Author Archives: George Dvorsky

This Elusive Giant Octopus Snacks on Giant Jellies

The giant deep-sea octopus Haliphron is so rare that marine biologists have seen it just three times in 27 years. Using a robotic sub, scientists have finally caught video footage of this animal at mealtime—revealing its distinct preference for gelatinous sea creatures.

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Rising Sea Levels Could Decimate Southern California Beaches by 2100

Using a new computer model, scientists predict that upwards of 67 percent of Southern California beaches could be severely damaged by rising sea levels in the next 80 years. Read more… Continue reading

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Robots Are Already Replacing Human Workers at an Alarming Rate

We all know, or at least suspect, that robots are taking people’s jobs, but new research shows the dramatic degree to which industrial robots are replacing human workers and forcing down wages.

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Elon Musk Is Wrong to Think He Can Save the World By Boosting Our Brains

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has announced a new venture called Neuralink, a startup which aims to develop neural interface technologies that connect our brains to computers. Musk says it’s the best way to prevent an AI apocalypse, but it’s on this point that he’s gravely mistaken.

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Mice Have Been Mooching off Humans For an Astounding 15,000 Years

The common house mouse is one of the most recognizable creatures on the planet, yet we know surprisingly little about the origins of this crafty rodent. New research shows that house mice first entered human settlements far earlier than previously thought—but they had to fight a rival species to maintain their status…

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India and New Zealand Were Wrong to Recognize Rivers as Persons

Courts in New Zealand and India have granted legal personhood status to three rivers. The strange status is meant to protect the waters from pollution, but the measure could lead to unintended consequences, while undermining efforts to grant personhoo… Continue reading

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Rediscovered 1920s Home Movies Are the First to Show the White House in Color

An archivist working at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library has stumbled upon color home movies taken in the late 1920s by former First Lady Lou Hoover. Incredibly, this is very likely the first color film to show a US President, the First Lady, an… Continue reading

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A Four-Year-Old Boy Used Siri to Save His Unconscious Mother’s Life

When a young boy identified only as Roman couldn’t wake up his unconscious mother, he did what any astute, technologically-adept four-year-old would do: He used his mother’s finger to unlock her phone, and then asked Siri to call emergency services. The boy’s actions saved his mother, but the incident exposes some…

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Insane Light System Blasts the Energy of 10,000 Suns

German scientists have constructed a powerful new light system that can focus energy equivalent to the radiation of 10,000 suns onto a single spot. Eventually, they hope, this “artificial sun” could be used to produce environmentally-friendly fuels.

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The Curiosity Rover’s Wheels Aren’t Looking So Good

A routine check performed by NASA has uncovered two tears on the treads of the Mars Curiosity Rover’s left middle wheel. The damage isn’t unexpected, nor is it catastrophic, but it’s a reminder that this intrepid little explorer won’t last forever.

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The Brains of Blind People Really Are Wired to Enhance Other Senses

It’s often said that the loss of one sense improves the others. New research shows the dramatic extent to which this is true in blind people, and how their brains make new connections to boost hearing, smell, touch—and even cognitive functions such as memory and language.

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Wildfires Have Already Toasted a Staggering Amount of Land in the US This Year

The 2017 US wildfire season is off to alarming start, with thousands of individual fires having scorched through 2 million acres since the start of the year. That’s nearly 10 times more land burned than what’s typically seen at this stage of the season—and a troubling sign of things to come.

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An Alarming Number of Kids Are Getting Their Hands on Opioids

From 2000 to 2015, more than 188,000 phone calls were made to US Poison Control Centers on behalf of children who were exposed to prescription opioids, according to new research. That’s an average of 32 calls a day, or one call every 45 minutes.

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An Alarming Number of Kids Are Getting Their Hands on Opioids

From 2000 to 2015, more than 188,000 phone calls were made to US Poison Control Centers on behalf of children who were exposed to prescription opioids, according to new research. That’s an average of 32 calls a day, or one call every 45 minutes.

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This Poor Cretaceous Damselfly Has Been Waiting 100 Million Years to Get Laid

Scientists in China have discovered male damselflies caught in the act of trying to court females inside a piece of 100-million-year old amber. It’s an extremely rare find, providing a glimpse of insectoid peacocking behavior during the age of dinosaurs.

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Miner Finds Enormous 706-Carat Diamond, Promptly Hands it Over to the Government

A pastor and independent miner in Sierra Leone has unearthed an uncut 706-carat diamond estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars. The pastor turned the diamond over to the government in hopes that the proceeds from its sale will help the impoverished country. But given the history of this former…

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Europe’s First Spacecraft to Jupiter Will Be Taking a Crazy Route

They say the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but for JUICE—a European Space Agency-led, Jupiter-bound probe scheduled to launch in 2022—the quickest route will involve a rather convoluted journey requiring four gravitational assists with three different planets.

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What the Hell is Going On With This Eyeball?

A 37-year-old woman recently went to her eye doctor complaining of itching and watering eyes. While taking a close look, the doctor saw this freaky sight staring back.Read more… Continue reading

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The Incredible Way Tardigrades Survive Total Dehydration

Tardigrades, also known as “water bears,” are probably the toughest microscopic creatures on the planet, capable of surviving freezing, radiation, and even the vacuum of space. They’re also able to withstand complete dehydration—and scientists have finally figured out how they do it.

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An Odor Sensor on Malaria Mosquitoes Specifically Targets Human Stench

Researchers at Vanderbilt University have found a secondary set of odor sensors on female malarial mosquitoes that appear to be specifically tuned to sniff out humans. While admittedly disturbing, the discovery could lead to new ways of combating malar… Continue reading

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