space
Half of Our Galaxy Might Have Come From Other Galaxies

Any Carl Sagan fan knows you’re made of star stuff. Protons don’t decay into any other particles (as far as we can tell), so you can reliably assume that most bits of you have been around since a second after the Big Bang. But if you’re thinking a little more locally, you might wonder whether the Milky Way formed in its entirety before little ol’ you were made. Read More >>

science
Astronomers Capture Wild Intergalactic Gamma Ray Burst As it Happens

On June 25, 2016 at 6pm ET (2pm GMT), a flash of visible light appeared in the sky that, depending on your location, could have been visible with binoculars. It wasn’t a plane or a star: it was a gamma ray burst, one of the most violent explosions in the universe, from a source 9 billion light years away, possibly a black hole. And you’re afraid of explosions here on Earth? That’s cute. Read More >>

animals
Sad New Deep Sea Shark Reminds Us We Can’t All Be Great Whites

The tiger shark patrols the seas alone at night, prepared to eat anything from a bird to a dolphin. The goblin shark live in the ocean’s canyons and abysses, grabbing prey by surprise with its extendable jaws. A great white shark can grow as large as a Mercedes. Read More >>

health
Certain Penis-Dwelling Bacteria Might Increase Your HIV Risk

HIV transmission is a complex process with factors beyond just who you sleep with and how. The virus ultimately needs to find its way to the correct kinds of cells in order to wreak havoc. And some of the risk, at least for those with penises, may come from the kinds of bacteria on the tip. Read More >>

science
This Could Be Why Orcas Have Been Eating Great White Sharks in South Africa

A South African shark-watching hotspot has recently turned into the scene of a seaside horror movie. For several months, enormous great white shark corpses have been washing up on the Gansbaai beaches, often missing their livers as if feasted upon by cetacean Hannibal Lecters. But this is no movie—it’s just biology, ruthless as ever. Read More >>

science
Textbook-Rewriting Discovery Could Help Predict the Next Influenza Pandemic

Every year we go through the same motions: scientists figure out what the most common flu strains will be, and prepare a vaccine that will best protect against it. Those who get vaccinated avoid the new strains, those who don’t might get ill. But every so often, a new kind of flu pops up that doctors are unprepared to vaccinate against. That kind of flu can turn into a pandemic. Read More >>

science
Scientific Journals Publish Bogus Paper About Midi-chlorians from Star Wars

Some scientific journals will publish literally anything for a price. That includes a meme-filled paper by “Lucas McGeorge” and “Annette Kin” referencing “midi-chlorians.” Yes, George Lucas’ attempt to explain feeling the Force with faux biology is now published “scientific research.” Read More >>

science
Australia Releases Trove of Scientific Data from Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 Search

It can be hard to look for the bright side in a tragedy. But resolving tragedies often requires an immense amount of human effort, and that effort results in new knowledge. New genetic forensics techniques emerged from the identification of 9/11 victims, for example. Another tragedy, the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 three years ago, is starting to yield its own benefits to the scientific community. Read More >>

science
Pushing Particles Forwards Might Make Them Go Backwards Because Quantum Physics Is Bonkers

You are very lucky that you ended up about the size that you are today, somewhere between one and ten feet tall and weighing somewhere between one and one thousand pounds. This is a very good size. Not to body shame, but if you were, say, a quadrillion times shorter and weighed a nonillion times less (that’s one followed by 30 zeros), that would be very inconvenient for you. Everything would be very inconvenient for you. Read More >>

science
Can Lasers Blast Away Those Weird Squiggles at the Corners of Your Vision?

You’re staring at the sky on a sunny day when you notice, in the corner of your eye, a transparent squiggle floating slowly across the blue. You try and focus on it, but it eludes your glance, refusing to be resolved. No matter where you look, the squiggle knows. Read More >>

science
Why Does This Dumb Worm Live to Be So Damn Old?

Things just don’t seem to die in the deep ocean (well, except for humans). While rockfish around 100 feet below the surface live about 12 years, those living closer to 2500 feet down can live for 200 years. There’s a deep water coral that can apparently live for up to 4,000 years. But there’s one species that seems to live an especially long time, and could rank up there with the oldest: Escarpia laminata, some dumbass tubeworm. Read More >>

science
A Third of Dementia Cases Could Be Preventable, Says New Report

Dementia could seem inevitable as relatives age and begin to suffer from heartbreaking memory loss. Almost 50 million people lived with it in 2015, and the disease could cost the world a trillion dollars by 2018. But there’s hope. Read More >>

science
Scientists Just Observed an Effect of Gravity on Tiny Particles For the First Time

Bad news: humans will probably never explore the area around a black hole, at least while you’re alive. That’s mostly because most black holes are too far away, and even if we could travel to them, it’s unlikely we’d survive their gravitational pull. That means that if we want to study the wacky effects extreme gravity might have, we’ve gotta get creative—which is exactly what an international team of physicists have just done. Read More >>

science
Controversial Treatment Appears to Reverse Brain Damage in Drowned Toddler

Fifteen minutes beneath 41-degree Fahrenheit water is a crippling experience, and possibly death sentence for a two-year-old. These are just not conditions that children generally survive. But a controversial treatment may have played the role in saving Eden Carlson’s life. Read More >>

climate change
Frozen Couple Unearthed By Climate Change (and a Ski Lift Company)

It’s not often that you’ll hear someone thank climate change for something. But today, it seems to have offered some closure on a 75-year-old mystery. So, thanks climate change, at least for this. Read More >>