Yalda

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'A God That Could Be Real' In The Scientific Universe

<i>Part One Of Two. (Read Part Two here.)</i><p>"God" is a word. If we define it, even subconsciously, as something that cannot exist in our universe, we banish the idea of God from our reality and throw away all possibility of incorporating a potent spiritual metaphor into a truly coherent big picture. But …

Dark Matter

Tiny Batteries Could Revolutionize Green Energy

Nanotechnology could dramatically improve energy storage for electronics, cars, and buildings.<p><b>Tiny is big in the quest to build batteries that store more energy for cars, buildings, and personal electronics.</b><p><b>Nanosize batteries that are 80,000 times thinner than a human hair represent a promising new</b> …

Clean Energy

10 Simple Ways to Live Happy

Have you ever met anyone so happy it didn’t seem quite normal? Like, where are you getting all of those endorphins? We’re packed in the worst …

J.K. Rowling writes Harry Potter Halloween tale profiling 'malicious' Dolores Umbridge

<i>J.K. Rowling is serving up a special Halloween dose of Harry Potter for her die-hard fans, this time in the form of a profile of one of the most malicious characters in the Harry Potter universe. The story comes from Pottermore.com, the online home for the world of Harry Potter, which shared her</i> …

Milk Grown in a Lab Is Humane and Sustainable. But Can It Catch On?

Would consumers rather get milk from cows or from genetically engineered yeast?<p>The world's first test-tube hamburger has already been synthesized and cooked at a cost of more than $300,000. Now a pair of young bioengineers in Silicon Valley are trying to produce the first glass of artificial milk, …

Agriculture

Why Didn't They Win? 10 Huge Discoveries Without a Nobel Prize

National Geographic science writers, bloggers, and editors pick groundbreaking advances and inventions that should have won a Nobel.<p>The 2014 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine has gone to three scientists who discovered brain cells that help us stay oriented—our "inner GPS." Announced Monday, …

Science

The 1,300 Bird Species Facing Extinction Signal Threats to Human Health

Climate change and chemicals like pesticides are driving the crisis.<p><b>Birds are the planet's superheroes, built for survival.</b><p>The ice of Antarctica doesn't faze them. Nor does the heat of the tropics. They thrive in the desert, in swamps, on the open ocean, on sheer rock faces, on treeless tundra, …

Birds

A Perfect Day in San Diego

When I know I’m going on a trip, I immediately start canvassing my network of friends, writers, and editors around the world for advice about what to see and do.<p>So when I knew I’d be heading to San Diego, I went straight to National Geographic Travel’s digital director, Carolyn Fox, who grew up a …

California

Hagfish Slime Could Be Eco-Friendly Fabric

<b>Many people are disgusted by the hagfish. These squirmy, eel-looking creatures are known primarily for two repellent traits: eating dying animals from the inside out, and oozing four cups of slime in a fraction of a second.</b><p>But Douglas Fudge, an integrative biologist at Canada’s University of …

67-Year-Old Kayaker Finishes Transatlantic Crossing

The community of New Smyrna Beach, Florida welcomed Aleksander “Olek” Doba with a salute of gun shots, when he appeared on the horizon in his yellow kayak, <i>OLO</i>. He has now crossed the Atlantic twice, this time on the route between the farthest points situated on the shores of Europe and the United …

Sailing

Neanderthals Lived in Small, Isolated Populations, Gene Analysis Shows

Genetic differences highlight how the path of these ancient humans diverged from ours.<p>Modern humanity's ancient cousins, the Neanderthals, lived in small groups that were isolated from one another, suggests an investigation into their DNA. The analysis also finds that Neanderthals lacked some human …

Owe

Why Do People See Faces in the Moon?

Our brains are hard-wired to find meaningful images in random lines and shapes—even if those figures are on the moon.<p>For as long as humans have lived on Earth, the moon has been our nearest celestial companion, and a rich natural canvas for the human imagination. When the Earth passes between the …

The Brain

Warrior Graduation Ceremony Reveals Kenya at a Crossroads

As young Samburu men become leaders, their community responds to change.<p><b>Some 423 warriors. Hundreds of cattle slaughtered. A gathering of 130 families to create a grand ceremonial village. This is a strong culture in Kenya, thriving in a world that pushes many indigenous people toward unwanted</b> …

Wildlife