science

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Stephen Hawking: Aliens Could Be a Danger to the Earth

Spacefaring aliens "will be vastly more powerful" than our own civilization

(Newser) - Stephen Hawking believes that mankind might want to just mind its own business, cosmically speaking. Even as he turns his attention to the search for alien life, Hawking says we should think twice before making any efforts to communicate with alien civilizations, ScienceAlert reports. Any civilization advanced enough to contact... More »

New NASA 'Scout' System Silently Keeping You Safe

"Scout" and "Sentry" systems monitor the cosmos for any asteroids that could threaten Earth

(Newser) - NASA is hard at work to protect the Earth from asteroid threats, NPR reports. The agency's new "Scout" detection system scans the skies above our planet for small, nearby objects that might enter Earth's orbit. In fact, a small one between 5 and 25 meters across will... More »

Scientists Stumble on 'Astonishing' Ship Graveyard

Researchers were out to study sea levels, find 'complete bonus'

(Newser) - Archaeologists mapping the Black Sea floor have happily made a surprise discovery—a graveyard of more than 40 ancient ships, Quartz reports. The team, led maritime archaeologist Jon Adams of the University of Southampton, has been studying the historic rise of water levels along the Bulgarian coast. But in the... More »

After Separation Surgery, Mom Holds Twin Alone for First Time

A week after surgery, Jadon is well enough to snuggle with mom

(Newser) - Nicole McDonald had "one of the most profound moments of [her] life" on Friday, when she finally got to hold her son Jadon, who was born conjoined to his twin brother at the head. The twins were successfully separated last week during a dangerous, 27-hour surgery in NYC. After... More »

Moon Will Make a Star Vanish on Tuesday Night

Don't fear: It's just an 'occultation'

(Newser) - Sky watchers will get a bit of a show Tuesday night: People across the Eastern US and much of the Southwest will be able to see the moon move in front of Aldebaran, one of the brightest stars in the night sky, a phenomenon known as a lunar occultation, reports... More »

Oregon Girl Invents 'Smart Bandage,' Wows Google

13-year-old's invention wins her $15K scholarship

(Newser) - An Oregon teenager has invented a bandage that can tell doctors when it needs to be changed, impressing Google judges and securing a $15,000 scholarship. Anushka Naiknaware, 13, placed in the top eight in an international science contest run by Google, the AP reports. She won the Lego Education... More »

You Can Safely Ignore Hype About Friday's 'Black Moon'

Nothing to see here folks, literally

(Newser) - Social media is going wild for the "black moon" coming up on Friday, but it turns out it's not much of a big deal. (Despite some "End of Days" headlines, like so .) First off, you won't be able to see much of anything in the... More »

Humans Are Natural Killers But We're Not the Worst

Monkeys and meerkats are far more likely to murder their own, researchers say

(Newser) - Violence comes naturally to humans, but we are far less murderous than we used to be, a new study shows. Scientists in Spain who examined the tendency among more than 1,000 mammal species to kill their own found that humans have been "particularly violent" throughout our history, reports... More »

Narcissism Gets You Only So Far

Study finds that emotionally intelligent people are most popular in the long run

(Newser) - Do narcissists get ahead in terms of making friends? At least at first, a new study shows. But being selfless and nice pays off more in the long run, reports the Los Angeles Times . Researchers in Poland looked at how extremely self-centered people fare compared with those who are more... More »

This Is Where Your Earliest Ancestor Came From

'LUCA' likely arose near deep-sea vents, says study

(Newser) - The first name on your family tree—in fact, on the family tree of every living creature—should technically be LUCA. As the New York Times explains, the acronym stands for the Last Universal Common Ancestor, an organism that lived about 4 billion years ago and became the ancestor of... More »

Why Chopping Onions Makes You Cry

Slicing into one is the equivalent of attacking it, and they want us to stop

(Newser) - Onions are notorious for making us weep, but why? Scientists say they now have a pretty good understanding of what's going on, reports NPR in an interview with chemist and author Eric Block. It turns out the vegetable has "evolved a chemical defense system" in an attempt to... More »

What This Man Learned in Letting 83 Insects Sting Him

Justin Schmidt has suffered for science

(Newser) - If you ever get stung by a tarantula hawk , Justin Schmidt has some advice: "Lie down and scream." The entomologist has endured the sting of that wasp, along with the stings of 82 other insects from around the world, as part of what FiveThirtyEight describes as an obsession... More »

Rare 'Dragon' Babies Hatch in Slovenian Cave

It's a' rare opportunity for science'

(Newser) - After keeping a constant eye on a clutch of eggs from a rare, subterranean salamander, biologists at Postojna Cave in Slovenia have their reward. Two baby olms have hatched—something that has never been seen outside of a lab, the Christian Science Monitor reports. It's a "rare opportunity... More »

We Read the Human Genome; Next Up, Writing It?

Project would enable creation of synthetic people

(Newser) - Scientists are contemplating a big follow-up to the Human Genome Project: Where that project essentially sought to read human DNA, this new endeavor would involve writing it. The idea, which is "spurring intrigue and concern in the life sciences community," as the New York Times reports, could enable... More »

Palin Says She's Got As Much Science Cred as Bill Nye

'He's a kids' show actor, he's not a scientist': Palin at climate-change-denying event

(Newser) - Sarah Palin has taken on rapper Azealia Banks , Lena Dunham , and, of course, President Obama , but now she's taking on science itself via one of its most well-known representatives. "Bill Nye is as much a scientist as I am," Palin said Thursday at a Capitol Hill event,... More »

Horse Manure Helps Crack Ancient Military Mystery

Researchers think they know where Hannibal crossed the Alps

(Newser) - Ace history students might remember that Hannibal led his Carthagian army across the Alps around 200BC and soundly defeated the Roman army in one of the most epic military maneuvers of all time. But not even actual historians can tell you with any degree of certainty where Hannibal crossed those... More »

How to ID a Terrorist: V Signs?

Scientists say everyone's hand geometry is different and may help ID terrorists

(Newser) - Trying to ID masked terrorists appearing in propaganda or execution videos is one of counterterrorism's biggest obstacles. But a researcher at Jordan's Mutah University and his team think they've found one physical tell that could prove invaluable: the victory sign formed by making the letter "V"... More »

Science Paper Citing 'Creator' Sparks Outrage

PLoS ONE retracts article about the human hand

(Newser) - Think a "Divine Creator" belongs in science? Well, a peer-reviewed paper that mentions "the Creator" sparked such an outcry that it's been retracted with an apology, the Guardian reports. The paper, about the human hand's design and dexterity, mentions the "Creator" more than once. "... More »

What Astronaut Scott Kelly Will Do as Soon as He Lands

His record-breaking trip was amazing

(Newser) - Scott Kelly has been hurtling through the cosmos on the International Space Station for nearly a year (340 days to be exact—a record), but on Tuesday, the NASA astronaut and his partner, Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, will finally head home. ScienceAlert has the emotional video of Kelly handing the... More »

Scientists: There May Be a Giant 9th Planet Past Pluto

Sorry, Pluto—'Planet 9' may be more of a 'massive perturber' than you

(Newser) - Pluto is gonna be PO'd. While the dwarf planet tries to fight its way back into the good graces of Those Who Deem What Counts as a Planet, another icy orb even further out may snatch that designation first. Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology say a giant... More »

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