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SpaceX Wants to Go to Mars—And It Actually Can

So, SpaceX wants to land a spaceship on Mars in 2018. Wait. Seriously? Yup. Last week, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, made the startling announcement on Twitter: He wrote, “Planning to send Dragon to Mars as soon as 2018. Red Dragons will...Show More Summary

“Scalia’s death affecting next term, too? Pace of accepted cases at Supreme Court slows.”

Bob Barnes for WaPo: The number of cases the justices have accepted has fallen, meaning that a docket that in recent years has been smaller than what is traditional is shrinking still. The court has accepted only six cases since … Continue reading ?

New drug against nerve agents in sight

The nerve agent sarin causes a deadly overstimulation of the nervous system that can be stopped if treated with an antidote within minutes of poisoning. Today, a ground-breaking study describes in detail how such a drug works.

Genetic switch could be key to increased health, lifespan

Stressing a worm's mitochondria at a key time in early development is known to improve their metabolic health and extend lifespan. Researchers discovered what's behind this: enzymes that tag DNA and make epigenetic changes that affect the expression of mitochondrial genes long into adulthood, making the mitochondria more efficient. Show More Summary

Children react physically to stress from their social networks

Research has shown the significance of social relationships in influencing adult human behavior and health; however, little is known about how children's perception of their social networks correlates with stress and how it may influence development. Show More Summary

Origin of synaptic pruning process linked to learning, autism and schizophrenia identified

Researchers have identified a brain receptor that appears to initiate adolescent synaptic pruning, a process believed necessary for learning, but one that appears to go awry in both autism and schizophrenia.

Evidence of a Continental Collision Between Laurentia & Rodinia From Stenian MesoProterozoic Africa?

U–Pb Zircon (SHRIMP) ages of granite sheets and timing of deformational events in the Natal Metamorphic Belt, southeastern Africa: Evidence for deformation partitioning and implications for Rodinia reconstructionsAuthors:Mendonidis et...Show More Summary

The Great Wall of Kenya

Kenya has confirmed it will begin construction of a 700-kilometer-long security wall along the northeastern border with Somalia as part of a broader national security plan to curb cross-border terror attacks by Somali terrorist group...Show More Summary

Right-to-Know Payroll Tax Reform

I met with a group of House Republicans last week to talk about tax reform. Ways and Means chairman Kevin Brady is laying the groundwork for a major tax restructuring next year, and so GOP members are boning up on reform ideas. I discussed income tax reforms with the members, including the creation of Universal Savings Accounts. Show More Summary

Cherubum and Seraphim at Old North Church

20 minutes agoHistory / US History : Boston 1775

As an Anglican church, the Old North Church (formally Christ Church, Boston) was more flashily decorated than the town’s Congregationalist meetinghouses.There are, for example, four hand-carved angels mounted on the gallery railing. Tom Dietzel recently shared a four-part online essay about them. Show More Summary

Japan: The Way Out

“Helicopter money” started out as, and long remained, nothing more than a heuristic device — and a brazenly counterfactual one at that — employed by monetary economists as a means for gaining a better theoretical understanding of the...Show More Summary

'One of the Most Important Shipwrecks' May Be Found

The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project calls it "one of the most important shipwrecks in world history," an 18th-century ship so distinct that it and its captain are said to have served as an inspiration for Star Trek —and the Endeavour may finally have been found. Explorer Captain James Cook...

That’s odd: Weirdly energetic arrivals from outer space

Whether fast radio bursts or ultra-high-energy neutrinos, we've begun receiving cosmic visitors so zippy no one can work out exactly what sent them

Pulling Back Canadian Censorship of Science

During the recent Harper administration in Canada, scientists doing federal research were effectively censored from speaking with the media. This was a clear attempt at controlling the narrative with regard to environmental issues, from global warming to the effect of fisheries and water quality. Show More Summary

The Sky This Week - Thursday May 5 to Thursday May 12

59 minutes agoAcademics / Astronomy : Astroblog

The New Moon is Saturday May 7. Jupiter is visible all evening long. Venus is low above the horizon in the twilight and is close to the crescent Moon on the 6th. Saturn is close to the red star Antares and forms a triangle with Mars....Show More Summary

What the heck happened during Ireland’s recent election?

The United States isn’t the only country in which, despite an economic recovery, the political system is being turned upside down by an anti-establishment public mood. Voters in Ireland appear similarly disenchanted, to judge from the...Show More Summary

Feeling in the Supreme Court

In a NYT Op-Ed a few days ago, Molly Worthen identified as "a broad cultural contagion" the "reflex to hedge every statement as a feeling or a hunch", and urged us instead to "think, believe or reckon". I countered that emotion has largely been bleached out of feel used with sentential complements — "feel that SENTENCE" has become a standard way to […]

Ruins of ancient air conditioning found in Kuwait

Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of an ancient air conditioning system in a 7th-8th century structure on Failaka, a Kuwaiti island in the Persian Gulf. Researchers from the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV) and Kuwait’s National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters excavating the Nestorian Christian village of Al-Qusur discovered the foundations of a stone [...]

The Little Telescope That Just Discovered Three Exoplanets and One-Upped Kepler

These exoplanets might be habitable, but their star looks nothing like the sun. The post The Little Telescope That Just Discovered Three Exoplanets and One-Upped Kepler appeared first on WIRED.

A laughing crowd changes the way your brain processes insults

We usually think of laughter as a sound of joy and mirth, but in certain contexts, such as when it accompanies an insult, it takes on a negative meaning, signaling contempt and derision, especially in a group situation. Most of us probably...Show More Summary

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