3D Printing Is Being Used to Restore a Frank Lloyd Wright Classic

The largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the world is at Florida Southern University. Depending on how you count, there are 7 to 12 buildings, the most distinctive of which is Annie Pfeiffer Chapel. Time has taken its toll on the chapel's one-of-a-kind concrete blocks, but it's the 21st century, and… » 9/18/14 9:08pm Yesterday 9:08pm

This Artificial Tongue Can Taste the Tannins in Wine

Wine tasting notes are famous for their verbal flourishes—for example, "kirsch, dried beef and baker's chocolate,"—but the liquid is ultimately just a collection of molecules, some sour, some bitter, some dry. And we're getting better at quantifying taste. A newly developed artificial tongue uses the very proteins… » 9/18/14 6:07pm Yesterday 6:07pm

The Chemistry Behind the Different Colors of Autumn Leaves

At some point when you were a wee child, your parents or teachers probably gave you a simple—but incomplete—explanation of why leaves change color in the fall: green chlorophyll fades to reveal the yellows and oranges that have been there all along. That's true, but that's not the whole chemical story. » 9/18/14 2:25pm Yesterday 2:25pm

7 Dead Shopping Malls That Found Surprising Second Lives

The American mall is a dead and dying creature, its demise chronicled in photos that fill up entire websites and books. Not all malls, however, have to end up so sad and empty. When the shoppers are gone, these are still colossal pieces of infrastructure that can be repurposed, as medical complexes and churches and… » 9/18/14 9:00am Yesterday 9:00am

This Storm-Hunting Drone Flew Into the Eye of a Hurricane

When Hurricane Edouard came whooshing over North Atlantic this week, one little drone was ready. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coyote is neither especially big nor especially tough-looking, but it flew where no pilot—and no drone—had ever flown before. This is the future of storm hunting. » 9/17/14 7:58pm Wednesday 7:58pm

Scientists Are Reinventing Photosynthesis to Grow More Food

What if we could grow rice and wheat with the same amount of water and fertilizer but end up with 50 percent more food? Sound like magic? Bad accounting? No, just some chemistry and genetic engineering. Scientists have recently figured out the second of three steps to make photosynthesis a whole lot more efficient in… » 9/17/14 3:17pm Wednesday 3:17pm

Magnetic Nanobeads Can Snatch Bacteria and Virus Out of Blood

Sepsis is an nasty and surprisingly common way to die. The illness is triggered by blood infections but, ultimately, it's your own immune reaction—not the bacteria or virus—that poisons you to death. Filtering those pathogens out of blood right away, though, could be a promising treatment. Enter a new device made of m… » 9/16/14 3:19pm Tuesday 3:19pm

This Synthetic Material Changes Color and Texture Like Octopus Skin

When it comes to camouflage, we lowly humans are far behind the cephalopod. Octopus, squid, and cuttlefish have the amazing ability to change color or texture—going from scarlet red to bone white, bumpy to smooth in just seconds. But we're making progress. Scientists at MIT and Duke have created a new stretchy… » 9/16/14 2:24pm Tuesday 2:24pm

Scientists Used a Hitchcock Thriller to Measure Patients' Consciousness

Alfred Hitchcock, our master of suspense, was incredibly good at manipulating his audience—a fact that has now come in handy for neuroscientists. When they screened a Hitchcock thriller for volunteers in a brain scanner, they found that brain activity of a man who has been in a vegetative state for 16 years was… » 9/15/14 5:20pm Monday 5:20pm

A 1000-Foot Tower Is Being Built in the Amazon to Track Climate Change

In a remote stretch of the Amazon rainforest, a skinny steel tower will soon rise over 1,000 feet into the sky—higher than the Eiffel Tower, way higher than the trees. The Amazon Tall Tower Observatory is a joint effort by Brazil and Germany to figure out exactly how carbon dioxide fluctuates inside the South American… » 9/15/14 2:51pm Monday 2:51pm

How to Get Next-Level Cryptography With a Crappy Old Nokia Phone

Remember the Nokia N9? Probably not—but geek points if you do—because it was a smartphone that was DOA and used by pretty much no one. But even a three-year-old smartphone is pretty sophisticated piece of machinery. Using just an N9 and light, physicists have found a way to generate the random numbers algorithms used… » 9/12/14 3:57pm 9/12/14 3:57pm

The Quest to Resurrect an Extinct Animal Without Cloning

Before there was the cow, there was the auroch, a sinewy beast that roamed Eurasia by the millions. And over thousands of years, humans bred the creature into the millions of milk-and-steak-machines we have today. The last auroch, however, died in the 17th century. A group of scientists now want to bring back the… » 9/11/14 7:10pm 9/11/14 7:10pm

Induced Stem Cells Will Be Tested on Humans for the First Time

Back in 2006, when controversy over embryonic stem cell funding was still raging, a piece of research came along that would make the debate essentially obsolete: normal adult cells can actually be reprogrammed into stem cells. No embryos necessary. The technique went on to win its inventor the Nobel Prize. And now,… » 9/10/14 6:03pm 9/10/14 6:03pm

Underground Mapping Near Stonehenge Reveals a New "Super Henge"

The mysteries of Stonehenge are revealed sometimes by unusual methods—forgetting to water its grass or whacking its stones with quartz. In this case, it just took four years of staring at the ground. A new underground survey reveals a vast complex of unknown Neolithic monuments near Stonehenge, including a huge… » 9/09/14 8:56pm 9/09/14 8:56pm