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A Brilliant Life: Stephen Hawking Defied All Odds

Soon after I enrolled as a graduate student at Cambridge University in 1964, I encountered a fellow student, two years ahead of me in his studies, who was unsteady on his feet and spoke with great difficulty.

NASA's Next Stop: A Space Station Orbiting The Moon

The International Space Station is entering its twilight years. As such, NASA is making plans for the space station of the future — one that would orbit the moon.

Daylight Saving Time Has a Dark Side

A train hurtled around a corner at 82 mph, eventually coming off the rails and killing four passengers.

Beneath an Outhouse, a 19th Century Brothel's Secrets Are Revealed

For Jade Luiz, a graduate student in archaeology at Boston University, historical archaeology is all about detective work.

Coffee: A Most Enigmatic, Ubiquitous Beverage

Legend has it that coffee was discovered by a goat herder around 850 AD in what is now Ethiopia. It soon spread around the globe and is currently consumed by billions of people every day.

Fever of the Rat

Back in the 1980s, S.O.S. calls after midnight were common in the field of infectious disease. And as soon as my pager started to trill, I turned on my bedside lamp and dialed—often within thirty seconds.

Computers Learn to Imagine the Future

In many ways, the human brain is still the best computer around. For one, it’s highly efficient. Our largest supercomputers require millions of watts, enough to power a small town, but the human brain uses approximately the same energy as a 20-watt bulb.

Let's End the Debate About Video Games and Violence

In the wake of the Valentine’s Day shooting at a Broward County, Florida high school, a familiar trope has reemerged: Often, when a young man is the shooter, people try to blame the tragedy on violent video games and other forms of media.

What a Fossil Revolution Reveals About the History of ‘Big Data’

In 1981, when I was nine years old, my father took me to see Raiders of the Lost Ark. Although I had to squint my eyes during some of the scary scenes, I loved it – in particular because I was fairly sure that Harrison Ford’s character was based on my dad.

Space Wars Will Look Nothing Like Star Wars

Darting spaceships. Dazzling lasers. Fiery explosions. All of these are things that a war in space would almost certainly not involve.

Astonishing Ways Animals Ensure Their Sperm Win

We all know that individuals fight over potential love interests. Just think of Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) and Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) scuffling, rather impotently, over Bridget Jones in a fountain.

How to Spot the Language of Depression

From the way you move and sleep, to how you interact with people around you, depression changes just about everything.

Peek Inside a Meerkat's Mazelike Manor

I’m a scientist and my job is to look below the surface of the earth. One of the questions often asked of people working with what we call geophysical imaging is, “How deep can you see?

A Startup Mentality Gives Public Research a Lift

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Defense became the latest agency to adopt a burgeoning start-up boot camp pioneered by the National Science Foundation’s Errol Arkilic.

Is Harmful Corporate Research Ever Justified?

The recent allegations that researchers funded by the German car industry tested the effects of diesel fumes on humans and monkeys has raised serious questions about research ethics in the corporate world.

Could Personal 'Carbon Accounts' Decelerate Climate Change?

A recent call from British Member's of Parlaiment to put a 25 pence levy on disposable coffee cups, and bans on plastic products cropping up across the country, show that the UK is getting serious about tackling collective individual behavior which threatens the environment.

Long Before Amazon Go, There Was Keedoozle

Maslow’s motivational pyramid is but a house of cards if we don’t eat. And ever since we started shoving sustenance into our gullets, our species has devised means to do it faster—lest we beleaguer our journey to transcendence.

Flu Season Has Exposed Life-Threatening Flaws in Medical Supply Chains

Flu season in the U.S. typically peaks in February, but this year’s outbreak is already one of the worst on record.

What Happened the Last Time Antarctica Melted?

Earlier this week, an international team of geologists and climate scientists parked their ship off the coast of West Antarctica and started drilling.

Cringeworthy Dental Procedures of Ancient Times

Most people don’t enjoy going to the dentist. There’s just something off-putting about having your mouth wide open while someone’s scratching and scraping your precious chompers.


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