This is how the Moon looks under the microscope!

The Apollo program returned 380.05 kg of lunar rocks and soil, and most of the samples are stored at the Lunar Sample Laboratory Facility. The samples of rocks, breccias, and regolith were polished into thin sections, allowing for optical geologic studies to be performed on them.

Pause the cat video and read this article: or keep watching cat videos, science says it’s awesome

A study conducted by assistant professor Jessica Gall Myrick, surveyed almost 7,000 people about their viewing of cat videos and how it affects their moods, to try and find out why so many of us enjoy seeing the furry little pets on video.

California’s grasslands suffer from drought, reducing wildflower diversity

The team looked at 15-years worth of data on California’s grasslands, and documented declining plant diversity from 2000 to 2014 at both the local community (5 m2) and landscape (27 km2) scales, across multiple functional groups and soil environments. They found a link between wildflower diversity decline to significant decreases in midwinter precipitation.

Some models no longer available: Earth enters its 6th mass extinction phase, humans accelerate the losses

Geological evidence indicate that our planet has seen five mass extinction cycles since life first appeared on the planet. While they sound like the kind of cataclysmic events that only beardy men with huge boats survive through (read that in a book once, so it must be true), they are actually an integral part of life. The cycles free up

Rising oceans and sinking bread: how climate change might ruin loaves

A research group working at the Australian Grains Free Air CO₂ Enrichment facility (AgFace) in Victoria is studying the effect elevated carbon dioxide will have on crops such as wheat, lentils, canola and field pea. They grow experimental crops in the open, surrounded by thin tubes that eject carbon dioxide into the air around the plants. Findings show that crops have higher yield (up to 25% more), but less proteins. Elevated CO2 also seems to ruin bread made from the grown wheat.

Gold doesn’t fall out of the sky – but it’s created in the heavens

Research based on recent observations of a nearby gamma-ray burst, GRB 130603B, help explain how gold, silver and other heavy metal atoms are created.

NASA releases 4K timelapse of photos taken from the ISS – artists create epic videos

As the ISS hurtles in orbit around the Earth, an eternal freefall at 17,100 mph, its cameras, and the astronauts on board, are capturing images and footage of our planet below — much of which is from NASA, and therefore public domain.

Maasai women bring (solar powered) light to fend off predators lurking in the night

A new project started by Green Energy Africa in September 2014 has brought solar energy to 2,000 homes in Naiputa county alone, and put new power into the hands of women who sell affordable solar installations.

Smithsonian slow motion video shows plant’s explosive birth

The guys over at the Smithsonian Channel run a great show about plants. One of the recent short videos they posted online show how violets, touch me nots, and squirting cucumbers employ an impressive ballistic seed dispersal mechanism.

Arctic warms, polar bears switch diet: dolphins now on the menu

Known to feed mainly on seals, the images Jon Aars at the Norwegian Polar Institute captured of a polar bear dining on dolphins is a “culinary” first for the species. The photographs were taken in the Norwegian High Arctic, mid-April 2014. The bear was seen feeding on the carcass of one white-beaked dolphin, and covering another with snow.

Three dimensional printing goes metal: University of Twente researchers print copper and gold

The development of a method that would allow for metals to be used in 3D printing would open up a huge range of new possibilities, as the robustness and good thermal and electrical conductivity of metals lend well to a number of fields, such as microelectronics. A team from the University of Twente has developed a way to print 3D structures out of copper and gold, by using a pulsed laser to melt a thin film of metal and stacking the small droplets.

Study shakes answers out of the shaking disease: human prion immunity gene isolated

A recent study involving a Papua New Guinea tribe that practiced cannibalistic funeral customs sheds new light on prion-related conditions such as mad cow disease.

Green America: how to turn the power grid 100% eco friendly by 2050

Converting the power infrastructure to rely on clean, renewable energy seems like a daunting, expensive and some would say, unachievable task. But Mark Z. Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford, and his colleagues, including U.C. Berkeley researcher Mark Delucchi, are the first to outline how each of the 50 states can achieve such a transition by 2050.

Tanktastic: a brief overview of the modern-day knight in shining armour

We here at ZME Science aren’t very fond of war. We much rather prefer to drink beer in the shade and solve our differences with rock-paper-scissors. But we (meaning I) also think that tanks are really awesome. They embody so much of what humanity has learned over the millennia. From fire and mining used to forge the hulls of these behemoths, to gunpowder that sends a shell kilometers away to a point that we can calculate with equations that some of the brightest minds have made possible. We spent centuries learning how to build their beating hearts.

Seven new species of frogs discovered – they’re tiny, and they’re adorable

Seven miniature species of frogs living on seven different mountain tops sounds like the premise for the next Kung Fu Panda sequel. But as researcher Marcio Pie of the Federal University of Parana and his colleagues show in a paper published in PeerJ., it is what they have found in the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil.

Radio(attr)active: Japan to raise its nuclear power ratio to 20% by 2030

The island country is preparing to launch a new energy policy, seeking to curb costs and promote the use of environmentally friendly sources of power.

Spacewalking in the 60’s: Edward White’s EVA mission.

Fifty years ago today, on June 3rd, 1965, 19:46, astronaut Edward White pushed away from the Gemini 4 capsule and into history as the first American to walk in space. Although a Russian had been the first to float in space, Ed White was determined to be the first to use jet propulsion to actually maneuver himself in space. With millions of

Key findings help unravel journey from inanimate chemistry to life

In the beginning, the Earth’s surface was a lifeless, hot, but chemically rich place. In these harsh conditions, the first amino acids synthesized from inorganic compounds, and from them, proteins formed. They built the first single cells, which went on to form plants and animals. Recent research helped us understand the process that created amino acids, and there is a widespread consensus in the scientific community as to the path cells took to evolve to complex life as we know it today.

4000 years of human civilizations charted, the Histomap

Created by John B. Sparks and first printed by Rand McNally, the Histomap started selling in 1931 for the price of US$1. Folded in a green cover that advertised it as “clear, vivid, and shorn of elaboration,” and promising to “hold you enthralled”, the 5-foot-long work of historic awesomeness aims to deliver big.

Soft, squishy and powerful: The Royal Institute of Technology creates batteries from trees

A team of researchers from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stanford University has developed a method for making elastic, shock-resistant, high-capacity batteries from wood pulp.