science
Why I Went Birdwatching at a Particle Physics Lab

We drove past the perfect-circle frozen pond delineating the Booster – the second in a sequence of Fermilab’s particle accelerators – and then onto the 2-mile ring road that traces the tunnel that houses the Main Injector accelerator. Along the road are unfrozen ponds filled with water used for cooling research equipment, where Canada geese have taken up residence by the hundreds. We stopped to scan for any rarer geese that might have joined the flock as several crows flew overhead. Read More >>

science
Carnivorous Dinosaur Discovered in the US Was a True Jurassic Nightmare

One of the things that really bugs me about the Jurassic Park movies is the prominent role given to Tyrannosaurus rex – a dinosaur that didn’t appear until the ensuing Cretaceous period. I am therefore thrilled to learn about Allosaurus jimmadseni, a newly described apex predator that, unlike T. rex, actually lived during the Jurassic and was sufficiently terrifying enough to star in Hollywood films. Read More >>

science
This Locked Cabinet Holds the Answer to One of the Biggest Questions in Particle Physics

A 50-foot ring topped with white insulation sits attached to wires, pipes, and other electrical components in a warehouse on Fermilab’s northern Illinois campus. Scientists taking data with this device have the potential to rock the field of particle physics to its core, but they’re missing a crucial number to make their final calculation: the ticking speed of a clock that’s kept in a back room hidden in a locked compartment. Today, only two people know this value, and they keep it in hidden envelopes. They’re not telling anyone what it is. Read More >>

natural disasters
A Massive Locust Swarm Poses an ‘Unprecedented Threat’ to East Africa

A grim report from the United Nations warns that unusually large swarms of locusts will be descending upon East Africa in the coming months, in what could be the worst infestation in a quarter century. The pests could pose a serious risk to crops and livelihoods in the region. Read More >>

health
Here Are the Latest Updates on the Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak

American federal health officials have identified a second US case of the deadly new coronavirus that’s sent parts of China into lockdown, America's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday. While officials say that the risk to the US from the virus remains low, the overall situation worldwide is set to get worse before it gets better. Read More >>

smell
For People Who Can’t Smell, Life Can Be Full of Peril

A recent study is one of the first to highlight the plights faced by a small segment of the population: people who can’t smell the world around them normally. In it, sufferers describe feeling depressed, unable to enjoy eating, and sometimes even scared for their lives. Read More >>

wtf
Scientists Just Made a 3,000-Year-Old Mummy ‘Speak’

Have you ever wondered what an ancient Egyptian mummy would sound like if it could talk? A wild new scientific experiment has finally answered this burning question, but the result is perhaps less impressive (and certainly less ominous) than you might think. Read More >>

space
America’s Plan to Pepper Space With Surveillance Satellites Is Taking Shape

New details have emerged about the US Pentagon’s ambitious plan to build seven different defence constellations, the first of which will include hundreds of surveillance satellites that are expected to attain full global coverage in just six years. Read More >>

robots
Using Force-Like Powers This Robotic Gripper Can Grab Things Without Touching Them

Engineers have developed robots that are capable of picking up objects as delicate as eggs or grapes without damaging them, but soon they could handle even the smallest and most fragile components using a new gripper design that can lift and manipulate objects without actually touching them. Read More >>

science
Stress Really Can Turn Your Hair White, Mouse Experiment Suggests

The idea that fright or any other kind of stress can turn hair white has endured for centuries. But a new study this week – in mice – provides some of the first concrete evidence of this phenomenon existing. It might also offer a biological explanation for how it happens. Read More >>

science
Victims of Ancient Vesuvius Eruption Were Baked, Not Vaporised, According to New Research

A novel analysis of the skeletal remains of Vesuvius victims who sought shelter during the catastrophic eruption 2,000 years ago suggests they endured a slower death than is typically appreciated. Read More >>

health
Deadly Wuhan Virus in China May Have Come from Snakes, Scientists Say

As an outbreak of a newly discovered SARS-like virus threatens to spiral out of control in China, some scientists think they’ve uncovered its animal origins. Their new research suggests the virus is native to snakes. Read More >>

environment
The World Was Supposed to Eliminate This Greenhouse Gas – But Emissions Hit a New High Instead

The world’s quest to reduce an extremely potent greenhouse gas isn’t going as well as we thought it was, according to a new study. HFC-23, known as fluoroform, is a greenhouse gas that has 12,000 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide does. Read More >>

science
Why the Latest Sunscreen-in-the-Blood Study Shouldn’t Scare You

A US government-led study looking at whether certain sunscreen filters can possibly affect the body is making the rounds. But while its conclusions are worth caring about, you shouldn’t panic, and you definitely shouldn’t stop using sunscreen. Read More >>