Look At These Beautiful Little Corals Grown Like Popsicles In A Lab

Coral sex is a wonder to behold. On a summer night, always around a full moon, corals somehow all know to release billions of sperm and eggs into the sea, turning the water into a pink miasma of sex. This spawning relies on precise environmental cues, which could get scrambled in climate change. That's why researchers… » 4/17/14 6:20pm Yesterday 6:20pm

Sunshades Bloom to Protect These Towers from the Brutal Desert Sun

When the sun comes up, the flowers come out. Inspired by the design of Arabic windows known as mashrabiya, these 45-foot wide, flower-shaped sunshades "blossom" in minutes to cover the facades of these twin towers designed for two (anonymous!) Middle Eastern media companies. » 4/17/14 4:20pm Yesterday 4:20pm

Google Street View Accidentally Made an Algorithm That Cracks CAPTCHAs

House numbers on Google Street View can turn up as blobby, blurry things, so its engineers built a pretty crazy neural network to decipher them. Except this algorithm also turns out to be very very good at deciphering other blobby, blurry texts—like CAPTCHAs, which it cracks with 99 percent accuracy. Take that, human. » 4/16/14 6:40pm Wednesday 6:40pm

How San Francisco Sacrificed a Valley in Yosemite for Water and Power

The electricity that powers San Francisco's streetlights, schools, and international airport begins as a torrent of water inside—of all places—the supposed natural sanctuary that is Yosemite National Park. A century ago, a pristine valley was sacrificed so that San Francisco could continue to exist. » 4/16/14 5:20pm Wednesday 5:20pm

A Rare Genetic Mutation in These Siblings Makes Them Immune to Viruses

Viruses are incompetent but smart little things. Unable to make proteins on their own, they hijack ours for their own nefarious purposes. But what if we gave the viruses broken proteins? An incredibly rare genetic disorder in a brother and sister pair does exactly that, making them immune to many classes of viruses—and … » 4/15/14 4:40pm Tuesday 4:40pm

Mushrooms Can Mine the Gold From Your Old Cellphones

Crack open your dumb old phone, and you'll find lots of circuits and no lack of precious metals. "In 100,000 cell phones, it's estimated that there is 2.4 kilograms of gold, more than 900 kilograms of copper, 25 kilograms of silver, and more," according to Motherboard. Could a safer and and cheaper method of recovering… » 4/14/14 7:00pm Monday 7:00pm

The Cool Promise of Machines That Run on Body Heat

The human body at rest radiates 100 watts of heat—heat that does nothing other than make crowded rooms stuffy. But body heat can be converted to electricity, and new technology is always improving the process. With the rise of wearables, the body heat-powered device becomes an ever more tantalizing promise. » 4/14/14 1:00pm Monday 1:00pm

Let's Talk About Whatever You Want Right Now

You've changed all your passwords (right?) and done all your taxes (right??), so it's almost time to settle into a nice, long relaxing weekend. Even if you haven't (oops!), come talk to us about whatever is on your mind right now. » 4/11/14 4:59pm 4/11/14 4:59pm

The Plan to Turn Jellyfish Into Diapers and Paper Towels

Of the many problems on Earth, here are two: there are too many jellyfish in the seas, and there are too many diapers in our landfills. An Israeli nanotech start-up called Cine'al says it has found the answer to both in Hydromash, a super-absorbent material made from the bodies of jellyfish. But why stop at diapers?… » 4/11/14 3:40pm 4/11/14 3:40pm

Tracking an Ebola Outbreak in a City Without Maps

If you Google Map Guéckédou, the Guinean city smack dab in the Ebola virus's deadly domain right now, you'd see just an abstract blotch of beige and yellow. Zoom all the way in on satellite view, and you can barely make out the outlines of buildings. Don't even think about trying Street View. Google Maps simply reflects… » 4/11/14 10:00am 4/11/14 10:00am

What Happens to Bacteria in Space?

In the otherwise barren space 220 miles above Earth's surface, a capsule of life-sustaining oxygen and water orbits at 17,000 miles per hour. You might know this capsule as the International Space Station (ISS), currently home to six humans—and untold billions of bacteria. Microbes have always followed us to the… » 4/10/14 11:00am 4/10/14 11:00am

Could Google Glass Really Help People with Parkinson's?

While the world has been squabbling about Glassholes, doctors have quietly been testing the potential of Google Glass in medicine. Features that may seem silly to use in a cafe or on the subway have real advantages in the doctor's office. Hand-free control? Remote diagnosis? On-demand medical records? Check check… » 4/09/14 4:40pm 4/09/14 4:40pm

The Obscure Loophole That Explains Why Thieves Prefer Old, Junky Cars

Who wants to steal crappy old cars better suited for the junkyard than the road? Car thieves with a fine understanding of New York law, of course. While car thefts have gone way down in New York, thefts of junky old cars has gone up—all because a quirk in the state's laws makes it easier to turn junk into profit. » 4/09/14 3:40pm 4/09/14 3:40pm