America’s Plan to Pepper Space With Surveillance Satellites Is Taking Shape

New details have emerged about the US Pentagon’s ambitious plan to build seven different defence constellations, the first of which will include hundreds of surveillance satellites that are expected to attain full global coverage in just six years. Read More >>

Using Force-Like Powers This Robotic Gripper Can Grab Things Without Touching Them

Engineers have developed robots that are capable of picking up objects as delicate as eggs or grapes without damaging them, but soon they could handle even the smallest and most fragile components using a new gripper design that can lift and manipulate objects without actually touching them. Read More >>

Stress Really Can Turn Your Hair White, Mouse Experiment Suggests

The idea that fright or any other kind of stress can turn hair white has endured for centuries. But a new study this week – in mice – provides some of the first concrete evidence of this phenomenon existing. It might also offer a biological explanation for how it happens. Read More >>

Victims of Ancient Vesuvius Eruption Were Baked, Not Vaporised, According to New Research

A novel analysis of the skeletal remains of Vesuvius victims who sought shelter during the catastrophic eruption 2,000 years ago suggests they endured a slower death than is typically appreciated. Read More >>

Deadly Wuhan Virus in China May Have Come from Snakes, Scientists Say

As an outbreak of a newly discovered SARS-like virus threatens to spiral out of control in China, some scientists think they’ve uncovered its animal origins. Their new research suggests the virus is native to snakes. Read More >>

The World Was Supposed to Eliminate This Greenhouse Gas – But Emissions Hit a New High Instead

The world’s quest to reduce an extremely potent greenhouse gas isn’t going as well as we thought it was, according to a new study. HFC-23, known as fluoroform, is a greenhouse gas that has 12,000 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide does. Read More >>

Why the Latest Sunscreen-in-the-Blood Study Shouldn’t Scare You

A US government-led study looking at whether certain sunscreen filters can possibly affect the body is making the rounds. But while its conclusions are worth caring about, you shouldn’t panic, and you definitely shouldn’t stop using sunscreen. Read More >>

‘Walking Sharks’ Confirmed as the Newest Addition to the Shark Family Tree

Sharks have been around for a long time, emerging over 400 million years ago. New research shows that tropical ‘walking sharks’ appeared just 9 million years ago, making them the most recently evolved shark on the planet. Read More >>

Deadly New Virus in China Has Reached the U.S., CDC Reports

What initially appeared to be an isolated, mild outbreak of a pneumonia-causing virus in China has quickly turned for the worse. On Tuesday, U.S. health officials confirmed the first case to have reached the country - a man who had recently traveled to the Wuhan region of China, where cases have been most common. It’s only the latest batch of bad news surrounding the new disease. Read More >>

New Virus Kills Sixth Person After Human-to-Human Transmission Confirmed

Health officials in China have confirmed that a mysterious new virus which originated in the city of Wuhan can be transmitted from human-to-human, not just from animals to humans. The news comes after a sixth person has died from the virus and at least 15 health care workers have been infected. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called an emergency meeting to discuss the novel coronavirus today. Read More >>

World’s Oldest Known Impact Crater Confirmed in Australia

A 70-kilometre-wide (43-mile) impact structure in the Australian Outback has been dated to 2.2 billion years old, making it the oldest known asteroid crater on Earth. Fascinatingly, this asteroid likely plunged into a massive ice sheet, triggering a global-scale warming period. Read More >>

global warming
Extreme Heat Is Another Legacy of Segregation

Racism has consequences, especially in an era of climate change. Read More >>

‘Remarkable’ Mathematical Proof Describes How to Solve Seemingly Impossible Computing Problem

You enter a cave. At the end of a dark corridor, you encounter a pair of sealed chambers. Inside each chamber is an all-knowing wizard. The prophecy says that with these oracles’ help, you can learn the answers to unanswerable problems. But there’s a catch: the oracles don’t always tell the truth. And though they cannot communicate with each other, their seemingly random responses to your questions are actually connected by the very fabric of the universe. To get the answer you seek, you must first devise... the questions. Read More >>

What’s the Most Monogamous Animal?

Animals, we know, typically lack the hang-ups that make human mating so difficult. You won’t find a bonobo moping around, stewing in jealousy. Nor will you find a bonobo contentedly fucking his or her bonobo-spouse to the exclusion of all other viable bonobos for months or decades at a time. And though that particular species may take it to an extreme – mother-on-son action is not uncommon – their non-monogamous nature inheres in most of the rest of the animal kingdom. Only a minority of species operate on the one-partner model, and of these even fewer practice it on something like a human level. For this week’s Giz Asks, we reached out to a number of experts for their take on the latter group’s most monogamous member. Read More >>

Blame Your Old Refrigerator for Melting the Arctic

The ozone hole was caused by chemicals formerly used in air conditioners and refrigerators. But new research shows that the same stuff is also behind half of the warming the Arctic experienced between 1955 and 2005. Read More >>