Wesley Harris

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Would you accept a pig’s heart?

If animal organs could be used to save our lives, will it mean we become a bit less human? Frank Swain speculates<p>Imagine that your heart is failing. You desperately need a replacement. Every day, your family waits nervously for a call from the hospital to say they’ve found a donor. Then one day, …

USGS: Okla. At Increased Risk Of 'Damaging Quake'

The U.S. Geological Survey says the number of earthquakes in Oklahoma has gone up dramatically in recent months and that the surge in seismic activity has increased the danger of a damaging quake in the central part of the state.<p>The USGS and Oklahoma Geological Survey issued a joint statement on …

The Supreme Court takes on warrantless cellphone searches

The Supreme Court is one step closer to resolving a long-running civil liberties debate: do police need a warrant to search your cellphone? This morning, the court is hearing arguments on two cases, both of which involve evidence gathered from mobile phones after an arrest. They were contentious …

Stem Cells Regenerate Heart Muscle in New Study

Injections of human stem cells can replace dead heart tissue in monkeys, spurring the growth of muscle patches 10 times larger than ever before. The technique may one day help treat heart failure in humans.<p><b>On any given day, approximately 3000 Americans</b> have their names on a waiting list to receive …

NASA Predicts End of World As We Know It

As you burn fossil fuels on your morning commute and forget to toss your empty bottles in the proper bins, consider this: These days of relative luxury might be numbered. Rapid population growth, depletion of natural resources, and growing economic inequality could spell the end of civilization as …

Colossal 'Hole' in Space Could Be Link to Universe Beyond Our Own

Leave this world, travel 6 billion–10 billion light years toward the Eridanus constellation, and you’ll run into a giant cosmic wall of nothingness.<p>A …

Your Next Cooking Oil Could Come From Hemp

A new strain of hemp produces oil with all the qualities needed for fine frying.<p>Agricultural hemp produces strong and decay-resistant fibers, a versatile oil, and requires little in the way of herbicides, since it outcompetes weeds. Hemp oil isn't widely used for cooking, though, partially because …

Profit

Alien Earths: why life on other worlds would be far weirder than us

And you thought your planet was strange<p>Last month, the American Astronomical Society's 223rd meeting featured the announcement of a few breakthroughs: Using the Kepler space observatory, researchers had discovered a planet roughly the mass of Earth orbiting a star beyond our solar system, and with …

WATCH: Breathtaking New Video Of Felix Baumgartner's Record Jump

You might recall Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner's 2012 jump from a 24-mile-high balloon capsule, a height of 127,852 feet. He broke not only an altitude record, formerly set by a U.S. Air Force pilot, Col. Joe Kittinger, in 1960, but also a record for speed of descent, breaking the sound …

Sewage reveals the popular drugs of the world's cities

An anecdote from a student over drug use at the University of Puget Sound led one professor to test sewage in an effort to gauge the use of illegal drugs. "The amphetamine levels go through the roof during finals," says chemistry professor Dan Burgard in an interview with <i>Gizmodo</i>. Sewage tests in …

Venus brightest in mid-February for all of 2014

What’s that very bright star or planet in the east before sunrise now? It’s the planet Venus, now near its time of greatest brilliancy.<p>Have you seen …

Astronomy

50-foot circle of ice found spinning in North Dakota river

A vast circle of ice has been found slowly rotating in North Dakota's Sheyenne river. Perfectly circular ice disks form on outer bends of rivers, where faster-running currents break chunks of surface ice away during cold weather. The rotational shear of the river's current pulls chunks of ice …

Japanese firm plans 250 mile-wide solar panel belt around Moon

A Japanese firm announces its innovative solution to the nation's energy problems - a 250 mile-wide belt of solar panels on the moon<p>A Japanese construction firm is proposing to solve the well-documented energy problems facing Japan - and ultimately the entire planet - by turning the moon into a …

5 Surprising Facts About Nikola Tesla

The brilliant inventor gets a new statue in Long Island.<p><b>A new statue of Nikola Tesla now graces New York's Long Island, the latest homage to the celebrated visionary. At the statue's unveiling last week, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic told the dedication crowd at Tesla's former Wardenclyffe</b> …

Mars crater may actually be ancient supervolcano

New research suggests the Eden Patera basin on Mars could have been formed by an explosive volcanic eruption, not the impact of a large object.<p>A …

Geology

The 6 Best Science Lessons From Breaking Bad

Goodbye, BB. Thanks for the education. (Don't worry—there are no final-season spoilers here!)<p>The tale of Walter White, high-school chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin, ended on Sunday, leaving us with only memories, an almost preposterously high body count, and <i>science</i>. _Breaking Bad _wasn't …

Breaking Bad

Nasa's Curiosity rover finds water in Martian soil

Dirt sample reveals two pints of liquid water per cubic feet, not freely accessible but bound to other minerals in the soil<p>Water has been discovered in the fine-grained soil on the surface of Mars, which could be a useful resource for future human missions to the red planet, according to …

Scientists create 'light saber' material with photon-binding technique

Photons are usually thought of as ephemeral, massless particles that rarely interact with each other, but a recent discovery by Harvard and MIT professors may force physicists to rethink that assumption. By pumping atoms into a supercooled vacuum chamber, the project created a non-linear quantum …

Juan Baigorri Velar's Rainmaking Machine

<i>“Let it rain, let it rain<br>Baigorri is in the cave<br>Plug in the device, and watch it rain…”</i><p>An accordion accompanies these verses, dedicated to a man …

Weather

Long-range forecast: sunny spell will wipe out life on Earth

If the end of the summer, the short, cold days, and party conference season were not enough to bring on the gloom, scientists have calculated when life on Earth must come to an end.<p>In a report that manufacturers of diaries may wish to note, researchers worked out when the sun will grow so warm that …

How Videogames Are About To Start Playing You

New sensor technology will let machines monitor players, and adjust games based on their emotions.<p>When Microsoft introduced the Kinect sensor in 2010, the company said the motion-capture system would transform gaming. That was only partially true; gamers could do novel things like swing an …

The Big Bang May Not Have Spawned The Universe After All

Our universe might actually be the result of the collapse of a four-dimensional star.<p>According to a new paper posted on Arxiv, the Big Bang may not have been what we think it is. In fact, there may have been no Big Bang at all--our universe may have come from an entirely different source.<p>The Big …

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

At premiere of film about his life, physicist says it's theoretically possible to copy brain on to computer to provide life after death<p>Published: 21 Sep 2013<p>World-famous cosmologist admits to losing bet as a result of particle's discovery<p>Published: 12 Nov 2013<p>Nasa video footage shows what the moon …

FYI: Can Humans Survive In A Completely Self-Sufficient Closed Environment?

Not yet, though we've been trying to do so since at least the 1970s. Fabricating an environment that needs no power other than the sun and is a closed system (where waste gets broken down and reused) is extremely difficult.<p>One of the first attempts at a CELSS—Controlled Ecological Life Support …

Not breaking news: many scientific studies are ultimately proved wrong!

When a theory is shown to be incorrect or a publication in error, it is all too easy to think that the scientist who came up with this theory is a liar or a dishonest fraudster intent on misleading the public for personal gain. Or as Richard Smith, former editor of the British Medical Journal, puts …

NASA Has Invented a Lightweight Machine That Can Detect a Human Heartbeat Under 30 Feet of Rubble

Why music is good for the heart

Doctors have discovered what music-lovers always guessed – music touches places nothing else can reach, says Ivan Hewett<p>In its onward march, science is always trampling over folk-wisdom. But sometimes a piece of research comes along which shows folk-wisdom might have a point after all. There’s been …

We’re all Martians, aren’t we?

The notion that life on Earth has extra-terrestrial origins has provided fertile ground for scientists and science fiction writers alike. With one key difference.<p>It’s the greatest story ever told. But any decent publisher would most likely reject even the latest draft of the complete chronological …