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How Did Mars Die? NASA's Newest Spacecraft Aims to Find Out

MAVEN will try to decipher the history of Mars' atmosphere and how it was lost.<p>CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — In their infancy, maybe even into their adolescence, Earth and Mars were more alike than they were different. Each rocky world was pockmarked by volcanoes, and waterways carved both surfaces. …

Space probe Gaia searches for galaxy's dark energy

Robot craft will reveal how Milky Way began and warn Earth of asteroid collisions<p>European scientists are preparing to launch a probe that will transform our understanding of our galaxy. The spacecraft, called Gaia, will carry the world's biggest, most accurate camera which it will use to pinpoint …

Anonymous Hacktivist Jeremy Hammond Gets Maximum 10-Year Prison Sentence

Anonymous hacktivist, Jeremy Hammond, who leaked millions of emails from security firm Stratfor, has been slapped with the maximum prison sentence of 10 years. Hammond claimed the harsh ruling was a “vengeful, spiteful act” designed to send a message.<p>In 2012, millions of emails were given to …

Augusto Odone

ADRENOLEUKODYSTROPHY (ALD) is a rare and terrible disease. A faulty X-chromosome lets very-long-chain fatty acids accumulate, and cripple the body. …

Disabled Children

ShopKeep Goes Custom, Releasing A Speedy New System For Holiday Shopping

Not to freak everyone out, but there are six fewer days than usual between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. For shoppers, that means a tighter timeframe in which to negotiate parking lots and mall lines. According to the Washington Post, retailers have started the full court press on marketing …

Complete structural design drawings for a reinforced concrete house

Description<p>Complete structural design drawings of a reinforced concrete house<p>Complete structural design drawings of a reinforced concrete house. …

How They Built the Record-Setting New Bay Bridge Span

Opening Labor Day, the 2047-foot eastern span of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge has new seismic engineering and work-arounds for the murky Bay Area mud.<p><b>The designers of the east span of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge</b>—opening Labor Day weekend as the result of a 13-year, $6.42 billion …

Engineering

Polio eradication: A humanitarian fix.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been spearheading an effort over the past couple of years to close the last mile on polio eradication. …

3D Printing Is a Matter of Life and Death

<b>When Kaiba Gionfriddo was born</b> prematurely on Oct. 28, 2011, everything seemed relatively normal. At 35 weeks, his doctors' main concern was lung …

NASA is farming lettuce in space

Starting in December, NASA will begin producing its own food in orbit for the first time ever, according to a new report in <i>Modern Farmer</i>. Called the Vegetable Production System (or VEGGIE for short), the minimal rig will accommodate six romaine lettuce plants grown under pink LED lamps, ready for …

Stephen Hawking's big ideas ... made simple - video animation

No time to read Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time? In just two and a half minutes, Alok Jha explains why black holes are doomed to shrink into nothingness then explode with the energy of a million nuclear bombs, and rewinds to the big bang and the origin of the universe<p>• See more 'made …

Giant Gob of Earwax Reveals Blue Whale Secrets

Wildlife & Wild Places<p><b>Two biologists at Baylor University in Texas, Sascha Usenko and Stephen Trumble, and colleagues have dissected a giant gob of earwax from a blue whale to measure pollutants to which the whale was exposed.</b><p>The earwax (known as an earplug) can also be used to measure levels of …

Time Travel Is Possible But Only To The Future, English Physicist Says

We may be able to book our ticket to the future someday -- it'll just be a one-way trip.<p>In a presentation at the British Science Festival, particle physicist Brian Cox said that time travel is possible but only in one direction.<p>"The central question is, can you build a time machine? The answer is …

Nobel Prizes 2013: The shipping machinery of cells

If the cells that make up your body are little factories, then the shipping department just picked up a Nobel Prize this morning with the award for …

Fecal finders: how poop-sniffing dogs are helping killer whales

The dog is steering the boat, and the humans on board are pretty sure he’s leading it astray.<p>Tucker, a nine-year-old black lab mix, is an improbable character in a high-stakes detective story: the case of the declining orcas. He’s sniffing for a needle in a haystack — a small plastic container …

Scientists 3-D Print Tiny Cages That Imprison Bacteria

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have figured out how to make structures – like houses or cages – that are small enough to corral …

Where hyenas are used to treat mental illness

<b>Somalia has one of the highest rates of mental illness in the world and with a healthcare system devastated by years of war, most sufferers receive no medical help. Many are chained up - to trees or at home. Some are even locked in cages with hyenas. But one man is trying to change all that.</b><p>Dr …

Mental Health

A Miracle New Plastic, Made From Anything But Nasty Stuff

A material called Zeoform can be made from plants or recycling, but can be used just like plastic.<p>Plastic was once a miracle invention, but these days the wonder is wearing thin. Mounting pollution, the fact that plastic has an association with toxic substances, and its fossil fuel roots are just …

Teach Kids to Daydream

Mental downtime makes people more creative and less anxious.<p>Today’s children are exhausted, and not just because one in three kids is not getting sufficient sleep. Sleep deprivation in kids (who require at least nine hours a night, depending on age) has been found to significantly decrease academic …

Hacking our senses to boost learning power

Some schools are pumping music, noises and fragrances into the classroom to see if it improves exam results – could it work?<p>What did your school smell like? Was it noisy or peaceful?<p>It might not seem important, but a growing body of research suggests that smells and sounds can have an impact on …

The Brain

Astronauts And Mice Return From Space With Altered Eyes

About one in five astronauts report vision changes after space missions. A new, small study in mice takes a look at what might cause those changes at a molecular level.<p>When he rocketed up to the International Space Station in March 2009, NASA astronaut Mike Barratt needed glasses to see things in …

Meet The Inspiring 18-Year-Old Who Built A Simple Water Purifier That Could Save Lives

A busy university professor didn’t have time to work closely with his high school student intern. So he sent her off to figure out her own project. What happened next will make you feel good about the future.<p>If you’re worried about the state of the planet, fear not. The next generation has it …

How It Works: The Mechanical Bomb Sniffer

A guide to the machine that could change how we screen for explosive threats<p>Last fall, David Atkinson and a team at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory announced that they had "sniffed" certain explosives in ambient air for the first time. Most common explosives—RDX, PETN, blasting gels—exist …

The Energy Fix: How To Clean Up Fracking's Bad Rep

If fossil fuels are to remain a large part of the nation’s energy mix, engineers need to reduce their environmental impacts.<p>Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have opened up huge reservoirs of oil and gas across the U.S. The Energy Information Administration predicts that production of …

This Brilliant Kid Invented A Sandless Sandbag For The Next Hurricane Sandy

As a Florida native, 11-year-old Peyton Robertson knows the havoc that hurricanes can wreak. He also knows that much of the damage from these hurricanes comes from saltwater flooding. After seeing the extensive flooding that happened during Hurricane Sandy, he came up with a partial solution: a …

Pollinating Bees Are The Pesticide Deliverymen Of The Future

Making industrious pollinators do double-duty as pest controllers saves time and money for farmers.<p>Here's another reason to pay attention to dwindling bee populations: Bees might be the organic pesticide spreaders of the future. While they go to work pollinating our crops, bees could simultaneously …

Newly Found Exoplanet Is Earth-Like In Size And Composition

A recently discovered exoplanet is similar in density and size to Earth. Too bad the planet is also 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit on its surface.<p>Who's this little guy hanging out so close to its sun? It's an exoplanet, discovered just this past July, and before I call it "little" again—its radius is …

The “Greenest School On Earth” Is A Grade School For Low-Income Kids In Hong Kong

Proving that sustainability isn’t just for the rich, Hong Kong’s low-income Sing Yin Secondary School recently was honored as one of the most sustainable schools on the planet.<p>Sing Yin Secondary School, in Hong Kong, has all the impressive technology you would associate with a “green school”: solar …

A Plan to Create Just Two Time Zones in the Continental United States

Daylight Saving Time is a reminder that losing another hour of evening light isn't just annoying—it's an economically harmful policy with minimal energy savings.<p>Updated: Nov. 5, 2017<p>Editor’s Note: This article was first published on Nov. 1, 2013. The original headline was, “Daylight Saving Time Is …