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A Giant Cave on the Moon Could Host Lunar Settlers

By Nathaniel Scharping | October 19, 2017 2:17 pm

Turn-of-the-century science fiction posited the existence of aliens living deep beneath the surface of the moon.

Someday, those subterranean creatures could very well be us.

New data from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has uncovered a 30-mile-long tunnel under the moon’s surface, likely the relic of long-ago lava flows. Though the existence of lava tubes isn’t something new, this latest find appears to be both mostly intact and sufficiently large enough to potentially …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts


Psychopaths Aren't the Best Hedge Fund Managers After All

By Lacy Schley | October 19, 2017 1:58 pm

Pretty much everyone agrees investing, whether it’s your own money or a company’s, is wise. And hiring someone to manage that investment portfolio could get you the most bang for your buck. So, who to chose? Probably someone who would do whatever it took — no matter how many friends they’d lose or people they’d leave dead and bloodied and dying along the way — to get the job done, right? In other words, a psychopath or a narcissist. (Or, if you’re Derek Zoolander, an investigat …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Mind & Brain, top posts
MORE ABOUT: psychology


Dogs Attempt To Communicate With Us Through Facial Expressions

By Gemma Tarlach | October 19, 2017 8:00 am

Hey dog owners, you’re not imagining it: Researchers think your pooch may be trying to say something with a pout or pleading eyes.

Everyone who lives with dogs may be rolling their eyes right about now and saying “Of course Boopsie/Rex/Potato is smiling/frowning/expressing wide-eyed existential dread,” but heaps of anecdotal evidence don’t mean much in terms of scientific cred. A study out today, however, is a big step toward confirming that dogs use facial expressions in an attempt t …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts
MORE ABOUT: animals


Albatross Teaches Drones the Art of Marathon Flights

By Lauren Sigfusson | October 18, 2017 1:33 pm

We’ve seen drones modeled after geckos, insects and if you’ve watched Black Mirror there’s no way you can forget the massive bee drone swarms. Now, scientists are looking to one of nature’s best fliers, the albatross, for tips to help drones fly longer distances.

The albatross is one of the world’s largest living birds, with a wingspan of up to 11 feet across. It can fly hundreds of miles in just one day, while exerting very little effort. But how does it do this? Two separat …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: animals, drones, robots


To Find Nectar, Bees Follow Blue Halos

By Nathaniel Scharping | October 18, 2017 1:23 pm

Subtle halos on flowers function as bright blue landing pads for bees.

Tiny ridges on flowers, visible only at the nanoscale, serve to reflect blue and ultraviolet light that draws in pollinators. To bees, it appears as a ring around the flower’s center, and lets them and other insects immediately differentiate between a nourishing plant and a dead end. The trait seems to have appeared many times throughout the evolution of flowers, and likely dates back to the emergence of pollinators  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts
MORE ABOUT: animals, evolution, plants


The AI That Dominated Humans in Go Is Already Obsolete

By Carl Engelking | October 18, 2017 1:19 pm

Remember AlphaGo? You know, the artificial intelligence that in 2016 soundly defeated the finest players humanity could muster in the ancient Chinese strategy game of Go; thus forcing us to relinquish the last vestige of board game superiority flesh-and-blood held over machines?

Remember that?

Well, here’s something to chew on: Google’s AI research arm DeepMind, the same benevolent creator that spawned AlphaGo, has already rendered that gluteus maximus-spanking version obsolete. In …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, top posts

Seriously, Science?

Scientist finally figures out why holes feel larger with your tongue than with your finger.

By Seriously Science | October 18, 2017 6:00 am

For almost 30 years, scientists have known about the illusion that makes small holes seem larger when felt with the tongue rather than with the fingers (we don’t know who first discovered this, but we assume it was X-rated). Since that time, the reason for this illusion remained mysterious… until now! This scientist used a series of experiments involving, tongues, fingers, and even toes to explore the phenomenon. He found that it’s the “pliability” of the appendage used to probe the hole i …


Dead Things

Fatty Tissues Preserved In Fossil for 48 Million Years

By Gemma Tarlach | October 17, 2017 6:00 pm

It really is true: fat hangs around a long time whether you want it to or not.

Okay, so we’re not talking about stubborn love handles and saddlebags, but researchers have confirmed that fatty tissues were still identifiable in the partial fossil of a 48-million-year-old bird. The new research hints that similar soft tissues might be found in fossils sitting in museum archives around the world.

Soft tissue preservation in fossils is rare but not unheard of. Earlier this year, resear …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts
MORE ABOUT: fossils, paleontology


How Volcanoes Starved Ancient Egypt

By Nathaniel Scharping | October 17, 2017 4:05 pm

Ancient Egypt was the most powerful civilization in the world for a time. The monuments built by laborers to honor pharaohs stand to this day, testament to the vast resources at their command.

But the architectural excess hid a crippling weakness. Egypt sits in the middle of a vast desert. To support a population that numbered in the millions, large-scale agriculture was vital, and for that you need water, and therefore, the Nile. The river was so important to the Egyptians that they st …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Living World, top posts
Flirtey has partnered with a Nevada-based emergency services organization to enable delivery drones to respond to 9-11 calls ahead of ambulances. Credit: Andi Kilgore | Flirtey Inc.

Lovesick Cyborg

Defibrillator Drones Aim to Respond in 911 Calls

By Jeremy Hsu | October 16, 2017 6:36 pm

Delivery drones carrying defibrillators could begin swooping in to save American victims of cardiac arrest starting in 2018. A new partnership between a delivery drone startup and an emergency medical services provider aims to dispatch defibrillator drones ahead of ambulances in response to 911 calls made in northern Nevada.

Using drones to deliver life-saving automatic external defibrillators for restarting victims’ hearts could have a huge impact. Cardiac arrest represents the leadin …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: technology, top posts

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