Feature Post, Space

How 2016 Presidential Candidates See Space Exploration

US presidential candidates 2016 space exploration

I know you don’t like it, but the truth is science is politicized since, ultimately, serious research depends on funding. That doesn’t mean, though, that politicians aren’t sympathetic or that they do not understand the importance of science. Some seem to do, anyway. But perhaps the most vulnerable area of science to politics, however, is space exploration. Year after year, it seems like NASA’s budget keep thinning. Although NASA is still the most resourceful space agency in the world and despite some amazing achievements (Curiosity rover on Mars or New Horizon’s flyby past Pluto, just to name a few), things could be a lot better. Arguably, if NASA kept its stellar budget during the Apollo era, we would’ve likely been on Mars by now, maybe even with a permanent outpost.

Animals, Environmental Issues

The world is on the brink of a sixth massive extinction

The rate of extinctions on Earth has grown tremendously following the industrial revolution.

The world’s next massive extinction will most likely be caused not by an asteroid impact, volcano activity or alien invasion, but by us humans. A study that looked at the past and present rates of extinction found that plants and animals are going extinct 1,000 times faster than they did before humans walked on Earth’s surface. So, is it clear

Animals, Great Pics

The stunning biodiversity of New England’s catterpilars

cat-11

We don’t often think about caterpillars. Caterpillars are generally regarded as voracious eaters and many of them are considered agricultural pests, but beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, and for Samuel Jaffe, they are definitely beautiful.     The furry, fluorescent, grubby little creatures we often find inching along our trees and sidewalks fascinate Jeffe, who takes pictures of them to help

News, Psychology

Sweeping hormones make stock brokers take riskier decisions

stressed brokers

It’s not just teenagers who let hormones get the best of them, stock brokers do it all the time, according to a new study. Only, in this case, the consequences might be far worse than a family meltdown: we’re talking about global markets crashes.

Health & Medicine, News

One in Eight HIV-positive Americans are not aware they’re carrying the virus

HIV blood test

A new extensive report carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found approximately 1 in 8 Americans with human immunodeficiency disease (HIV) are unaware of their condition. Overall, that means 14 percent of undiagnosed cases among 1.2 million patients with HIV in the US. An undiagnosed population is the prime contributor to the spread of the disease. Clearly, there’s much room for improvement.

Health & Medicine, News

This baby was born with a rare condition that deformed his skull

Matthew Boler

Meet Matthew, a bright eyes, chubby cheeked baby. On the outside he looks and behaves like any regular baby his age, with one exception: an usually oblong-shaped head. At first, his parents dismissed it as a family feature, but when Matthew turned two months and visited the pediatrician for his regular check-up the doctor immediately knew something was wrong when

News, Physics

Scientists control the path of lightning using lasers

Spectacular long exposure photo of lightning strikes. Credit: n5mbm.net

Thousands of lightning bolts strike the Earth’s surface roughly every couple of seconds, but despite their ubiquity this phenomena is somewhat poorly understand. Lightning is also unpredictable. While humans have been placing lightning rods for centuries to increase the probability of striking in a certain fixed point, its path can not be controlled. That may be true in nature, but in the confinement of a lab of the INRS Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications research centre (Varennes, QC, Canada), scientists have defied this common knowledge and used lasers to coax lighting to follow a predefined path.

News, Observations, Space

The Moon is shrouded by a dust cloud, and a mystery still stands

(Photo: © Bloomsbury Auctions)

The Moon doesn’t have an atmosphere, but it is surrounded by a thick dust cloud; the dust constantly falls down to the lunar surface, but new dust constantly jumps to replenish it. The pattern of dust falling back to its home “in due time … will fill in craters,” says the University of Colorado, Boulder’s Mihaly Horanyi, who led the team

Biology, News, Physics

Scientists find how worms brains’ feel magnetism

The neural system of the C. Elegans worm. Image via SFU.

It’s no secret that many animals can sense the Earth’s magnetic field, but until now, researchers didn’t know exactly how they could do this – what the sensor was. Now, a team from the University of Texas at Austin has found a simple, antenna-like structure in the brain of the simple worm C. Elegans that appears to be able to detect magnetic fields.

News, Space

Musk seeks permission from the FCC to test his ambitious space internet

SpaceX's Elon Musk eyes satellite internet. Photo: SpaceX

Later last year, ZME Science revealed that one of Elon Musk’s top priorities in the future is deploying a massive fleet of micro-satellites into Earth’s low orbit to provide internet and mobile data. The plan is to serve internet to billions in the developing world, but to do so the service needs to be very, very cheap. At the same time, while launching thousands of satellites into space doesn’t sound particularly cheap, but if there’s any company good at launching cargo into space affordably that’s SpaceX. This isn’t exactly a pipe dream, and Musk seems very serious about it considering he just filled an official request to the FCC to gain permission for a test of the satellite internet, according to the Washington Post.