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FCC Chairman to John Oliver: I am not a dingo

Whenever someone is placed in charge of an important but somehow dull entity, there is always the suspicion that it takes a certain sort of animal to do that kind of job. It's a delight, therefore, to reveal that the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is not a baby-eating dingo.<p>You …

Bill Gates Just Blew Our Minds In A Single Tweet

For the past several years, China has been building stuff at a mind-blowing pace. Just how mind-blowing? Here, let's let Bill Gates put it in perspective:<p>Think about this for a second. Between 1901 and 2000, the U.S. built an entire interstate highway system, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hoover Dam …

iFind is the world's first battery-free location tag

iFind is a battery-free item location tag. It helps you ease the pain by saving you the time and frustration of trying to locate your misplaced item. Plus, your brain is also liberated from intense thoughts of “where did I last put it?”<p>Item-locating hardware devices like iFind aim to aid you in the …

This Algae Battery Could Power A Tesla With 200X The Charge

In a small lab, near a lake at the edge of West Berkeley, sits the prototype of what could revolutionize battery power as we know it. The secret to this power? Algae.<p>OK, just hang with me here. Lots of research has already been done on algae’s possible power capabilities. Prototype creator Adam …

What We Can Learn From Humans Who Don't Age

A closer look at the science behind two unusual little girls, who have appeared on Dateline and Good Morning America.<p>Perhaps you've seen them on <i>Dateline</i>, or <i>Good Morning America</i>. Gabrielle Williams and Brooke Greenberg are girls who don't seem to age at the same rate as the rest of us. Nine-year-old …

Researchers Show iOS Apps Running on Nexus 7 Android Tablet

Trying to pick Apple or Android is a question many smartphone and tablet owners find difficult to answer. Apple has a much better library of games …

Stephen Hawking: brain could exist outside body

Stephen Hawking has said he believes brains could exist independently of the body, but that the idea of a conventional afterlife is a fairy tale.<p>Speaking at the premiere of a documentary film about his life, the theoretical physicist said: "I think the brain is like a program in the mind, which is …

App Config: Configure Settings for Individual Android Apps

If you frequently find yourself tweaking your device settings to suit a specific app, then you might like App Config for Android.<p>Let’s say you prefer Netflix on full-brightness while streaming over WiFi only, but then you’re happy to read BBC News on a dimly-lit screen using mobile data, this is …

Painless patch could make flu vaccine more popular

Visits to the doctor’s office for an annual flu shot may soon be outdated, thanks to a painless do-it-yourself flu patch that is scheduled for …

I'm grateful that I'm kind of a late bloomer, or someone who's still challenged by needing to work on things. I don't envy people who just don't have to kind of work on it.

The humble actor opens up about Wes Anderson, teaching the next generation, and what it's like to leave home at 17. BUT FIRST, A VIDEO<p><i>Published in the March 2014 issue</i><p><i>A conversation with the actor over lunch at the Greek Kitchen, a Goldblum favorite in midtown Manhattan.</i><p><b>Scott Raab:</b> I like this …

For $1, you can build a device that uses TV signals to recognize gestures

There’s energy all around us in the form of TV, radio and WiFi signals. Develop a device that doesn’t need much power, and you can harvest enough …

Inescapable truths

OUR sister blog, Democracy in America, has just published a piece on the politics of climate science after the National Academies of Science (NAS) …

I Won't Eat, You Can't Make Me! (And They Couldn't)

It was found in Baja California, in the water, scuttling about. It's an isopod — a many legged, many jointed, bottom-crawler, related to prawns and crabs and it happily eats dead things. Scavengers aren't that particular about what's for dinner. When they find it, they eat it.<p>This particular isopod …

Stop female scientists being written out of Wikipedia history

Professor Dame Julia Slingo is not a shadowy figure. As chief scientist at the Met Office, she is an expert on a national obsession and has barely been out of the spotlight since Britain was taken by storm. But hunt for her on Wikipedia and just five short paragraphs pop up.<p>"Many female scientists …

Modern Genes Reveal 100 Major Population Shifts In Human History

Wherever conquerors go, they leave a little bit of their genetics. Gene analyses of modern people are able to reveal those influences.<p><i>Spread of Mongol Empire. Astrokey44 on Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0</i><p>Violence and love, conquest and assimilation, they're all in your DNA. Literally. As human …

Genetics

This Computer-Generated Swarm Is Mind-Melting

Replace a flock of birds with fireflies on a dark night, and this is about what you'd get.<p>Swarms--like a flock of birds, or a school of fish--are mathematically complicated, but computer scientists are getting better at modeling, and learning from, them. Using code that simulates birds in …

Nature

Mammogram screenings don't reduce cancer death rates, study finds

Yearly mammography screenings for women ages 40 to 59 do not reduce breast cancer deaths, even though they make a diagnosis of illness more likely, according to a long-term study of nearly 90,000 Canadian women.<p>The research, published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal, is the latest in a …

Cancer

Tiny motors that fit inside human cells could someday treat disease

Tiny synthetic motors created at Pennsylvania State University are the first ever to fit inside living human cells, where they can modify the cell’s …

New WildLeaks Website Invites Whistle-Blowers on Wildlife Crime

WildLeaks gives whistle-blowers a way to anonymously finger wildlife criminals.<p>Wildlife trafficking crimes often go undetected and unchallenged, even though they threaten many endangered species, including elephants, rhinos, and pangolins.<p>Similarly, trade in illegally logged timber continues …

22 answers for creationists from someone who understands evolution | Adam Rutherford

At the recent Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate, Buzzfeed asked creationists in attendance to write a question or message for ‘the other side’. Here are some answers<p>What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again. A disappointing public debate between popular US science telly presenter …

In The Brain, Distances In Space, Time, And Social Relationships Look The Same

A brain-scanning study finds a small region of the brain that treats "far from me," "distant acquaintance," and "later" as similar concepts.<p><i>The coffeeshop is nearby.<br>We're close friends.<br>My birthday seems so far away.</i><p>In English, at least, we use the same words to describe spatial, social and temporal …

A uniquely human brain area?

It’s called the ventrolateral frontal cortex. It’s a part of the brain involved in human processes, such as strategic planning and …

The Best Science and Engineering Visualizations of 2013

Science and art don't intersect nearly as often as they should, despite their many similarities. Chief among those shared qualities is creativity – …

Chickens Wear Prosthetic Dinosaur Tails, For Science

Simulating ancient gaits with barnyard fowl<p>The humble chicken is distantly related to the _T. rex. _This raises an important scientific question: How could we make chickens walk like they're little dinosaurs? A new study provides the equally important answer! And also video!<p>Researchers from the …

Chickens

Seeing Less Helps The Brain Hear More

A few days in the dark can improve an animal's hearing, scientists report this week in the journal <i>Neuron.</i> This temporary loss of visual input seems to trigger favorable changes in areas of the brain that process auditory information, they say.<p>The finding suggests there may be a new way to help …

See The World Through The Eyes Of A Cat

An awesome, disorienting look at kitty vision.<p>What does the world look like through a cat's eyes? The basic structure of feline eyes is pretty similar to what humans have, but cats' vision has adapted to very different purposes, so the world they see looks familiar, but isn't quite the same as …

Pets

Pregnant women are doing it wrong | Dean Burnett

Photograph: i love images / Alamy/Alamy<p>If you see a pregnant belly, why not go up and rub it for good luck? The woman won't mind. And even if she does, who cares? Photograph: i love …