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Sun’s magnetic field sparks lightning on Earth

Changes in the field could be used to forecast lightning in an area, alerting power companies and hill walkers to risks<p>Lightning is by its very nature unpredictable, but forecasting when and where it will strike has become easier following new research.<p>Space scientists have found that lightning …

Why Your Brain Wants To Help One Child In Need — But Not Millions

Why do people sometimes give generously to a cause — and other times give nothing at all?<p>That's a timely question, because humanitarian groups fighting the Ebola outbreak need donations from people in rich countries. But some groups say they're getting less money than they'd expect from donors …

Water on Earth predates the solar system, and even the sun

Some of the water molecules in your drinking glass were created more than 4.5 billion years ago, according to new research.<p>That makes them older than the Earth, older than the solar system — even older than the sun itself.<p>In a study published Thursday in Science, researchers say the distinct …

Universe

Improbable Thruster Seems to Work by Violating Known Laws of Physics — NOVA Next | PBS

Every action creates an equal and opposite reaction. It’s perhaps the best known law of physics, and Guido Fetta thinks he’s found a way around …

Physics

Why Mosquitoes Bite Some People and Not Others -- And the Surprising, Natural Way to Avoid Bites

Why are some people so much more attractive to mosquitoes than others? And what can you do about the pesky little bloodsuckers, especially if you …

Mosquitoes

'Beyond Blood' imagines a future where algorithms govern inheritance, not your will

When billionaire engineer and aviator Howard Hughes died at age 70 without leaving a will, authorities were left to distribute his estate amongst 22 cousins and a variety of people and institutions Hughes barely knew. But what if there were an algorithm, or a logic to deciding inheritances when …

Earth may have underground 'ocean' three times that on surface

After decades of searching scientists have discovered that a vast reservoir of water, enough to fill the Earth’s oceans three times over, may be trapped hundreds of miles beneath the surface, potentially transforming our understanding of how the planet was formed.<p>The water is locked up in a mineral …