October 01, 2014

9:15 PM | Werid Crystal Can Absorb All The Oxygen In A Room -- And Then Release It Later
Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark say they’ve invented a crystal that pulls oxygen out of the air and even water. Apparently, just a spoonful of the stuff can suck up all the oxygen in a room.  The Oxygen-Absorbing Material. U. of Southern Denmark The crystal is a salt made from cobalt*, and it appears to be capable of holding oxygen at a concentration that is 160 times higher than the air we breathe. The paper notes that "an excess" of the […]

September 30, 2014

8:30 PM | Video: How Tiny Sea Monkeys Drive Huge Ocean Currents
Remember those old sea monkey kits, with the pictures that made it look like you could raise tiny mermen in a fish tank? My parents never bought me one (despite my best efforts), but apparently a lot of kids were severely disappointed when their freeze-dried eggs hatched and looked like this instead: This Is What Sea Monkeys Actually Look Like. © Hans Hillewaert via Wikimedia Commons Well, it turns out that we may have dramatically underestimated the sea monkey (a.k.a. […]

September 25, 2014

8:15 PM | Earth's Water Is Older Than The Sun
A Star Is Born. Some of Earth's water started out in an interstellar cloud (top left) that later got incorporated into the fledgling solar system. Bill Saxton, NSF/AUI/NRAO Since water is one of the vital ingredients for life on Earth, scientists want to know how it got here. One theory is that the water in our solar system was created in the chemical afterbirth of the Sun. If that were the case, it would suggest that water might only be common around certain stars […]

September 18, 2014

7:45 PM | Throwback Thursday: Bullet Trains, Floating Toilets, And A Really Big Bridge
September 1964 Cover Popular Science On this Throwback Thursday, we go back 50 years to the Popular Science of September 1964.  What To Do When Your Brakes Fail "You start down a long, steep mountain grade at a fast clip, and suddenly find you have no brakes." Our September 1964 cover story explained what you should do in this nightmare scenario, as well as how to handle five other car crises.  The Verrazano-Narrows Was The […]

September 17, 2014

5:00 PM | Big Pic: A Texas-Sized Algae Bloom
The Arabian Sea's Algae Bloom, As Seen From From Space. Norman Kuring/NASA Lake Erie has gotten a lot of attention recently because of its toxic algal blooms, and all that attention seems to have made the Arabian Sea green with envy.  A paper in Nature Communications reports that a phytoplankton named Noctiluca scintillans has invaded a dead-zone off the coast of India, where it's threatening to disrupt natural foodchains as well as the local fishing […]

September 15, 2014

4:30 PM | Here's Where The Rosetta Lander Will Touch Down ... Or Crash
Look Out Below! Philae will attempt a landing at Site J, shown here, in November. ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA The European Space Agency has finally chosen a target for Rosetta’s lander. The Rosetta spacecraft arrived at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August, after a 10-year journey. Since then the orbiter has been circling the comet, looking for the perfect spot to deploy a lander onto the surface of the […]

September 11, 2014

10:23 PM | Throwback Thursday: Musical Cakes, Windshield Wiper Fluid, And The End Of The World
On this Throwback Thursday, we go back 75 years to the Popular Science of September 1939.  The Magazine Cost 15 Cents But it was worth 25! (In 2014, each copy will cost you $5 on the newsstand.) September 1939 Popular Science Things We Take For Granted Now Were Brand New, Like... Cameras in Police Cars Movie Camera In Police Car Puts Evidence On Film. There's no arguing with the testimony of this movie camera. Popular Science And […]

September 09, 2014

9:30 PM | Crops Grow On Fake Moon And Mars Soil
Conceptual Rendering Of A Greenhouse On Mars. Maybe greenhouses on Mars wouldn't have to be hydroponic after all. NASA If humans ever set up permanent bases on the Moon or Mars, we'll need to be able to grow our own food there. To find out whether that’s actually possible, a team of scientists in the Netherlands planted 14 plant species in soils that simulate the Martian and lunar regolith. It turned out that the Martian soil simulant was better than some Earth […]

September 08, 2014

6:45 PM | WHO Endorses Blood Transfusions to Combat Ebola
Blood Transfusion El Avi via Flickr CC By 2.0 In the fight against the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, the World Health Organization has declared that treating patients with the blood of Ebola survivors should be a top priority.   The latest count suggests that more than 3,700 people across five West African countries have been infected in the ongoing outbreak -- and 1848 have died. As the epidemic continues to grow, public health officials are resorting to more […]

September 05, 2014

2:00 PM | Remembering The Great War: The Outbreak
Three British soldiers in trench under fire during World War I Library of Congress This year marks the centennial of the start of the First World War. To honor it, Popular Science is combing through our archives to bring you the best of our original war coverage--from the emergence of tanks, airplanes, and other military tech, to essays examining the relationship between war and eugenics.  The first post in our "Remembering The Great War" series comes from the […]

September 04, 2014

10:41 PM | Throwback Thursday: An Adventure Down Under, And Scientists Ponder What Makes A Duck A Duck
A Map Of Maer Island In The Torres Straits. Popular Science In this edition of Throwback Thursday we travel 100 years into the past. In those days, Popular Science was called “The Popular Science Monthly.” It had no distinct sections. All the articles were written by scientists, and almost all of them were dozens of pages long with little to no pictures. There wasn't even a website! Still, there’s some good stuff in there. Here are the highlights from […]

September 03, 2014

5:20 PM | A Prosthetic Leg That Plugs Directly Into The Skeleton
Classic Leg Prostheses. If a new technique can prove its worth, it could send these clunky ball-and-socket prostheses the way of the dinosaurs. Cpl Richard Cave RLC (Phot)/MOD There are a lot of fancy, high-tech prosthetics out there. Some can read electrical signals from the nerves and muscles of the remaining tissue, while others even interface with the brain to read a person’s intentions when she, say, wants to reach for a chocolate […]
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