Science + Technology – Articles, Analysis, Opinion

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Crowds watch as the space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. AP Photo/Phil Sandlin

Would a Space Force mean the end of NASA?

The United States already has a space agency: NASA. So why do we need a Space Force, and what would it do? Could a Space Force strain diplomatic relationships, reigniting the race to militarize space?
An artist depiction of a biofilm harboring antibiotic-resistant rod-shaped and spherical bacteria. Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock.com

How scientists are fighting infection-causing biofilms

Smooth surfaces often provide nooks and crannies for bacteria to hold onto and create a colony. New research with nanoparticles is revealing the secrets of surfaces that prevent bacterial attachment.
Hormone signals help ready worker mole-rats to treat pups as their own. belizar/Shutterstock.com

Eating royal poop improves parenting in naked mole-rats

Worker naked mole-rats take care of their colony's young even though they aren't the pups' actual parents. New research suggests the queen gets them ready via hormones in her poop.
Visiting an extreme haunted house can be delightfully terrifying. AP Photo/John Minchillo

Why is it fun to be frightened?

Visiting a haunted house or watching a horror movie can be terrifying and enjoyable at the same time. A sociologist explains the psychological benefits of being safely scared.
The bubbly cloud, called Puppis A, is an irregular shock wave, generated by a supernova that would have been witnessed on Earth 3,700 years ago. NASA

Solving the mystery of the wimpy supernova

A massive star, with a radius 500 times that of our sun, exploded. But the supernova fizzled – it was weak and dim. Figuring out what went wrong led to insights about how rare binary star systems form.
Every surface of our body – inside and out – is covered in microorganisms: bacteria, viruses, fungi and many other microscopic life forms. vrx/Shutterstock.com

Meet the trillions of viruses that make up your virome

Just because you don't have the flu doesn't mean that your aren't teeming with viruses inside and out. But what are all these viruses doing, if they aren't making you sick?
When many people hear the word cloning, they imagine armies of human clones created for nefarious purposes. andriano.cz/Shutterstock.com

Could villains clone themselves to take over the world?

A scientist explains how researchers use cloning in the lab and what is the difference between cloning a gene versus cloning an entire organism.
Only 3 percent of these prizes have gone to women since 1901. Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski

Why more women don’t win science Nobels

Progress has been made toward gender parity in science fields. But explicit and implicit barriers still hold women back from advancing in the same numbers as men to the upper reaches of STEM academia.
Research is finding better ways to make batteries both big and small. Romaset/Shutterstock.com

New materials are powering the battery revolution

Is it too much to dream of batteries that are part of the structure of an item, helping to shape the form of a smartphone, car or building while also powering its functions?
Does your body give away if you’re lying or not? AP Photo/Edward Kitch

Is a polygraph a reliable lie detector?

It would be great to know for sure when someone is lying and when someone is telling the truth. But no technology that purports to do so is foolproof.
A Falcon 9 SpaceX heavy rocket lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Feb. 6, 2018. AP Photo/ John Raoux

A decade of commercial space travel – what’s next?

It has been 10 years since Elon Musk's SpaceX launched the commercial space age. What hurdles must be overcome before private companies begin exploring, colonizing and mining other planets?