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By Jon Brooks | New Developments, Breakthroughs, Follow me onTwitter:@JonBrooks1972

The fascinating maths and economics of slot machines

Traditional slot machines used to pay out on 3% of spins, but those manufactured today return at a rate of 45%, according to an article by Andrew Thompson in the Verge.

That’s not down to the generosity of manufacturers but can be explained by psychology and goes back to an experiment by BF Skinner, …


Antarctic going from “in balance” to “massive ice loss”

Just one week after the last report of a massive melting ice shelf in the Antarctic comes another report of ice loss in the same region. While last …


Top 10 new species for 2015 (pictures)

The International Institute for Species Exploration and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry have announced the top 10 new species …

Life Sciences

Resurrected Large Hadron Collider Smashes Protons, And Speed Records

And this was only a test...

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has hosted a number of major scientific achievements, not the least of which was the thrilling discovery of the elusive Higgs boson particle.

Now, the massive particle accelerator has done it again, smashing protons together at …


Revealed: The Ocean's Tiniest Life At The Bottom Of The Food Chain

What's at the bottom of the bottom of the food chain? Well, think small ... smaller than you can see.

Tiny life forms in the ocean, too small for the naked eye to see.

There are (and scientists have done the math) trillions of microorganisms in the ocean: plankton, bacteria, krill (they're maybe …


A New Approach for Moving Robotic Arms With the Brain

More than a decade ago, Erik Sorto, 34, was paralyzed after a gunshot wound to the neck. Now, using a robotic arm that he controls with his brain, he can pick up a drink and bring it to his lips in one smooth motion.

But unlike other experimental robotic arms, this one relies on signals sent from a …

The Brain

HIV immunity: rare gene differences offer hope for treatment

“I believe it’s possible to develop a mass-market single-shot treatment for HIV,” says Dr Gero Hütter. “If we can overcome a few problems, our approach is closer to a complete cure than anything in the last 30 years.”

It’s now seven years since Hütter and his team at the Charité hospital in Berlin …


Pretty critters beat science to biophotonic crystals

For years, optical engineers have been struggling to create precisely organized biophotonic crystals that could be used to improve solar cells, …

Life Sciences

A Patch That Delivers Vaccines, No Needles Necessary

One of ten brilliant innovations from our 2015 Invention Awards

2015 Invention Award Winner

Category: Medicine


Katarzyna “Kasia” Sawicka


ImmunoMatrix LLC



Development cost to date:




Vaccines save lives, but most of them are delivered by …



New for brain scientists: a census of neurons

The human brain is a noisy, busy place, teeming with diversity. To produce the wondrously complex mammalian behavior we take for granted every minute, cells of different sizes, shapes and chemical affinities buzz, hum, crackle and pop in conflict and cooperation with one another.

When everything is …

The Brain

In a First, a Fish Is Shown to Be Fully Warm-Blooded

The moonfish, or opah, is the first fish shown to be fully warm-blooded, researchers report in the journal Science. Although some large predatory fish, like tuna, can temporarily warm their muscles or organs, the opah is the only fish that warms its heart. A silvery fish the size of an automobile …


New test can predict cancer up to 13 years before disease develops

People who develop cancer have shorter telomeres, the caps at the end of chromosomes which protect the DNA

Genetic changes can predict cancer up to 13 years in the future, according to new research.

Harvard and Northwestern University discovered that tiny but significant changes are already happening …


Silver Makes Dead Bacteria Act Like Zombies

Killing from beyond the grave

Chemists in Israel have discovered the walking dead of the microbial world. It turns out that bacteria slayed by silver can kill nearby living pathogens even after they're dead as a doornail.

Silver has been used as an antimicrobial agent for centuries. Bacteria absorb …


Deep-ocean microbe is closest living relative of complex cells

Deep-ocean microbe is closest living relative of complex cells


6 May 2015 1:00 pm

Researchers have debated whether eukaryotes—the group of relatively …


Missing Link Microbes May Help Explain How Single Cells Became Us

Scientists have discovered a group of microbes at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean that could provide new clues to how life went from being simple to complex.

"Suddenly we find something that no one has ever seen before. Some people even said that, well, maybe this organism existed but we'd never …

Life Sciences

12 Useful Math Hacks That They Didn't Teach You In School

After finding these math hacks, I'm convinced that all those years of being forced to struggle through math class really was just a torture ploy …


String theory and black holes

Black holes are the ‘thought experiment’ par excellence, where the big three of physics - quantum mechanics, general relativity and thermodynamics - meet and fight it out, dragging in brash newcomers such as information theory and strings for support.

Though a unification of gravity and quantum field …

Quantum Mechanics

New type of stem cell may make study of human embryos easier

Scientists have found a new type of stem cell, one that can develop into any kind of tissue in the body, that may make research on early embryonic cell states easier — and could lead to new research opportunities for developmental disorders.

The new human embryonic stem cells were injected into …

Evidence-Based Medicine

Heartbeat Radar Saves 4 Men Trapped Under Rubble In Nepal

Originally built to track spacecraft, 'FINDER' is also good at finding people

Nepal is still reeling from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck near Kathmandu on April 25. The quake has flattened three quarters of the city’s buildings and killed at least 7,500 people. Beneath all those collapsed …


Large Hadron Collider makes first proton collisions in two years

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has smashed its first particles together since the machine restarted after a two years hiatus for crucial maintenance and repair work.

The giant subterranean accelerator at Cern near Geneva collided bunches of protons at low energy for several hours on Tuesday …


Can saving axons keep nerves alive?

New research highlights how nerves—whether harmed by disease or traumatic injury—start to die.

The discovery unveils new targets for developing drugs …

Central Nervous System

Spiders sprayed with graphene or carbon nanotubes spin super silk

Spider-Man would be so envious. Spiders have woven webs infused with carbon nanotubes and even graphene, raising the prospect of new materials with …

Carbon Nanotubes

MIT Invention Turns Salt Water Into Drinking Water Using Solar Power

It could help farmers in developing countries

From plants to people, every living thing on this planet needs water. But getting enough to survive, and survive comfortably, that can be a little tricky. Just look at the furor around California's new water restrictions. If a state as wealthy as …

Natural Resources

Man sings “If I only had a brain” during MRI

Researchers used a new MRI technique that is 10 times faster than standard MRI scanners to illustrate how the hundreds of muscles in our neck, jaw, …

The Brain

Smart Plankton-Like Particles Could Swim Upstream In The Human Body

They swim just like parasites, but would do good instead of harm

From armored fish scales to ice-proof airplane coating based on frog’s skin, the natural world has long been an inspiration to engineers. For those designing implantable medical devices, incorporating elements of the natural world has …

Human Anatomy

The Future Of The Fight Against Bed Bugs

If chemicals can’t save us, what will?

Popular Science contributing editor Brooke Borel suffered through bed bugs three times in New York between 2004 and 2009. Those experiences, which were part of a global bed bug resurgence, inspired her to unravel the pest's story. This excerpt is from her new


Science Is Beautiful: The Human Body Under The Microscope

A new book showcases the magnificent micro-world

Science Is Beautiful, a new book by Colin Salter, is a compilation of images that show what the human body looks like under a microscope. With an artistic eye, the book showcases cells, microbes, and more. Here are some of our favorite images from …

Human Anatomy

How 3D 'doughnut' helps cells divide

How 3D ‘doughnut’ helps cells divide

On the cellular level, we can imagine the body as a cross between a factory and a construction zone. Certain …