Long walled off from world trade and modern technology, Cuba has developed a robust culture of DIY engineers who turn household items into useful inventions. Water pump motors propel bicycles, clothes dryers are repurposed into coconut shredders. Cuban artist Ernesto Orza has spent the last decade photographing and collecting many of these creations. Read more about Cuban inventions in our Science Wednesday piece, How communism turned Cuba into an island of hackers and DIY engineers. Continue reading
It turns out, like us, stars slow down in their old age.
That observation is the key to a new method astronomers are using to accurately tell the age of cool stars — stars that match the size of, or are smaller than, our own sun. In a study published Monday in the journal Nature, a U.S. team claims it can estimate the age of these stars to within 10 percent by measuring how fast the star is spinning. Continue reading
In 1995, the Hubble Telescope snapped a stunning photo in the Eagle Nebula, 6,500 light years from Earth. The photo revealed three gigantic columns of cold gas, illuminated by the ultraviolet light from nearby young stars. The Pillars of Creation became one of the telescope’s most iconic and popular images.
The secret to giving humanity a longer life and protection from age-related illnesses could be hidden within the genome of the longest living mammal.
In a standoff with a rattlesnake, the California ground squirrel stares down its opponent. It might kick sand at the snake, whipping its fuzzy tail back and forth in a “come and get me” taunt. The snake lounges and the squirrel leaps into the air, twisting its furry body like a ninja. The squirrel successfully dodges the attack and warns fellow squirrels of the snake with its display. Continue reading
Why are so many snowy owls popping up thousands of miles from their Arctic stomping grounds? Bird experts say the most likely reason is an abundance of rodents (lemmings are their prey of choice) in northern Quebec last year, and again on Bylot Island in the eastern Canadian Arctic this summer, that helped snowy owl pairs reproduce in large numbers. The population explosion sent the young birds up to 2,000 miles south, away from their regular Arctic stomping grounds in search of new hunting areas. Continue reading
A group of researchers from the Robert Koch Institute in Germany found that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa likely began when a young boy played too close to an infected group of bats. Their findings were published Tuesday in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine. Continue reading
Earlier this month, digital strategist Amy Webb talked to Hari Sreenivasan on the PBS NewsHour about some of 2015’s top tech trends to watch. We have a breakdown. Continue reading