Our Universe Could be Littered With Alien Viruses — and We Should be Looking for Them

It’s generally agreed that some kind of microbe will be the first form of life we discover on another planet, moon, or other space rock. But hardly anyone thinks we’ll find an alien virus, which is weird, given how prolific and successful these biological entities are on Earth. A new study seeks to correct this oversight, calling for an entirely new discipline known as “astrovirology.” Read More >>

Sunken Tanker Spawns Four Giant Oil Spills in East China Sea

It’s been four days since the Sanchi Iranian oil tanker sank in the East China Sea, and officials are carefully monitoring the ensuing spill, which has now spread into four distinct slicks. The toxic spill now encompasses an area 40 square miles in size, threatening local marine wildlife and the coasts of Japan and South Korea. Read More >>

Saturn’s Fascinating Moon Titan Has Yet Another Thing In Common With Earth

Titan—Saturn’s largest moon—is remarkable in that it features a dense atmosphere and stable liquid at the surface. The only other place in the solar system with these particular characteristics is, you guessed it, Earth. Thanks to a pair of new studies, we can add a third trait to this list of shared characteristics: a global sea level. Read More >>

New AI System Predicts How Long Patients Will Live With Startling Accuracy

By using an artificially intelligent algorithm to predict patient mortality, a research team from Stanford University is hoping to improve the timing of end-of-life care for critically ill patients. In tests, the system proved eerily accurate, correctly predicting mortality outcomes in 90 per cent of cases. But while the system is able to predict when a patient might die, it still cannot tell doctors how it came to its conclusion. Read More >>

Millions of Migrating Baby Crabs Are an Absolutely Bonkers Sight to Behold

Each year, newborn crabs make the perilous trek from the sea shore to the forests of Christmas Island. This year was no exception, as new video taken of the migration makes abundantly clear. Read More >>

Divers in Mexico Have Discovered the World’s Largest Flooded Cave

The Yucatan Peninsula is renowned for its extensive network of submerged tunnels and caves. Now, after searching for near two decades, divers with the Gran Acuífero Maya project have proven that two massive caverns are connected, making it the largest known flooded cave on Earth. Read More >>

Japanese City Triggers Emergency Broadcast System After Supermarket Accidentally Sells Deadly Blowfish

As AFP reports, five packages of blowfish, also known as puffer fish, fugu fish, and globefish, were sold with their livers still intact from a supermarket in the Japanese city of Gamagori, Aichi Prefecture. Read More >>

Humans, Not Rats, May Have Been Responsible for Spreading the Black Death

The Black Death, a plague responsible for killing around a third of the population of Europe during the 14th century, spread to millions of humans by rats that carried infected fleas—right? That’s the story we’ve long been told by historians. A new study upends this conventional thinking, however, showing that humans, and not rodents, were the primary spreaders of the dreaded disease. Read More >>

Burning Oil Tanker Sinks, Creating Huge Spill in East China Sea

After burning for nearly an entire week, the Sanchi oil tanker has finally plunged to the bottom of the East China Sea. A large, toxic oil slick now threatens the region, with models suggesting it won’t reach land for another three months. Read More >>

This Bird-Like Dinosaur Featured a Stunning Rainbow-Coloured Mane

Introducing Caihong juji, a tiny, Jurassic-era dinosaur that lived 161 million years ago in what is now China. The feathered theropod featured an iridescent, rainbow coloured ring of feathers around its neck, which scientists believe it used to attract mates. Read More >>

Massive Diamond Discovered in Lesotho Is World’s Fifth Largest

Workers at Lesotho’s Letšeng mine have discovered an absolute whopper of a diamond, rated at 910-carats. Roughly the size of two golf balls, the precious gem has an estimated value of $40 million (£29 million). Read More >>

Mysterious Intergalactic Radio Bursts Come From a Truly Strange Place

First detected in 2002, Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are quick, high-energy pulses originating from galaxies billions of light years away. Scientists still don’t know the true nature of these bursts or what’s causing them, but new observations of the only known repeating FRBs are providing details about the extreme environments in which these pulses are born. Read More >>

Good Luck Trying to Pronounce the Names of the American Kennel Club’s Newest Dog Breeds

The adorable and challengingly named Nederlandse Kooikerhondje and the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen are the first breeds to be added to the American Kennel Club roster since 2016. Read More >>

Stop Feeding Your Pets Raw Meat

An emerging trend among pet owners is the practise of feeding dogs and cats raw meat. This idea is that we should put our domestic cats and dogs on diets that more closely approximate what they might eat in nature. New research from Europe shows the surprising degree to which germs and parasites can be found in commercial raw-meat products—posing potential health risks to both pets and their owners. Read More >>

Water Might Be Easier to Find on Mars Than We Thought

Mars likely held flowing water during its ancient past, possibly even vast oceans of it. Most of this precious liquid escaped into space, but some of it stayed behind, transforming into ice and settling beneath the rocky surface. New research shows that a sizeable portion of this water ice is surprisingly near the surface—in some cases just a few feet down. Should this discovery be confirmed, it bodes well for future missions to the Red Planet. Read More >>