Why Mine Asteroids When We Can Mine the Deep Sea?

Asteroid mining has gained steam in the popular psyche: who doesn’t love the idea of flying up to one of the giant rocks floating by and somehow harvesting it for precious metals like platinum. But yesterday at the 2017 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of the Sciences, scientists considered whether we should pursue another, far more likely alternative: mining the seafloor. Read More >>

Teacher Suspended After Giving Students Cooking Instructions For Crystal Meth

A Canadian mother in Ontario is outraged after her 13-year-old son was handed instructions for making and injecting crystal meth as part of a drama class assignment. Read More >>

These 17 Crowdsourced Minor Planet Names Are an Absolute Travesty

The International Astronomical Union has named 17 minor planets as part of its NameExoWorlds contest. Looking at the winning monikers — which include such dreadful titles as “Miguelhernández” and “Thunder Bay” — it’s now painfully clear that the system of naming celestial objects is broken. Read More >>

Dramatic Satellite Images Show the Oroville Dam From Drought to Overflow

This past weekend, hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated in anticipation of a potential spillway failure at the Oroville dam in California. Images from space show what the area in northern California looked like during last year’s drought, and how it appeared after a spate of intense rain, at the height of the recent breach scare. Read More >>

NASA’s Juno Mission Suffers a Frustrating Setback

NASA’s Jupiter-orbiting Juno spacecraft hasn’t been able to catch a break lately. This past October, Juno suffered a malfunction with a pair of helium valves, causing NASA to delay an engine burn that would have brought the spacecraft into its “science orbit.” Today, after months of evaluation, NASA announced that it has decided to forgo that engine burn entirely. Juno will remain in its current 53.5-day orbit for the rest of its mission, which isn’t the worst news, but it’s not great either. Read More >>

Poo May Be the Key to Studying the Most Elusive Animals on Earth

The secrets of the animal kingdom just might be hidden within piles of animal crap. Read More >>

space weather
Space Weather Can Alter Electronic Voting Machines

When all sources of errors have been ruled out and 4,096 phony votes have still been given to a candidate, who do you blame? In some cases, these kinds of glitches may be coming from outer space, according to scientists who discussed this cosmic conundrum today at the annual meeting of American Association for the Advancement of the Sciences in Boston. Just to be clear, this does NOT mean that aliens influenced the 2016 US election. Read More >>

Scientists Are Sending a Lethal Pathogen to the Space Station This Weekend

On Saturday, February 18th, a SpaceX Dragon capsule will shuttle a superbug into space that kills more people each year than emphysema, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s Disease, and homicide combined: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, more commonly known as MRSA. It’s on behalf of a study conducted by NASA and biomedicine company Nanobiosym, but I can’t help but feel like this was Elon Musk’s idea for a science fiction spec he’s working on. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
These 23 Principles Could Help Us Avoid an AI Apocalypse

Science fiction author Isaac Asimov famously predicted that we’ll one day have to program robots with a set of laws that protect us from our mechanical creations. But before we get there, we need rules to ensure that, at the most fundamental level, we’re developing AI responsibly and safely. At a recent gathering, a group of experts did just that, coming up with 23 principles to steer the development of AI in a positive direction—and to ensure it doesn’t destroy us. Read More >>

The Most Bullshit Missions to Mars, Ranked

For decades, Mars has entranced humans, including Matt Damon. Our cosmic neighbour, located some 34 to 249 million miles away, is an enticing destination in part because of its mysterious history—but mostly because Earth is an especially terrible place to be right now. Read More >>

Another Gravitational Wave Detector Will Help Revolutionise Astronomy

Last year, the pair of LIGO experiments announced a discovery a hundred years in the making: gravitational waves, tiny ripples in space time from a pair of colliding black holes a billion light years away. You might wonder what scientists will do with two giant gravitational wave detectors now that they’ve fulfilled their primary goal. Well, those ripples weren’t the end of the story—they were the start of a whole new saga in astronomy. Read More >>

Science Shows Eating Carbs During A Workout Is Best For Recovery

Queensland University researchers have found that eating carbohydrates during intense exercise can help your body recover, and keeps your immune system in peak condition. Read More >>

Hidden Figures Reveals Why Politics is an Intrinsic Part of Technological Progress

Hidden Figures finally hits UK cinemas later this month - and is a powerful recreation of the story of three black women, Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) and Katherine G Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), who worked at NASA during the 60s - and who were responsible for making the calculations that ensured American rockets kept up with the Soviet Union. Read More >>

For Science, Ants Have to Run on This Never-Ending Treadmill From Hell

Given their size and limited brain power, ants have an uncanny ability to find their way home after lengthy foraging excursions. To figure out how they do it, scientists from Germany have developed an innovative, but surprisingly simple spherical ant treadmill made from styrofoam. Read More >>

This 3,000-Year-Old Bronze Age Sword Is Absolutely Incredible

In what archaeologists are calling the “find of a lifetime,” a horde of Late Bronze Age weapons has been discovered at a Scottish construction site. Among the items found is a gold-decorated spearhead, and a 3,000-year-old bronze sword in remarkably good condition. Read More >>