|Filed Under:||Academics / General Science|
|Posts on Regator:||6342|
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|Archived Since:||April 5, 2008|
Planet Earth is taking a hit today from back-to-back solar eruptions. No need to brace for impact: At worst this combined eruption will mess up radio and GPS signals for a few hours on the planet's sunny side. At best, people on the earth's darkened half might see the aurora as far south (or north) as the 39th parallel.
Computers are already smart, just in their own ways. They catalogue the breadth of human knowledge, find meaning in mushroom clouds of data, and fly spacecraft to other worlds. And they're getting better. Below are four domains of computing where the machines are rising.
Have you seen a banshee? Do you suspect she's been buzzing your house? Here's how to prove it.
[HTML1] Driving around with my little sister in the back seat recently, I noticed something odd. She had, well, “appropriated” a helium balloon from a display at the supermarket (stealing is wrong, Hanna) and I watched it float back and forth as we stopped and started on the road. The weird thing was that the […]
Over the weekend, a group of programmers claimed they built a program that passed the famous Turing Test, in which a computer tries to trick judges into believing that it is a human. According to new reports, this is a historic accomplishment. But is it really? And what does it mean for artificial intelligence?
In 1798 Joseph Fourier, a 30-year-old professor at the École Polytechnique in Paris, received an urgent message from the minister of the interior informing him that his country required his services, and that he should “be ready to depart...Show More Summary
When it comes to discussions about energy and climate, the focus is nearly always on technology. We wonder whether coal can be cleaned and solar panels made efficient, if there might be a breakthrough in algae biofuels or carbon storage. Show More Summary
You could call it Seth Bordenstein’s “Frankenstein” moment. A little over a year ago, Bordenstein, a biologist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and his then-graduate student, Robert Brucker, mated two incompatible species of wasp in the lab, creating a hardy hybrid that lived when most others died. Original story reprinted with permission from Quanta […]
This is the clingfish, which sports a belly sucker that can support a staggering 300 times the fish's weight.
[HTML1] A recently discovered astroid nicknamed The Beast will pass by Earth today at a distance three times that between the Earth and the moon. You can watch the live show above from the Slooh Space Camera starting at 11:30 PT. Slooh’s astronomers will be broadcasting live from Australia with time-lapse footage from their robotic […]
Chemistry sets seem to have fallen out of favor in recent years, but there's a movement to bring them back---or at least recapture some of the unstructured experimentation the old sets encouraged. The collection of vintage sets at the...Show More Summary
Salmon and ocean-going trout are famous for their ability to return to the streams of their birth after years at sea. Growing evidence suggests the fish use the earth's magnetic field to find their way home. That could be a problem for fish raised in hatcheries, according to a new study. Show More Summary
Lucy Jones wants to keep Los Angeles from falling apart. The Southern California native and US Geological Survey seismologist has spent decades researching earthquake forecasting and disaster prevention.
Our forebears couldn’t for the life of them figure out how maggots could just up and appear in a corpse, or how oysters just seemed to materialize in the sea. They had to have been spontaneously generating, no sex required.
When things get hot, many mammals use their body’s moisture to cool off. Humans sweat, dogs pant, and koalas lick their adorable arms and legs and cool off as the moisture evaporates. This is a great strategy, at least until it really starts to swelter on the drought-prone west coast of Australia. So, on the […]
[HTML1] When I was a kid, my mother would sometimes give my younger brothers and me a large tub of oobleck, telling us to go play outside and make a mess. Oobleck is a milky-white, shiny substance known as a non-Newtonian fluid. It flows like thick paint when you pour it, but mash your hand […]
[HTML1]Every day, we find another awesome photo of space for you. Open the gallery in full-screen for higher resolution and descriptions. Follow us on Twitter.
Lots of little animals do interesting things scientists can study in the lab, from ants using chemical signals to communicate to zebrafish fighting over mates and status. To study these behaviors, scientists have to keep track of individual animals, and that often means tedious hours spent coding video by hand. Show More Summary
The Landsat mission has been monitoring Earth from orbit for more than 40 years. It is by far the longest continuous record of the surface of the planet, and certainly one of the most valuable data sets in existence.
On Monday, the United States government will begin the single most important step it's ever taken to fight climate change: limiting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, the country's largest climate polluter. Some fear the regulations will be catastrophic, a heavy-handed big-government overreach that will drive up the price of energy. Show More Summary