28 articles
  • youngfrank

    How Bioprinting Has Turned Frankenstein’s Mad Science Sane

    In the United States alone more than 120,000 people are waiting for organ transplants, and many will die before their turns come. What if they didn’t have to wait, because doctors could print out replacement organs on demand?That’s the ultimate goal of bioprinting, a seemingly sci-fi spinoff of the burgeoning industry of 3D printers. If […]
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    The Word “Million” Didn’t Exist Until We Needed It

    I would cut off my right hand if you find it.” That was the guarantee retired Columbia history lecturer Jens Ulff-Møller made that there was no word for “million” in Old English, a medieval predecessor of the language you’re currently reading. Some Anglo-Saxon writers understood the idea of a million, and they had a term for it: a “thousand […]
  • handgrave

    Here’s How to Make Climate Change Extra Scary

    Thirty thousand years ago, a woolly mammoth in Siberia shed a giant virus. It soon became encased in ice and, for tens of thousands of years, the virus slept.As global temperatures warm and the permafrost begins to melt, the virus stirs. It is sucked into the nostril of a researcher where it injects its DNA […]
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    Why Virtual Classes Can Be Better Than Real Ones

    An engineering professor takes online-course critics to school.
  • Article Recirculation Lead Image

    Here’s Why Most Neuroscientists Are Wrong About the Brain

    Most neuroscientists believe that the brain learns by rewiring itself—by changing the strength of connections between brain cells, or neurons. But experimental results published last year, from a lab at Lund University in Sweden, hint that we need to change our approach. They suggest the brain learns in a way more analogous to that of […]
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    How Many Real Friends Can You Have at Once?

    My wife can’t seem to walk for a half-hour around Ottawa, a city with nearly a million people, without running into at least three of her friends. Some people, like my wife, seem to have a zillion of them, while others appear to be content with just a handful. Having more friends seems like a […]

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    Why Uber Has To Start Using Self-Driving Cars

    In the span of nearly 5 years, Uber has gone from a limited launch in San Francisco to offering rides in more than 300 cities worldwide. In China alone, despite existing in a legal gray zone, the company claims it arranges 1 million rides per day. That means 35 Chinese people hop into an Uber […]

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    The World’s Most Inspirational Iceberg Is a Fake

    What do the Volkswagen diesel scandal and the European migrant crisis have in common? They’ve both been referred to as the “tip of the iceberg.” The popular expression reflects the fact that, as impressive as the visible portion of an iceberg is, the vast majority of it (usually about 90%) is underwater. Over the past […]

  • Rees_HERO

    Why Alien Life Will Be Robotic

    If life off Earth exists it has probably transitioned to machine intelligence.

  • Rowe_HERO-3

    A Travel Guide for the Fourth Dimension

    Say goodbye to stable orbits and knotted shoelaces.

  • Powell_HERO

    Will Quantum Mechanics Swallow Relativity?

    The contest between gravity and quantum physics takes a new turn.