Elon Musk has built a US$12 billion company in an endeavour to pave the way to Mars for humanity. He insists that Mars is a “long-term insurance policy” for “the light of consciousness” in the face of climate change, extinction events, and our recklessness with technology. On the other hand, astronaut Chris Hadfield is sceptical: “Humanity is not going extinct,” he told me.
Did the National Security Agency plant spyware deep in the hard drives of thousands of computers used by foreign governments, banks and other surveillance targets around the world? A new report from Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab said its researchers identified a new family of malicious programs or worms that infected computers in multiple countries, primarily overseas.
This 40x photo of a rotifer shows the mouth interior and heart-shaped corona. It won 1st Place in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope, and was taken using differential interference contrast.
Astronomers have their own version of the single person's dilemma: Do you wait by the phone for a call? Or do you make the call yourself and risk getting shot down? Instead of love, of course, astronomers are looking for alien life and, for decades, they have sat by their telescopes waiting to hear from E.T. It didn't happen. Now, some want to beam messages out into the void and invite the closest few thousand worlds to chat or even visit.
To bring facts and clarity to the public debate about immunization in light of the recent measles outbreak, the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health unveiled a computer simulation that explores the impact of measles outbreaks in cities across the U.S. Users can see how an outbreak would play out if their city had high or low vaccination rates.
Valentine's Day is special for NASA's Voyager mission. It was on February 14, 1990, that the Voyager 1 spacecraft looked back at our solar system and snapped the first-ever pictures of the planets from its perch at that time beyond Neptune. This "family portrait" captures Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, Earth and Venus from Voyager 1's unique vantage point.
Cyberspace is the new "Wild West," President Barack Obama said, with everyone looking to the government to be the sheriff. But he told the private sector it must do more to stop cyber attacks aimed at the U.S. every day. Obama signed an executive order aimed at making it easier for private firms to have access to classified information about cyber attacks.
Researchers have developed a new, automated method for classifying hundreds of kilometers of the deep sea floor, in a way that is more cost efficient, quicker and more objective than previously possible, estimating geographic distribution of life on the sea floor using a combination of submarine mapping technology, statistics and a landscape ecology technique called Niche Theory.
This image from the Landsat-8 satellite acquired on September 23, 2014, brings us over the southwest United States: Nevada and Arizona. Las Vegas with its grid-like urban plan is visible near the center. Sitting in a basin of the Mojave Desert, the city is surrounded by a number of mountain ranges.
During the second half of the 21st century, the U.S. Southwest and Great Plains will face persistent drought worse than anything seen in times ancient or modern, with the drying conditions “driven primarily” by human-induced global warming, a new study predicts. The research says the drying would surpass in severity any of the decades-long “megadroughts” that occurred much earlier during the past 1,000 years.
How can we preserve our knowledge today for the next millennia? Researchers have found a way to store information in the form of DNA, preserving it for nearly an eternity. As encapsulation in silica is roughly comparable to that in fossilized bones, researchers could draw on prehistoric information about long-term stability and calculate a prognosis: through storage in low temperatures, DNA-encoded information can survive.
The team responsible for the Oscar-nominated visual effects at the center of Christopher Nolan’s epic, Interstellar, have turned science fiction into science fact by providing new insights into the powerful effects of black holes. The team describes innovative computer code used to generate the film’s iconic images of the wormhole, black hole and various celestial objects, and explains how the code has led them to new science discoveries.
A towering figure in physics who helped shape our understanding of the universe, Nobel laureate Val Logsdon Fitch died peacefully February 5, 2015. He was 91. Known for foundational contributions to the standard model of particle physics, Fitch is remembered for his modesty and his kindness as well as for his experiments and insight into the fundamental nature of matter.
The sequencing machines that run today produce data several orders of magnitude faster than the machines used in the Human Genome Project. We at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute currently produce more sequences in one hour than we did in our first 10 years of operation. A great deal of computational resource is then needed to process that data.
Connecting different kinds of devices, not just computers and communications devices, to the Internet could lead to new ways of working with a wide range of machinery, sensors, domestic and other appliances. Researchers suggest that we are on the verge of another technological revolution, but practicalities and legal obstacles may stymie the development of the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) if they are not addressed quickly.