space
NASA’s Flagship X-Ray Telescope Back Online After Weekend Safe Mode

One of NASA’s flagship telescopes, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, went into safe mode last week following gyroscope problems. That telescope is now back up and running. Read More >>

health
US Experts Are Being Kept Away From the Front Lines of the Latest Ebola Outbreak

The latest outbreak of Ebola virus disease to hit the Democratic Republic of Congo is only getting worse. But the US government has pulled its experts from the affected areas of the African country in recent weeks, citing safety concerns. Read More >>

climate change
Drink Beer While You Can Still Afford It

The climate apocalypse wants to strip us of everything sacred in this world. There are concerns about chocolate (though it isn’t going extinct), the future of wine, and even the potential loss of Tabasco sauce! Read More >>

animals
Drunk Pigeon Is All of Us, as Well as New Zealand’s Bird of the Year

New Zealand has some weird birds, and they know it. Sure, you’ve probably seen the Seussian kiwi, but what about the kākāpo, a flightless parrot that looks like a particularly friendly owl? Have you heard of the morepork, an owl so named because it sounds like it shouts “MORE PORK,” or the wrybill, the only bird with a crooked beak? But only one bird could be the bird of the year, so the country voted for the kererū, the drunken New Zealand wood pigeon. Read More >>

wtf
Believe It Or Not, This Image Isn’t Moving, Your Brain Is Screwing With You

Time to have your mind blown. See the image above, and how the shapes seem to move and slither around? It's not a GIF or other type of animation — it's 100 per cent static. In reality, your rascally visual cortex is doing all the work. Read More >>

doctor who
Doctor Who’s Gallifrey Would Be a Nightmarishly Awful Place to Live

The Doctor, the eponymous star of Doctor Who, doesn’t visit her homeworld very often. This isn’t just because the Time Lords are an irascible bunch; after consulting with several Who-obsessed scientists, it’s clear that Gallifrey is less like the strangely habitable planets of Star Wars and more like the worst place in the universe to live. Read More >>

health
This is a Brain Taken Over by Alzheimer’s

The effects of Alzheimer’s disease on the brain often go unnoticed for years, even decades. But researchers at Stanford University and the University of Oxford believe they’ve found a way to visualize how the disease slowly spreads and erodes the brain—a tool they hope can help other scientists better study the incurable, fatal ailment and others like it. Read More >>

science
This Hilarious Optical Illusion For Birds Could Save Your Life

Birds and planes are a bad combination, but it’s not so easy to shoo our avian friends away from airport runways. Thankfully, scientists from France have stumbled upon an ingenious solution to the problem—an optical illusion that appears to scare the crap out of large predatory birds. Read More >>

space
After Soyuz Failure, Space is Now Weirdly Inaccessible to Astronauts

All crewed launches have been suspended by Russia’s space agency following yesterday’s Soyuz rocket failure. That’s a problem, because much of the world relies on Russian rockets to get both cargo and people into space. Consequently, we’re now facing the very real possibility of having an uncrewed International Space Station—something that hasn’t happened in nearly two decades. Read More >>

pseudoscience
This Year’s ‘Worst Pseudoscience Award’ Goes to Anti-Vax Fraud Andrew Wakefield

Around this time last year The Skeptic Magazine awarded its Rusty Razor Award, designed to highlight the world's worst pseudoscience, to Gwyneth Paltrow's 'wellness' brand Goop. Because it had been peddling a bunch of non-scientific shit, some of which led to the company being fined for false advertising. The award is back again as part of this year's 'Ockham Awards', and it's just been announced that the infamous anti-vax activist (and former Doctor) Andrew Wakefield is the recipient. Read More >>

science
AI Still Sucks at Optical Illusions, So at Least we Have That Going for us

Optical illusions take advantage of shortcomings in the visual system. Certain special designs can trick our brain as it’s trying to process the information that’s coming in. Learning more about what can trick our minds would help us learn more about the human mind itself. Read More >>

science
Ancestry Sites Could Soon Expose Nearly Anyone’s Identity, Researchers Say

Genetic testing has helped plenty of people gain insight into their ancestry, and some services even help users find their long-lost relatives. But a new study published this week in Science suggests that the information uploaded to these services can be used to figure out your identity, regardless of whether you volunteered your DNA in the first place. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
Google’s AI Bots Invent Ridiculous New Legs to Scamper Through Obstacle Courses

Using a technique called reinforcement learning, a researcher at Google Brain has shown that virtual robots can redesign their body parts to help them navigate challenging obstacle courses—even if the solutions they come up with are completely bizarre. Read More >>

space
New Supernova Discovery Explains Landmark Neutron Star Collision

August 17, 2017 heralded one of the most important observations in astronomy’s history: two neutron stars colliding, sending both light and gravitational waves toward the Earth. But it left one question wide open: how two of these stellar corpses could have ended up orbiting each other in the first place. Read More >>

science
Hungry Dinosaurs May be the Reason Humans Need Sunscreen

What do blind cavefish, dinosaurs, and sunburnt humans have in common? A lot more than you may realise, according to a thought-provoking new study. Read More >>