Discover (27)

Rediscovered USS Indianapolis Embodies Pacific Victory

The sinking of the USS Indianapolis by an Japanese submarine in the closing days of World War II marked one of the U.S. Navy's greatest maritime tragedies. But the recent rediscovery of the lost warship's wreck on the bottom of the Pacific also represents a chance to remember how its wartime career ...

"R-Factor" Unlikely To Fix Science

A new tool called the R-factor could help ensure that science is reproducible and valid, according to a preprint posted on biorxiv: Science with no fiction. The authors, led by Peter Grabitz, are so confident in their idea that they've created a company called Verum Analytics to promote it. But how ...

Livestream: The Great American Eclipse

Today, I walked into the Discover magazine offices and found myself in a ghost town—I may have even seen a tumbleweed or two drift by as I made my way down the hall to hunker down in front of my computer screen for the day. Indeed, most of mu colleagues are by now somewhere near the path of ...

Here's what tomorrow's total eclipse would look like if you could watch it from a million miles away in space

Millions of people across the United States will cast their gaze upward to watch tomorrow's total solar eclipse as it passes across the breadth of the nation. But what would it look like if you could gaze down on it from a million miles away in space? For an answer, check out the animation above. ...

Only Three People Have Died in Space

On April 19th, 1971, the Soviet Union launch history's first ever space station, Salyut 1. Days later the Soyuz 10 mission failed after a problem with the docking hatch meant the crew couldn't actually board the station. Unwilling to let Salyut languish, Soyuz 11 launched on June 6 and Georgi ...

Darkness Will Reveal the Sun's Mysterious Corona

When the moon slides in front of the sun Monday, millions of viewers will catch a glimpse of the sun's corona, which will appear as a hazy glow outlining the solid shadow in front of our star. Scientists will be watching closely as well, because eclipses are one of the few times they can easily ...

Israeli Military Veterans Built a Sniper Drone

In 2015, Israeli Special Forces likely made history by using a sniper rifle mounted on a commercial drone to take out a target. The robotic solution that achieved such pinpoint accuracy came from Duke Robotics, a startup founded by veterans of the Israel Defense Forces. That startup has since ...

What Time Is the Total Solar Eclipse?

We're now counting down the time until the Great American eclipse in hours, not days. Are you ready? If you aren't, don't worry, we have you covered with the Eclipse 2017 Widget from our partners at Astronomy magazine. Powered by SkySafari 5, this interactive widget well let you know exactly ...

Flashback Friday: Tooth-brushing-induced orgasms. Look ma, no cavities!

Sometimes the human brain does weird things. Take the woman described in this case study, for example; when she brushed her teeth, it would induce a seizure that resulted in an orgasm before she passed out. It seems that there was reduced blood flow and some damage in part of her brain that likely ...

Roman Pipes Delivered Water — And Toxic Antimony

The elaborate system of pipes that carried water to Roman households was an engineering marvel—for its time. Unfortunately, their sophisticated water utility may have been poisoning everyone. An analysis of a pipe fragment from Pompeii revealed the presence of high levels of antimony, an element ...

Yes, Scotch Whiskey Is Better With a Splash of Water

A true Scotch drinker doesn't pour an aged Macallan in order to, as less refined revelers might say, get the party started.' Quite the contrary, the seasoned aficionado attends to certain norms and customs before imbibing, not unlike a traditional tea ceremony, in a nod to enlightenment, restraint ...

Ulcer-fighting Robots Swim Through Stomachs to Deliver a Cure

Tiny robots powered by bubbles have successfully treated an infection in mice. The achievement is another step forward in a field that has long shown promise, and is only now beginning to deliver. The therapeutic robots in this case were tiny spheres of magnesium and titanium coated with an ...

Mount Marilyn: A Name That Will Stick...Finally

In 1968, Jim Lovell became the first human to pilot a spacecraft — Apollo 8 — around another world. And two years later, his Apollo 13 heroics earned him an eternal place in spaceflight history. But those feats also left Lovell as the only person to visit the moon twice but never walk its ...

On the Shores of Lake Erie, Endangered Birds Catch a Lucky Break

Protecting species in peril doesn't happen overnight. Rather, it's all about stringing together small wins that, in the long-term, make all the difference. A little luck can also go far. When waves surged on the Pennsylvania coast of Lake Erie early this summer, it could easily have been the end for ...

Do We Manage Online and Offline Friendships the Same?

Social media has been a boon to social science. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other platforms serve as online laboratories that reveal all kinds of stuff about the users, researchers say. The rise of these platforms has sparked a flurry of scientific papers describing people's social network ...

Science Experiments for the Public during the Solar Eclipse

By Dr. Liz MacDonald, founder of Aurorasaurus and scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. This blog reposted from blog.aurorasaurus.org. Over a century ago, American astronomer W.W. Campbell set up a 40 foot 'Schaeberle camera' in Jeur, India to take pictures and study various properties of ...

Despite an unusually chilly Arctic, and El Niño's absence, July 2017 tied for warmest such month on record

That makes last month one of the warmest our planet has experienced since record-keeping began in 1880 Up in the high north, it was unusually cool last month. And unlike last year, there was no El Niño to help amp up temperatures for the globe overall. Yet July 2017 was in a statistical tie ...

More on "Behavior Priming" and Unconscious Influences

Last year, psychologists B. Keith Payne and colleagues breathed new life into the debate over 'social priming' with a paper called Replicable effects of primes on human behavior. Behavioral or social priming - the idea that subtle cues can exert large, unconscious influences on our behaviour - was a ...

New Evidence for That Huge Dinosaur Family Tree Rewrite

Remember that paper that dropped a few months ago completely rewriting the dinosaur family tree? Well, the researchers are back, this time using one of the odder dinos out there as evidence for their explosive claim. Is it legit or just hype? Back in March, researchers argued for a total takedown ...

Scientists Cook Up Magic Mushrooms' Psychedelic Recipe

Scientists have known about psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in "magic mushrooms," ever since Albert Hofmann isolated it in 1958. It's taken until now, however, for them to figure out how it's produced. Researchers at Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany sequenced the genomes of two ...

Why Thousands of Volcanologists are Meeting in Portland

So, this whole week I'll be taking part in the IAVCEI meeting in Portland, Oregon. Of course, most people have never heard of IAVCEI, which is an abbreviation of the International Association of Volcanology and the Chemistry of the Earth's Interior This meeting is bringing together over 1,200 ...

Why Are Oddly Satisfying Videos So...Satisfying?

If you've never seen a master lathe operator at work, I highly recommend it. Deft movements and practiced flourishes turn a block of spinning wood into a bedpost, top, bowl or some other circular object, each motion peeling away curls of wood to uncover the beauty hidden inside. It's hard to ...

Total Eclipse: Solar Research Thrives in Darkness

Scientists study our turbulent star and its dynamic relationship with Earth.

Having a beer might help get your creative juices flowing.

Feeling stuck on a problem? This study suggests that having a drink might help! Here, scientists gave one group of volunteers beer, and another group non-alcoholic beer. They then tested the creative thinking ability of each group. Turns out that very light drinking improved creative thinking, but ...

Nearly 100 Volcanoes Discovered Beneath Antarctica's Ice

You could say Antarctica sings a song of fire and ice. The continent's frigid reputation is well known, but researchers from the University of Edinburgh analyzed radar scans of the West Antarctic Rift System and found 138 volcanoes hiding under the thick ice sheet. Of those, 91 were previously ...

Call of MRI: Action Video Games And The Brain

No sooner had I published my last post, on the much-discussed "women's brains are more active than men's" study, than another neuroscience paper triggered a fresh media storm. This time, the subject was videogames, and the headlines were alarming: Playing shooter video games damages the brain, study ...

In Paris, a Glimpse of Public Transportation's Driverless Future

France may be famous for its cheese and wine, but it's also a longtime leader in driverless transit. Paris boasted one of the earliest models of automatic trains in 1983, when two metro lines ran without a conductor onboard. And the push toward driverless transportation continues in this city, with ...