Artist’s impression of a quasar shining through a galaxy’s ‘super halo’ of hydrogen gas.
A. Angelich (NRAO/AUI/NSF)
Astronomers are surprised by what they're finding out about galaxies that formed in the early days of our universe, now that sensitive telescopes allow direct observation, not the inference of old.
Developing lizard embryo beneath placental tissues.
Taking the placenta as a case study, researchers are able to piece together how new organs evolve, by repurposing old tissues and using them to do new jobs.
Have hackers driven us back to the age of the physical key?
Even as text-message two-factor authentication is just starting to become common, a newer method, a return to the era of the physical key, is nipping at its heels.
Molecular machines are ready to join forces and take on real-world work.
Research on molecular machines won last year's Nobel Prize in chemistry. Now scientists have figured out a way to get these tiny molecules to join forces and collaborate on real work on a macro scale.
Don’t underestimate what I get about the world around me.
Baby image via www.shutterstock.com.
A revolution in the tools and techniques developmental psychologists use to investigate kids' knowledge and capabilities is rewriting what we know about how and when children understand their world.
Indigenous games like ‘Honour Water’ can teach Indigenous values and ceremonial practices.
Honour Water/Elizabeth LaPensée
A strengthening movement of Indigenous designers and developers is working to show Indigenous cultures, teachings, languages and ways of knowing through video games.
Companies must work hard to keep their data safe.
Graphic via shutterstock.com
New standards and regulations are beginning to govern how companies protect customers' data. Companies ignore this vital issue at their peril, both financially and legally.
How does one set of genes result in huge horns in males and none at all in females?
How can the same basic genome produce such different forms in the two sexes of a single species? It turns out one gene can encode for various things, depending on the order its instructions are read.
Tor’s improvements can help users stay private and anonymous online.
Anonymous online via shutterstock.com
The Tor Project is upgrading its protections for internet users' privacy and anonymity. A scholar and volunteer member of the nonprofit effort explains what's changing and why.
How can investigators get into digital files?
Sherlock Holmes and computer via shutterstock.com
The technical consensus is clear: Adding 'backdoors' to encryption algorithms weakens everyone's security. So what are the police and intelligence agencies to do?
From person to person, the spread of online hate can be rapid.
Connections via shutterstock.com
Today's radical right is remaking its profile, using online communications to spread its message farther and deeper into our society than ever possible before.
Got to get to school on time.
Cropped from deanhochman/flickr
Every year, school districts across the U.S. try to plan out a bus schedule that works for all students while keeping costs and emissions low. Our mathematical models can help.
It will be quick and it will be hot.
1967 promotional image for the Amana Radarange
It's been five decades of microwave popcorn and piping hot leftovers in home kitchens. A serendipitous discovery helped engineers harness radar to create this now ubiquitous timesaving appliance.
Can an algorithm explain itself?
Robot decision via shutterstock.com
A European Union law will require human-understandable explanations for algorithms' decisions. A team of researchers has found a way to provide that, even for complex calculations.
Look ma, no gravity!
Every moment of life on our planet has had the force of gravity in the background. But the prospect of long-distance space travel means it's time to figure out what happens to our biology in its absence.
What if even you didn’t know your own password?
Password via shutterstock.com
As searches of smartphones and other digital devices at US borders become more common, can research and computer science help protect travelers' privacy?
The world is searching – will we protect ourselves?
Graphic via shutterstock.com
The latest release from WikiLeaks, of information about CIA hacking efforts, is yet another reminder of how Americans and our government must better protect our secret information.
There wouldn’t be statues acclaiming Darwin and his theory if it couldn’t stand up to decades of testing.
In science, the word 'theory' has a very specific meaning that's easy for nonscientists to misunderstand or misconstrue. Here's what a theory must withstand to be accepted by the scientific community.
No common standard: CHAdeMO, CCS and Tesla Supercharger plugs.
CHAdeMO: C-CarTom; CCS: Hadhuey; Tesla: Paul Sladen
Standards, like electrical plugs, are usually so simple we don't even really notice them. But they're extremely important: Good ones can drive innovation; bad ones can stifle growth.
How you package the information matters.
Frame image via www.shutterstock.com.
Are we in a race against climate change? Or is it a war? How does thinking of the past or the future affect your support for the science? Researchers are learning how metaphors and context matter.
How many people are trying to connect America’s cities?
Network workers via shutterstock.com
World-class fiber-based internet service is available in less than a quarter of Los Angeles County. By contrast, it's almost ubiquitous in Stockholm and Paris.
Upper teeth of a Neanderthal who lived about 40,000 years ago.
Anthropologists gather clues about how our ancient ancestors lived from their teeth. What will future anthropologists make of us based on the fossilized pearly whites we'll leave behind?
Trolling can spread from person to person.
Cropped from Ayana T. Miller/flickr
You might think that trolling on the internet is done by a small, vocal minority of sociopaths. But what if all trolls aren’t born trolls? What if they are ordinary people like you and me?
Does your nose grow if it’s a falsehood, not a lie?
Alternate realities don't just exist in politics – and not all falsehoods are lies. Distortions of the truth can range from a normal part of human nature to pathological.
Achievement unlocked: Rewritable paper.
Coating paper with an inexpensive thin film can allow users to print and erase a physical page as many as 80 times. That reduces both the cost and the environmental effects of paper use.