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Most of the universe may be trapped inside of ancient black holes

In case you haven't heard, there is a very, very big problem with the universe: About 80% of all of the stuff inside it is missing.<p>Astronomers call this material "dark matter." They know it's out there because its huge mass tugs on and shapes galaxies, but no one has ever detected the material …

There’s a strategic reason why some women scientists look “frumpy”

In 2006 I finished my PhD in economics and received a lot of career advice. I was told to not dress too nicely during interviews. I was told when I made distinctly feminine gestures (like touching my hair) during seminars it came across as “flaky.” Outside of graduate school, people often remarked …

Step inside some of the biggest, coolest experiments in the world

It has almost no mass, travels at essentially the speed of light, and has evaded scientific confirmation for three decades.<p>Meet the neutrino, which scientists hope will help them answer dozens of critical questions about the universe, including why it's full of matter.<p>Neutrinos are produced when …

How is this possible? Mysterious microbe is missing mitochondria

Imagine meeting another human who lacks a heart, lungs or some other crucial organ, and yet seems to be functioning completely normally. An international team of scientists has discovered the single-celled version of this conundrum: a eukaryotic microbe that has lost its mitochondrion, which …

Scientists Measure Smallest Ever Forces Between Atoms

Cast your mind back to high school chemistry and you might remember the van der Waals force: The weak bond between molecules, caused by the way their …

Nature Communications

Astronomers announce largest batch of new planets ever discovered

NASA has announced that astronomers working with the Kepler space telescope have verified 1,284 new planets — more than doubling the number of previously confirmed planets from Kepler. In fact, this new batch was the single largest group of new validated planets to date.<p>Astronomers used statistical …

FDA fast-tracks treatment that uses polio virus to fight brain cancer

The Food and Drug Administration has given so-called "breakthrough" status to a treatment that uses the once-feared polio virus to target aggressive forms of brain cancer, in the hope of speeding it to market.<p>The therapy, developed at Duke University, hopes to use the virus’ debilitating properties …

A Huge Unnamed Dwarf Planet, Almost the Size of Pluto, Has Been Hiding in Our Solar System

In a universe full of planets, 2007 OR10 is something special. It’s big, just slightly smaller than the size of Pluto. And it’s close, within our …

Astronomy

Alien Megastructure? Dimming Star May Have Less Exotic Explanation

A mysterious darkening star might not be home to an alien megastructure after all. Instead, the dimming that apparently occurred over the course of a …

It’s totally fine to require women to wear heels to work—as long as you require the same of men

Nicola Thorp, a temp reporting for her first day of work at PricewaterhouseCoopers in London, set off an online debate over high heels this week, after she said she was sent home for showing up to work in flat shoes instead of high heels.<p>PwC, if you’re not familiar, is not a tango club, nor a high …

Zimmerman offers gun used to kill Martin on new auction site: report

(Reuters) - The Florida man who shot and killed black teenager Trayvon Martin, triggering nationwide civil rights protests, put his gun on a second auction website on Thursday after it was dropped by a firearm auction site that said it wanted no part in the sale.<p>The handgun used in the shooting …

27 Movies Every Musical Nerd Absolutely Has To See

Hint: Basically anything starring Julie Andrews.<p><i>Note: Submissions may have been edited for length and/or clarity.</i>

Universal Pictures

The Cognitive Science Behind Repeating Mistakes

Being constantly late, losing your phone, spending too much money, dating the same inadvisable people—these are all errors that human beings make over and over again. But it has more to do with how the brain is wired than with a lack of discipline. In attempting to understand where we went wrong, …

Cognitive Science

Why the discovery of Earth-like planets could spell doom for humanity

On Tuesday (May 10), NASA’s Kepler mission announced that it had nearly doubled the number of exoplanets we’ve discovered. Based on this data, NASA scientists expect there are tens of billions of Earth-like planets just in our own galaxy. That, however, might be really bad news for humanity.<p>Ever …

The Limits Of How Far Humanity Can Go In The Universe

If you peer out into the depths of space — at the vast expanse of stars, galaxies, and even the leftover glow from the Big Bang itself — you might think that if humanity can understand the laws of nature and create a good enough technology, there are no limits to what we can explore. If we were to …

Do humans stand a chance in Earth’s sixth mass extinction?

Scientists recently suggested that the Earth’s sixth mass extinction has begun. As terrifying as that sounds, surely humans are too smart and too important to get wiped out? Paleontologists have long tried to shed light on this question by looking for general rules that might predict the survival …

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This artist turned famous art masterpieces into 8-bit watercolors — see if you can identify them

The result is a stunning collection that brings to mind the art style and nostalgia of old 8-bit video games.<p>"These pictures are like puzzles, carefully taken apart and then pieced back together to reveal the subject," List said to Business Insider. "These works were inspired by my love for …

How Many Stars Are In The Universe?

Looking up into the night sky, it's challenging enough for an amateur astronomer to count the number of naked-eye stars that are visible. With bigger …

The frightening spread of antibiotic resistance around the world, visualized

It’s an all-too-familiar problem for humans and animals in rich countries: Overuse of antibiotics, now as accessible and affordable as band-aids, is increasing the risk of bacteria becoming dangerously resistant to the drugs.<p>Now it’s moving into the developing world. New data suggest antibiotic …

Oldest Human DNA Reveals Mysterious Branch of Humanity

The oldest known human DNA found yet reveals human evolution was even more confusing than thought, researchers say.<p>The DNA, which dates back some …

Alien silence explained? Snowden says encryption could be squashing space signals

Encryption has become a top priority for those wanting to protect their privacy online, but US whistleblower Edward Snowden says the security measure …

Scientists Have Pieced Together The Skeleton Of An Adorable New Dinosaur

Move over, <i>Indominus rex</i> - there’s a new dino in town.<p>Paleontologist Mike Triebold first started digging up the bones of a previously unknown species …

Frozen Giant Virus Still Infectious After 30,000 Years

It's 30,000 years old and still ticking: A giant virus recently discovered deep in the Siberian permafrost reveals that huge ancient viruses are much …

Biology

A lonely look at Batman, Vader, Gollum and other sci-fi icons (pictures)

If we live in one of multiple universes, here's how we could find out

The existence of parallel universes may seem like something cooked up by science fiction writers, with little relevance to modern theoretical physics.<p>But the idea that we live in a "multiverse" made up of an infinite number of parallel universes has long been considered a scientific possibility — …

Experiment confirms that quantum mechanics scoffs at our local reality

The last loopholes for determinism squeezed out in latest work.<p>Our day-to-day reality is deterministic; things happen in specific locations and in a …

I Asked 12 Scientists: What Is The One Fact Humanity Needs To Know?

"If civilisation was destroyed, what scientific information would you pass on to the survivors?"<p>Richard Feynman, the physicist, was once asked: "If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generation of creatures, what …

Physics

Women's soccer stars are fed up with second-rate accommodation

Stars: They’re just like us. Especially when it comes to being grossed out by bed bugs.<p>Last night, Alex Morgan and Christine Sinclair sent a few …