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Can a Smartphone App Help Save a Dying Language?

(This post originally appeared in the online anthropology magazine SAPIENS. Follow @SAPIENS_org on Twitter to discover more of their work.)  Joshua Hinson’s first biological son was born in 2000.

Police Lineups: The Science of Getting It Right

One night in 1984, a man broke into Jennifer Thompson’s apartment and raped her at knifepoint. Throughout the attack, the college student memorized every detail of her rapist’s face, promising herself that when she took the witness stand against him, “he was going to rot” in prison.

'It's Just Too Perfect': Inside the First Gravitational Wave Detection

A year ago today, a select group of scientists became the first people on the planet to learn that, after a century of theory and experiments, Albert Einstein was right all along.

What’s Bad for SpaceX Is Good for Russia

An exploding Falcon 9 could send ripples through space-timelines. By now, you’ve probably heard about SpaceX’s Thursday morning “anomaly” at its Cape Canaveral launch pad.

Lightning’s Strange Physics Still Stump Scientists

Every day on this planet, roughly 4 to 8 million bolts of electricity the width of a finger connect heaven to earth, discharging a current of 30,000 amperes and heating the air to 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The End of Traffic Jams

Being stuck in miles of halted traffic is not a relaxing way to start or finish a summer holiday. And as we crawl along the road, our views blocked by by slow-moving roofboxes and caravans, many of us will fantasize about a future free of traffic jams.

Can Doping Tests Stay Ahead of Cheaters?

The 100-meter dash, the pole vault, a marathon, a bike race, and any other sport under the sun have one thing in common: winning depends on pushing physical performance to the max.

Taking Pangolin Off the Menu

When acclaimed conservation photographer Suzi Eszterhas settled in for the evening, she didn’t know what to expect.

Is It Neander-TAL or Neander-THAL?

Here’s the deal: you can write or say Neanderthal or Neandertal, but you should only write Homo neanderthalensis and say “Homo neander-TAL-ensis”.

Earth Proxima: Is Our New Neighbor the Most Promising Exoplanet Yet?

A pale red dot not far from our sun may be orbited by a pale blue dot much different than Earth. In a shocking find, astronomers Wednesday announced their discovery of an Earth-sized planet orbiting the nearest star, Proxima Centauri, just 4.2 light-years away.

How Advertisers Seduce Our Subconscious

In 1957 Vance Packard’s book The Hidden Persuaders shocked the world by revealing that messages exposed subliminally, below our level of perception, were able to increase sales of ice cream and Coke.

Why Does Time Seem to Fly as We Get Older?

When we were children, the summer holidays seemed to last forever, and the wait between Christmases felt like an eternity.

How Humans Could Go Interstellar, Without Warp Drive

The field equations of Einstein’s General Relativity theory say that faster-than-light (FTL) travel is possible, so a handful of researchers are working to see whether a Star Trek-style warp drive, or perhaps a kind of artificial wormhole, could be created through our technology.

Can Virtual Reality Help Astronauts Keep Their Cool?

While astronaut Scott Kelly spent his year on the International Space Station, he expressed frustration with the ho-hum accommodations inside the ISS — it’s dullsville.

Space Submarines Could Swim in Extraterrestrial Seas

One of the most profound and exciting breakthroughs in planetary science in the last two decades has been the discovery of liquid methane lakes on the surface of Saturn’s largest moon Titan, and liquid oceans under the icy surfaces of many of the giant gas planets' other moons.

Fecal Feasts Bring Earwig Families Together

A steaming bowl of fresh feces isn’t a meal that will bring the family together over the holidays. But for many animals, fecal consumption is a way of life.

History's Strangest Baldness 'Cures'

For most people, baldness wouldn’t make it into the Top Ten Worst Things Ever; that list is more likely to be dominated by Ebola, cancer, dementia, and Kevin Federline’s Playing with Fire album.

Lost or Found? A Stick Chart From the Marshall Islands

This post originally appeared in the online anthropology magazine SAPIENS. Follow @SAPIENS_org on Twitter to discover more of their work.

From Jet Fuel to Medicine, Tobacco Growers Turn a New Leaf

It is notorious for its role in the expansion and continuation of American slavery, and for its adverse health effects.

Confessions of a Martian Rock

I look at rocks on Mars for a living—a lot of rocks. Because of this, I’ve gotten pretty good at knowing what to expect and what not to expect when analyzing the chemical make-up of a Martian rock.


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