Bad Cell Phone Calls Could Actually Be Tracked to Detect Rainfall

Despite the many wonders of our modern cell phones, using them to call a real live human can kind of suck. The sound is fuzzy, the calls drop randomly, and a simple rainstorm can make it all even worse. But there is surprising upside to all this: we can monitor the quality of cell phone calls to track rain and floods… » 7/25/14 3:23pm Today 3:23pm

The 5 Massive New Telescopes That Will Change Astronomy Forever

The biggest building boom in the history of astronomy is upon us. In Chile and Hawaii and in space, astronomers are getting powerful telescopes that dwarf the current state-of-the-art instruments. When the mountain blasting and the mirror polishing are all done, we will have the clearest and most detailed views of… » 7/25/14 9:00am Today 9:00am

A Display-Tweaking Algorithm Could Let You Ditch Glasses and Contacts

I spend too much of my waking life staring at screens. If you're reading this, you probably do, too. So instead of putting things on or in front of our imperfect eyeballs to correct and protect them, how about rethinking the screens we're staring at? Researchers at Berkeley, MIT, and Microsoft have developed a… » 7/24/14 2:14pm Yesterday 2:14pm

The Ice-Diving Robot That Could Look for Alien Life on Jupiter's Moon

The search for extraterrestrial life begins, often enough, on Earth. In this case, it's an Alaskan glacier, where the robot VALKYRIE is proving its ice-chomping abilities in a field test. VALKYRIE is supposed to one day land on Jupiter's moon, Europa, where it will drill through miles of ice to reach the liquid oceans… » 7/23/14 5:59pm Wednesday 5:59pm

How to Turn An Old Satellite Dish Into a Working Radio Telescope

Radio telescopes, which you may remember Jodie Foster intently listening to for signs of alien life in Contact, pluck out radio waves from far away space. Ordinary communications satellite dishes also pick up radio waves, but of manmade origin. So hmm, how easily can you convert one into another? It's totally… » 7/23/14 4:21pm Wednesday 4:21pm

The Lattice of Tubes Covering This Building Are a Natural AC System

If you have ever sweated through a summer in the city, you can thank those skyscrapers all around. Tall buildings trap heat that create urban heat islands. But what if you could create a building that cools the city instead? A building skin made of a series of tubes with evaporating rainwater can do just that. » 7/22/14 3:48pm Tuesday 3:48pm

Live Chat: What Happens When Your Son Has an Illness Unknown to Science

For most of his life, six-year-old Bertrand Might has bounced from hospital to hospital with an illness no doctor had ever seen. Then came two turning points: first, he finally received a diagnosis, and second—perhaps more surprisingly—his father wrote a blog post that blew up on the internet. » 7/21/14 11:55am Monday 11:55am

This Pacemaker Is Made By Injecting a Virus Right into a Pig's Heart

Pacemakers are—even at their tiniest—intrusive bits of metal wired into the heart. But now scientists have come up with something completely different: a "biological pacemaker" in a pig made by reprogramming the heart's own cells with a modified virus carrying a specific gene. » 7/20/14 1:00pm Sunday 1:00pm

This Song's Rhythm Is Inspired by Neil Armstrong's Heartbeat on the Moon

Forty-five years ago, a man landed on the moon for the first time. Understandably, he was a little nervous. Neil Armstrong's heart raced to 160 beats per minute as the lunar vehicle touched down on the moon's surface. But as he made that great leap for mankind and walked around the moon, his heart steadied and slowed.… » 7/19/14 8:00pm Saturday 8:00pm

How That Giant Hole in Sibera Could Have Formed

By now, you've likely seen the mysterious, yawning hole that appeared in Russia's remote Yamal peninsula, a place whose name literally means "the end of the world." How perfectly spooky! But now that scientists made it out to investigate the hole, let's sort out the facts, conjectures, and conspiracy theories about… » 7/18/14 2:42pm 7/18/14 2:42pm

Electricity-Eating Bacteria Are Real and More Common Than We Thought

In the extreme world of bacteria, stunts such as living in hot springs or without oxygen are, like, totally unimpressive. But then there are bacteria that live off electricity, feeding directly on naked electrons. Even more surprisingly, scientists are finding that these bacteria are not even that rare. » 7/17/14 7:47pm 7/17/14 7:47pm

How the Internet Is Helping a Father Fight an Illness Unknown to Science

In 2012, Matt Might sat down to write a blog post. The 5,000-word essay titled "Hunting Down My Son's Killer," which was also republished on Gizmodo, documented his and his wife's harrowing attempt to make sense of their son's mysterious illness. The post went viral online—setting the family down a road that could… » 7/17/14 5:30pm 7/17/14 5:30pm

These Cemeteries Are All That Remain of Mountains Destroyed by Mining

Mountaintop removal mining is exactly as destructive as it sounds. In West Virginia coal country, entire mountaintops have been stripped into barren wastelands for the sake of coal. But every once in a while, you'll see a lonely island of green—a centuries-old cemetery that just barely continues to exist. » 7/17/14 2:35pm 7/17/14 2:35pm

Norway's Turning Power Plant Emissions Into Fish Oil

With millions of tons of carbon dioxide billowing into the atmosphere from our power plants, one possible solution to the pollution is carbon capture—sequestering the greenhouse gas before it ever leaves the plant. But then what do you do with all that carbon? Norway has a interesting new plan: farm salmon. » 7/16/14 6:39pm 7/16/14 6:39pm