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Billionaire Yuri Milner And Stephen Hawking Team Up To Send Nanospaceships To Alpha Centauri

Last summer, billionaire technology investor Yuri Milner announced he was investing $100 million into searching for extraterrestrial life.<p>Today, the billionaire science philanthropist has once again teamed up with physicist Stephen Hawking to announce a new investment – $100 million with a goal of …

Space Travel

Inflatable ‘space elevator’ invented by scientists

It is an idea that every small child has had at some point. Instead of sending up rockets into space, why not simply build a huge lift.<p>Now a Canadian firm has been granted a patent for a ‘space elevator’ which will shoot cargo 12.4 miles into the stratosphere from where it can be launched more …

Ant-managers: tiny toilers follow any leader to haul heavy loads, study finds

Ants on New York City's streets survive on junk food and meat, study finds<p>Read more<p>Penguin robot helps researchers get close and personal<p>Read more<p>Wild chimps caught boozing on 7% ABV 'wine'<p>Read more<p>Ant-Man review – really, really small superhero slips between the cracks | Peter Bradshaw's film of …

6 Surprising Facts About Caffeine

What you didn't know about the world's most popular stimulant<p>You’ve almost certainly taken the world’s most commonly used psycho­active drug. In the U.S. alone, 90 percent of adults consume caffeine daily—often as coffee, but increasingly in the form of beverages, pills, snacks, and even pure …

More Evidence That Parents' Ages Could Influence Autism Risk

Lots of factors may affect a child's odds of ending up with autism. Researchers around the world have been striving to fully understand how biology, genetics and environment play roles.<p>A huge study that includes data from more than 5.7 million children in five countries might shed some light on how …

Eating human brains helped Papua New Guinea tribe resist disease, research shows

The cannibalistic practice helped the Fore tribe develop genetic resistance to a mad cow-like disease. This is useful for scientists studying diseases like dementia<p>Research involving a former brain-eating tribe from Papua New Guinea is helping scientists better understand mad cow disease and other …

Injectable, Flexible Mesh Picks Up Activity In Mouse Brains

Like a neural wiretap that could someday modify the brain<p>Ever since scientists figured out that the brain communicates via electricity, they've been trying to understand it--and manipulate it. Now a team led by researchers from Harvard University has developed an injectable mesh that can pick up …

This inflatable plane could explore the clouds of Venus

Northrop Grumman has a new idea for exploring Venus. Announced earlier this month, the Venus Atmospheric Maneuverability Platform (or VAMP) would let NASA skim Venus' upper atmosphere with an inflatable aircraft, deployed from space.<p>Since the craft is self-inflated, it would be light enough to stay …

Uncomfortably numb: The people who feel no pain

Researchers have identified a third gene that causes congenital insensitivity to pain when mutated<p>Being unable to feel pain may sound appealing, but it would be extremely hazardous to your health. Pain is, for most of us, a very unpleasant feeling, but it serves the important evolutionary purpose …

Ants

How far is a light-year?

How can we comprehend the distances to the stars? This post explains light-years in terms of a scale of miles and kilometers.<p>Stars other than our sun …

What would you see in a black hole?

What would it be like to fly a spacecraft into a black hole? Marcus Woo investigates.<p>Something about a black hole just pulls you in. Sure, its gravity is so strong that not even light can elude its grasp. But, there's something else, something harder to pinpoint. Maybe it's a black hole's absolute …

Black Holes

Mount Everest Shrank as Nepal Quake Lifted Kathmandu

Environment<p>The first good view of the aftermath of Nepal's deadly earthquake from a satellite reveals that a broad swath of ground near Kathmandu lifted vertically, by about three feet, which could explain why damage in the city was so severe.<p>The new information comes from Europe's Sentinel-1A …

Mount Everest

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<p>Genetic changes can predict cancer up to 13 years in the future, according to new research.<p>Harvard and Northwestern University discovered that tiny but significant changes are already happening …

What is dark energy?

We need dark energy to explain why gravity seems to be driving galaxies in our universe apart instead of pulling them together.<p>The nature of dark …

More than a third of infants are using smartphones, tablets, study says

Have you ever been befuddled by a feature of your iPhone, only to have your 6-year-old show you how it works? A new study helps explain how this happens.<p>Most children have been using smartphones and digital tablets practically since birth -- literally. Fully 36% of parents who answered a recent …

Here's How Wi-Fi Actually Works

Most computer users know little about how Wi-Fi works. In fact, one of the only things many do know is that sometimes it doesn’t. But even a little …

Now We Know What It Feels Like to Be Invisible

Science & InnovationGory Details<p>First, Arvid Guterstam made himself invisible. When he looked down at his body, there was nothing there.<p>He could feel he was solid; he hadn’t vanished into thin air. He even felt a paint brush tickle his transparent belly, while the brush appeared to be stroking …

Virtual Reality

Thoughts Can Fuel Some Deadly Brain Cancers

The simple act of thinking can accelerate the growth of many brain tumors.<p>That's the conclusion of a paper in <i>Cell</i> published Thursday that showed how activity in the cerebral cortex affected high-grade gliomas, which represent about 80 percent of all malignant brain tumors in people.<p>"This tumor is …

Comedians’ ‘gift of the gab’ linked to differences in brain activity

Certain people, from comedians to politicians, have an uncanny ability with words. Now scientists have found evidence that the “gift of the gab” is linked to differences in brain activity during speech.<p>The study suggests that, for professional speakers, words really do flow more freely, but that …

Most Of The Web Is Invisible To Google. Here's What It Contains

A roadmap of the Internet's darkest alleys<p>You thought you knew the Internet. But sites such as Facebook, Amazon, and Instagram are just the surface. There’s a whole other world out there: the Deep Web.<p>It’s a place where online information is password protected, trapped behind paywalls, or requires …

Paul Walker's brother, Cody, to pursue acting career

Cody Walker may follow stint as body double for his late brother in Fast & Furious 7 with his own screen roles. Meanwhile car maker Porsche blames driver for star’s fatal crash<p>Paul Walker’s younger brother Cody is to pursue an acting career after stepping in to help Fast and Furious 7 film-makers …

Physicists Figure Out Why Honey Falls In Twists

A delicious physics problem<p>A stream of honey falls onto a freshly baked buttermilk biscuit. Before you devour this breakfast treat, you might notice that the honey you poured formed a wavy pattern on the biscuit's surface, an unintentional decoration for your morning snack.<p>Most people might think …

Flying beetle remotely controlled by scientists

Tiny electronic backpack mounted on back of giant flower beetle allows scientists to instruct it to take off, land or change directions<p>Scientists have been able to remotely control a flying beetle - paving the way for search and rescue cyborgs.<p>A tiny electronic backpack mounted on the back of a …