likely to be savants--to show extraordinary skill in a particular area, like …

Did life on Earth begin at hot-water vents on the sea floor?

Three new papers strengthen the case that Earth’s first life began at alkaline hydrothermal vents at the bottoms of oceans. Scientists are interested …

Astronomy

Want To Be A Morning Person? Take A Few Tips From Campers

In the first episode of <i>Downton Abbe</i>y, the Countess of Grantham, played by Maggie Smith, complains about the newfangled electrical chandelier installed in her family's 1915 estate. "Oh, dear, such a glare," she says, shielding her eyes with a fan.<p>The countess may have a point.<p>Too much artificial …

This Is The Molecule Responsible For Stress

Now scientists can create drugs to fit inside its structure precisely.<p>This little molecule is what stress looks like.<p>Researchers from Heptares Therapeutics, a drug company, have discovered the 3-D structure of a protein receptor that mediates our response to stress, according to a new study in …

FDA moves toward restricting menthol in cigarettes

The Food and Drug Administration has set the stage to restrict — or possibly ban — mentholated cigarettes on the grounds that they are more appealing to new smokers, more addictive to longtime smokers and pose a greater threat to the public's health than does unflavored tobacco.<p>In releasing a …

Public Health

An anti-porn hack day, Mr Cameron? Be careful what you wish for

The classic children's book, The Prime Minister's Brain contains a sort of 1980s version of a hack day. Dinah, the brilliantly geeky heroine, gets …

An environmentally friendly battery made from wood

Scientists have developed a battery made from a sliver of wood coated with tin that shows promise for becoming an environmentally friendly energy …

Clean Energy

Newly-discovered ridiculously strong shrew species helps explain strange spine design

In equatorial Africa is a small shrew that can bear the weight of an adult human for minutes at a time, and then walk away unharmed. This animal, the armored shrew, has become known as the hero shrew for its amazing strength. But researchers have been puzzled as to why the creature evolved that way …

An ancient underwater forest in the Gulf of Mexico

“You feel like you are in some sort of fairy world, with these huge stumps covered in anemones and crabs, and swarms of fish swimming all around …

Seafloor

The 10 Coolest Things You Can 3-D Print Right Now

Cameras, guitars, RC aircraft and more!<p>One survey of the 3-D printing landscape will quickly show you that it's brimming with novelty items and useless junk. But don't let that overwhelm you! We sorted through the clutter to create this list of 10 projects that are both awesome and practical.<p>Don't …

Robot frog woos ladies despite bad whine - Futurity

U. TEXAS-AUSTIN — Two wrong mating calls can make a right for female túngara frogs, …

Will we ever... create a black hole in the laboratory?

Fears that the Large Hadron Collider could create a black hole that destroy the world may be unfounded, but if we really wanted to make one, could we actually do it, asks Matthew Francis.<p>Before the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) began operations in 2008, a small but noisy group of people were in …

Physics

Cancer Diagnosed With Tool Similar to ‘Star Trek’ Tricorder

BARI, Italy—An Italian scientist’s search for a better landmine detection method brought him to the unexpected discovery of a device to detect a more …

Star Trek

Tooth Broken Off In Prey's Tail Shows Failed T. Rex Hunt

This bit of tail is the first hard evidence of a T. rex hunt in action<p>Perhaps the young <i>Tyrannosaurus rex</i> hadn't yet grown enough—either in size or in wile—to bring down the duck-billed dinosaur?<p>A team of U.S. paleontologists have discovered a fossil of a piece of a hadrosaur tail that includes two …

Call of nature: mobile phone charged using urine

It brings new meaning to answering a call of nature – engineers have for the first time charged a mobile phone using urine.<p>They have created a fuel cell that uses bacteria to break down the liquid waste to generate electricity.<p>They were then able to plug in a mobile phone to charge up its …

Wastewater

WIRED Space Photo of the Day 2013 | WIRED

Jan. 19, 2014: Solar X-Flare<p>The largest sunspot group of the solar cycle unleashed a large (X1.2 class) flare just when it was facing right towards …

Here’s all the evidence that Apple is making an actual TV—and the remote will likely be your hand

Apple today tipped its hand on a number of likely features for its long-awaited television product. The new details suggest that Apple is actually working on an all-in-one television set, in addition to new features for its existing Apple TV set-top box. They also suggest that Apple will justify …

Smart TV

Crazy weather? You can’t blame HAARP anymore

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) — target of conspiracy theorists — has closed down.<p>Conspiracy theorists concerned with</i> …

NASA aborts spacewalk after leak into astronaut's helmet | Reuters

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - A spacewalk to work on the International Space Station ended abruptly on Tuesday when a water-like liquid started building up inside an Italian astronaut’s helmet, NASA officials said.<p>U.S. astronaut Chris Cassidy and Italy’s Luca Parmitano were less than an hour …

What makes us extroverts and introverts?

Why do some people prefer adventure and the company of others, while others favour being alone? It’s all to do with how your brain processes rewards.<p>Will you spend Saturday night in a crowded bar, or curled up with a good book? Is your ideal holiday adventure sports with a large group of mates and, …

Personality

If The Sun Went Out, How Long Could Life On Earth Survive?

Don't worry, you'll have time to post your goodbye selfies to Facebook.<p>If you put a steamy cup of coffee in the refrigerator, it wouldn't immediately turn cold. Likewise, if the sun simply "turned off" (which is actually physically impossible), the Earth would stay warm—at least compared with the …

Astronomers Want To Fire Giant Bullets At Jupiter's Moon Europa

Hey aliens, you have about 10 years to reveal yourselves before we launch a science missile.<p>Scientists at University College London have designed a 44-pound bullet that could gather scientific information on Jupiter's moon Europa. Last week, a prototype of the bullet slammed through a 10-tonne …

8 Popular Tooth Myths Debunked

Nothing but the tooth.<p>You've probably heard that Coke can dissolve a tooth or that bleaching your teeth weakens them. But what's the truth behind these tooth myths?

Sabre rocket engine could open up access to space as never before | Stuart Clark

Imagine taking off from a runway as you would in a normal aeroplane but flying so high and so fast that when you unclip your seatbelt, you float …

Monument tells tale of Maya 'Snake Queen' - Futurity

WASHINGTON U. – ST. LOUIS (US) — A newly discovered monument reveals the exploits of …

Ancient History

The CIA wants to know how to control the climate

The US Central Intelligence Agency isn't just interested in gathering intelligence on foreign powers and enemies. As it turns out, Langley is also investigating the feasibility of altering the environment to fight the effects of climate change. The CIA is currently funding, in part, a $630,000 …