science experiment

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NASA Just Lit a Big Fire in Space

The biggest one ever intentionally lit, as a matter of fact—all in the name of safety

(Newser) - NASA just started the biggest fire in outer space ever intentionally set—all in the name of safety, reports. The Spacecraft Fire Experiment , aka Saffire-1, took place Tuesday inside an unmanned Cygnus cargo vessel after it left the International Space Station, with what a press release describes as... More »

Museum's 'Smoke Tornado' Goes Horribly Wrong

13 injured at Nevada Discovery Museum

(Newser) - Eight children were among 13 people hurt when an attempt to create a whirling "smoke tornado" went badly wrong at the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum in Reno, Nev., yesterday. Initial reports said there had been an explosion, but a police spokesman tells the Reno Gazette-Journal that the... More »

Animal Gets Head Cut Off, Remembers Everything

Planarians mystify us with ability to regenerate body parts

(Newser) - Ever heard of planarians? These inch-long worms are famous for their remarkable ability to regrow body parts that get cut off. Slice one worm into three parts—head, body, and tail—and each part will regrow the rest of the worm. From one planarian, you get three! How they do... More »

Lab Experiment That Burned Teen Has Bad Track Record

Feds warned about 'Rainbow' last month

(Newser) - A 16-year-old Manhattan student was nearly burned to death this week in a school science experiment gone horribly wrong, reports the Daily News , and it turns out that the experiment in question has a long track record of such accidents. In fact, the US Chemical Safety Board issued a video... More »

Scientist Dies After 52 Years Spent Waiting for Drop

John Mainstone was 'custodian of world's longest-running science experiment'

(Newser) - Last month we wrote about the pitch-drop experiment, which is meant to demonstrate the concept that pitch (a tar derivative) is actually a high-viscosity substance, meaning it appears solid but is actually slowly flowing. An experiment to prove just that has been running in Brisbane since 1927—and now comes... More »

Scientists Accidentally Create World's Best Water Absorber

Make 'impossible material' after leaving equipment running over weekend

(Newser) - Sometimes screwing up a science experiment isn't such a bad thing. Case in point: Researchers in Sweden accidentally left their equipment running on an experiment over a weekend, and ended up creating something awesome—Upsalite, the world’s most efficient water absorber, reports the Independent . This substance, prohibitively expensive... More »

Drop Years In the Making Caught on Camera

After 69 years, Dublin college captures tar pitch falling

(Newser) - Watched in isolation, the video doesn't look like much. A drop of tar slowly detaches from the beaker above it, settling gently atop the tar below it. You might not realize what the big deal is—until you notice the clock furiously spinning behind it, and realize that even... More »

Scientists Link Brains of Two Rats

Signals from one affect the other, say researchers

(Newser) - It is, in the words of Wired , a "rodent mind meld." A Duke neuroscientist planted electrodes in the brains of two rats and discovered that signals from one could control the actions of the other, reports the New York Times . In one experiment, the rats were trained to... More »

5 Insane Sacrifices Made for Science

Mars One plan, Bikini Atoll atomic testing top the list

(Newser) - With a Dutch company planning to send astronauts to Mars for life—and make it a reality show—no other scientific endeavor could ask more of people ... right? Well, the Wall Street Journal runs down the competition:
  • 90 people offered to work on ships near the Navy's Bikini Atoll
... More »

Secret to Dark Matter May Lie Under South Dakota

Large Underground Xenon experiment to be housed in town of Lead

(Newser) - Nestled nearly 5,000 feet beneath the Earth in the gold boom town of Lead, South Dakota, is a laboratory that could help scientists answer some pretty heavy questions about life, its origins, and the universe. Today part of the Homestake Gold Mine—opened in 1876 and shuttered in 2003—... More »

Ghost Town Being Built in New Mexico

'The Center' will have homes, roads ... but no people

(Newser) - If you think ghost towns are dusty places out West that have been abandoned for centuries, you'd be mostly right. But the latest ghost town to surface in New Mexico will actually be a brand new one. A tech company yesterday announced plans to build a 20-square-mile model of... More »

Obama Tapes Mythbusters Segment

He's rocking his inner geek, experimenting with Archimedes claim

(Newser) - President Obama says he'll be exercising his inner geek in an appearance on Discovery Channel show Mythbusters—but the myth he's busting has nothing to do with his birth certificate or whether he's secretly a Muslim. And unlike what usually happens on Mythbusters, he won't be blowing anything up. "... More »

'Trailblazing' Science Papers Posted Online

Ben Franklin's famous kite-key experiment galvanizes the Web

(Newser) - Britain's Royal Society is posting some of the key scientific moments in human history on the Web. Handwritten accounts include reports by Sir Isaac Newton and Benjamin Franklin, who details his 1752 experiment with a key, a kite and lightning. One of the posted studies, to determine if 8-year-old Wolfgang... More »

Scientists Build a Better Web—by Adding Metal

(Newser) - Scientists have combined spider silk with metal atoms to boost web strands' already-phenomenal strength, reports Ars Technica. The breakthrough experiment advances the science of creating ever-stronger materials, as well discovering a successful method to bond metal to biological material. Experiments are already under way to make chicken eggs stronger. More »

'Dead Water' May Explain Drownings

Wave phenomenon that slows ships may affect humans, too

(Newser) - Swimmers sometimes complain that water can be “evil,” but water is water, right? Wrong. So-called dead water—a naval phenomenon that happens when waves form between layers of warmer and cooler water, reducing a ship’s speed—may affect swimmers too, the New Scientist reports. And it might... More »

Dogs Get Jealous: Study

But canine envy is simpler than that felt by primates

(Newser) - Dogs can indeed get jealous, a new study shows. While it’s known that other primates feel envy, the report offers the first evidence of the green-eyed monster in canines. Dogs were paired up and commanded to put their paw in an experimenter’s hand, and then given unequal rewards:... More »

'Biohackers' Push DIY Science in the Basement

Movement aims to capitalize on American passion for invention

(Newser) - Just as individual computer experts can create new programs and technological movements from home, a new generation of scientists wants to make do-it-yourself biology a household activity. Sessions such as those teaching laypeople how to extract DNA show "how much science can be about duct tape and having a... More »

An Other-Worldly Brew on Tap

Japanese brewery to craft beer whose barley comes from space-traveling seeds

(Newser) - Want to try a heavenly lager? Come November, you might get a chance. Japan's Sapporo Breweries is harvesting barley this weekend from seeds that spent 5 months aboard the International Space Station, the AP reports. It then plans to brew 100 bottles of space beer, though it hasn't figured out... More »

Baby Birds' Babbling Suggests Intricate Brain

How our feathered friends learn, play back song may hold answers for human speech

(Newser) - Being bird-brained might not be much of an insult: New MIT research paints a more intricate portrait of how songbirds learn to sing, with one part of the brain used for learning and another for singing itself. Rather than maturing from babbling to birdsong, the independent but overlapping pathways work... More »

Japanese 'Frankenwhale' Experiments Slammed

Scientists say whale research is bizarre, useless

(Newser) - Scientists have reviewed the research Japan uses to justify hunting whales, and they've concluded that it is mostly useless—and very weird, Sydney's Daily Telegraph reports.   Researchers tried to fertilize cow and pig eggs with whale sperm, and to create test-tube whales from frozen sperm.  "It's totally... More »

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