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Weird and wonderful images seen in 2014

Some of the most bizarre and striking pictures captured this year, including cloaking devices, pimped-up prosthetic limbs and growing veg in space.<p>More amazing image galleries of the year:<p>The year in aviation<p>An amazing year in space exploration

The amateur geneticist who surprised science

Kim Goodsell is unlucky enough to have two very rare diseases. Her doctors blamed coincidence, but was it? She taught herself genetics to find out, and as she tells Ed Yong, no-one expected what she would discover.<p>Kim Goodsell was running along a mountain trail when her left ankle began turning …

Genetics

11 Words That Will Make You Sound Super Smart

When someone constantly uses the filler word "like," you probably think they don't sound so smart.<p>But have you ever met someone who's babbling "like" after "like," and then suddenly inserts a zinger of a vocabulary word such as "sycophant," which means a person who acts obsequiously toward someone …

How Arjun Raj Reveals The Inner Workings Of Cells

Raj and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania invented a technique for tracking how a cell's genes are expressed.<p><i>Each year,</i> Popular Science_ seeks out the brightest young scientists and engineers and names them the Brilliant Ten. Like the 110 honorees before them, the members of this year's …

Increase in Mouth Cancer Caused by 'Catastrophic Rise' in Oral Sex

The number of cases of mouth cancer has risen by more than 25% in 10 years, partly caused by an increase in the average number of sexual partners, …

Xenex Robot Does Its Rounds At The Hospital

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one out of every 20 patients would be on the receiving end of an infection whenever they stay at the …

Breakthrough: The world's first net-positive nuclear fusion reaction

In order for fusion power plants to be feasible, they have to produce more energy than they consume. It's a challenge that's confounded scientists …

Remembering Hiroshi Yamauchi, The Man Who Made Nintendo

The long-serving Nintendo president died today at 85.<p>Hiroshi Yamauchi was the president of Nintendo from 1949 to 2002, and might be the person most responsible for bringing gaming into mainstream culture. He shepherded the company when it was a small business selling playing cards, and, through …

Got A Wide Face? You're Making Everything Terrible

A new study says people act more selfishly when dealing with wide-faced men.<p>Man, it's a tough time to be a big-faced dude. Last year, two management professors at the University of California, Riverside found that men with wider faces were more likely to cheat and lie for financial gain. Now, their …

Google's Self-Driving Cars: A Quest for Acceptance

Robots can already outdrive humans. Now everyone needs to get out of their way.<p>Every morning, at about 8 a.m., Anthony Levandowski walks out of his house in Berkeley and folds his six-foot-six-inch frame into the driver's seat of his white Lexus. Levandowski is embarking on his daily commute to …

The Case Of The Girl Who Couldn't Feel Pain

A team of European researchers finds the genetic mutation responsible for a subject's inability to feel pain.<p>"Index Subject 1"—the anonymous girl or woman who participated in this new study—is unusual in a couple of ways. For one thing, she cannot feel pain. It's a dangerous condition for her. …

Discover the Green Side of Lisbon

TravelTraveler Magazine<p>Anyone who’s visited Lisbon can easily reel off the prerequisite activities: listening to melancholic Fado music, hopping aboard an old tram straining up a steep incline, climbing the ramparts of the old Moorish Castelo de São Jorge, visiting the Belem district with its …

The Bizarre Evolution of the Word "Cyber"

Today, cyber means war. But back in the 1990s, it meant sex — at least, the kind of sex you can have in a chat room. Why did the word change, and …

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What are Maxwell's Equations?

How a Scottish physicist formulated the equations that showed us how to electrify the world<p>Maxwell's Equations first appeared in "A dynamical theory of the electromagnetic field", Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, in 1865. These are the equations of light, the mathematical …

Comet collisions increase chance of life across solar system, research suggests

Violent impacts from comets and other hurtling bodies can pepper planets and their moons with the molecular building blocks of life, new research suggests.<p>The high-speed collisions unleash intense shock waves that can turn simple organic compounds found in comets and on icy worlds into amino acids, …

Nobel science prizes: how America has waxed as Europe waned

<b>The Nobel science</b> prizes will be awarded at the start of October and among those named as the latest members of what many see as the world's most prestigious club will be one middle-aged man in the US.<p>This bold assertion is not based on clairvoyance, a pattern in the tea leaves, or a leak from the …

Scientists Made a "Terminator" Polymer That Can Heal Itself Like Magic

We might not be able to build a liquid metal T-1000 killing machine yet, but we just took a huge step towards building a plastic one. Scientists have …

Nanotech

Where Do Dreams Come From?

Dreamland might not require so much imagination after all.<p>When we close our eyes and drift off to sleep, something in our mind spins us fanciful tales of teeth falling out, bouncing around in giant marshmallows in the sky, failing midterms in classes we've never taken, taking a walk in the park …

Ig Nobel prize for discovery that opera is good for a mouse's heart

Stargazing dung beetles, mice that survive for longer after heart surgery when they listen to opera, and whether or not you could walk on water on other planets – all of them are serious scientific questions that researchers sweated over for years. On Thursday, their hard work was honoured with …

Geri Halliwell returns to making music – in Australia

Geri Halliwell has announced her surprise return to music, crediting the support of her loyal Southern Hemisphere fans. The former Ginger Spice will release her first single in eight years on Sony Music Australia.<p>"I couldn't have asked for nicer people than the way you lot have been to me and the …

New camouflage coating uses squid protein to become invisible to infrared, night vision

Researchers at UC Irvine have created a new camouflage coating inspired by the pencil squid that is invisible to infrared cameras. The university developed the coating with military applications in mind — a tool to hide from enemies. Alon Gorodetsky, an assistant professor at Irvine who led the …

A new digital ecology is evolving, and humans are being left behind

Incomprehensible computer behaviors have evolved out of high-frequency stock trading, and humans aren't sure why. Eventually, it could start …

Gorgeous Fragmented Watercolors Form Soothing Cityscapes

These gorgeous watercolor paintings feature soothing landscapes that fade off into the surface of the paper. Created by South Korea-based designer and illustrator Sunga Park, each scene is a study of the architecture located in cities around the world, including London, Paris, Busan, Istanbul, …

6 of the most important drug milestones of all time

From arsenic to Prozac to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act.<p>In <i>The Drug Book</i>, author Michael C. Gerald details 250 milestones in the history of drugs, from the introduction of arsenic and Xanax to the passage of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act, the first major legislation aimed at protecting …

Sexiest parts of the body revealed by neuroscientists

The mind, said Raquel Welch, is an erogenous zone. And it is the brain, and how it organises our erogenous zones, that has intrigued scientists for decades. Why is a nuzzled neck sexy when few would be turned on by a nuzzled nose? And why do men seem to have fewer erogenous zones than women? A new …

How to spot if people are lying in texts

"Had a few drinks, went straight home."<p>"Working late."<p>"Let's elope."<p>If you get any of these texts -- and if they're a little longer in coming than usual -- it's very possible that your Chosen One is lying.<p>No, I don't want to break up your relationship. Well, not unless you need my help. But I've …

Psychology