Latest Blog Posts


We Trust Technology That Talks to Us

By Elizabeth Preston | April 15, 2014 9:11 am

Siri doesn’t need your love (sorry). But she does need your trust. At least, she does if you’re going to use her in the way Apple intends. For us to make artificially intelligent technologies like smartphones and self-driving cars a part our routines, we have to be willing to turn over important parts of our lives to them—like our calendars, or our actual lives. Now a study suggests that having a voice and a name is all it takes for a computer to gain that trust.

Adam Waytz, a psychologis …

The Crux

Picking Sides: How Genes Help Us Decide Between Left and Right

By Sharon Moalem | April 15, 2014 8:30 am

Some people call left-handers southpaws. Others call them mollydookers or corky dobbers. Scientists still often call lefties sinister, which in Latin originally just meant “left” but later came to be associated with evil.

Wondering about the medical implications of being born a corky dobber? It may surprise you that left-handed women were found to be twice or more likely to develop premenopausal breast cancer than right-handers. And a few researchers believe this effect may be linked to …

MORE ABOUT: genes & health

Seriously, Science?

I say a little prayer for you: praying for partner increases commitment in romantic relationships.

By Seriously Science | April 15, 2014 6:00 am

In “science that does not apply to atheists” news, this study shows that prayer can have a positive effect on relationships. But there’s no need to invoke a deity to explain these results — apparently, when one partner prays for the other, it increases their  satisfaction with and commitment to the relationship. Just be careful: a previous study found that increased religious beliefs can also be a sign of “mating competitors”. 

I Say a Little Prayer for You: Praying for Partner Increas …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: holy correlation


Massive Sea of Warmth Propels March to Fourth Hottest

By Tom Yulsman | April 14, 2014 6:56 pm

An area of extraordinarily high temperature stretching more than half way around the globe helped propel this past March into the record books as the fourth warmest since historical record-keeping began in 1880, according to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

The global average temperature for March was warmer only in 2002, 2010 and 1990.

The massive sea of warmth extending from Europe across Russia and into North America is clearly evident in the map above, which shows how  …


Glow-in-the-Dark Highway Opened in the Netherlands

By Carl Engelking | April 14, 2014 3:16 pm

If you ask for directions in the small city of Oss in the Netherlands, a local may tell you to merge onto Highway N329 and take the first exit after the highway ceases glowing in the dark. No, you haven’t mistranslated the conversation. Dutch engineers are testing glow-in-the-dark road markings along a 500-meter stretch of N329 to see if glowing roads could someday replace streetlights.

The road markings are painted with a photo-luminescent powder that charges during the day and release …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, top posts
MORE ABOUT: transportation

Out There

A Rare Alignment of Sun, Earth, Moon, Mars—and the Human Spirit

By Corey S. Powell | April 14, 2014 2:28 pm

Tonight when you look up at the sky—and I strongly urge you to do so—you can participate in three different kinds of amazing alignments.

One will produce a total lunar eclipse, as Earth’s shadow sweeps across the moon. One will produce the best view of Mars in more than 6 years, as the Red Planet makes its closest approach to Earth (technically that moment happened at 8:53AM EDT, but you couldn’t have seen Mars then anyway). Both of these are beautiful celestial events with some unu …

MORE ABOUT: blood moon, eclipse, IAU, Uwingu


Video: Live Feed of Rovers Exploring the Ocean Floor

By Carl Engelking | April 14, 2014 1:18 pm

The bottom of the ocean is a largely unknown habitat — but now you can explore it from the comfort of your desk chair. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is live-streaming its three-week investigation of the Gulf of Mexico basin.

The ship Okeanos Explorer set out last Thursday to examine the location and contents of deep-sea habitats in the gulf. The team of scientists will conduct multiple dives using sea rovers, each capable of diving up to 6,000 meters, between now  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, top posts

Citizen Science Salon

3, 2, 1...Project MERCCURI Blasts Off to the ISS Today!!

By Lily Bui | April 14, 2014 10:46 am

What happens when you combine professional cheerleaders, microbiologists, and astronauts? The answer is Project MERCCURI and the Microbial Playoffs… in SPAAACE!
SPACE FLORIDA, FL — Today, something  amazing is headed toward the ISS—microbial life from earth!This moment is the culmination of a citizen science experiment called Project MERCCURI (Microbial Ecology Research Combining Citizen and University Researchers on the ISS), a collaboration between NASA, UC Davis, SciStarter, and Scie …

MORE ABOUT: microbes, viruses

Body Horrors

Microbial Misadventures: A Malaria Outbreak Without Mosquitoes

By Rebecca Kreston | April 14, 2014 9:07 am

Microbial Misadventures is a recurring series on Body Horrors looking at instances and incidents where human meets microbe in novel and unusual circumstances that challenge our assumptions about how infections are spread. 

Shout “fire” in a crowded room and watch the occupants fly for the exits. Speak the word “malaria” and watch as all within earshot reach for the nearest can of DEET.  The incontrovertible fact of malaria’s relationship with mosquitos is one that has been known  …

Seriously, Science?

A wireless wet diaper alarm.

By Seriously Science | April 14, 2014 6:00 am

Have you ever wished that, instead of having to get up off the couch to check your baby’s diaper to see if it’s wet, you could just get a notification on your smart phone? Well, now we’re one step closer to that (dystopian?) future. This study describes the creation of a sensor that consists of a urine-activated battery connected to a wireless transmitter. Combine it with the baby poop predictor and you’re good to go!

Self-powered wireless disposable sensor for welfare application.

“A  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: ha ha poop, how is babby formed?

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Collapse bottom bar

Login to your Account

E-mail address:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »