High-Speed Cameras Reveal Why Sodium Explodes in Water

You remember the sodium demo from chemistry class: Just a small chunk of the pure metal dropped into water causes a great big flash and bang. You might even remember your chemistry teacher's explanation for why. But there's always been a missing piece of the puzzle, which scientists have finally figured out using… » 1/27/15 1:20pm 29 minutes ago

Smart Keyboard That Knows Who's Typing Could Make Passwords Stronger

If you've ever worked in an office with someone who types like a jackhammer, it's obvious we all type a little differently. Now scientists have created a prototype of a keyboard that can identify users by their unique typing patterns. It could point to a next generation of passwords that don't just take into account… » 1/21/15 1:40pm 1/21/15 1:40pm

This Ingestible Microbot Is Powered By Stomach Acid 

There's tiny revolution afoot in medicine, where micro- and nano-sized robots will someday cruise around inside our bodies, zeroing in on cancerous cells or repairing damaged but otherwise healthy ones. But before those ideas all become reality, those bots need a power source inside our bodies. That power source could… » 1/19/15 4:45pm 1/19/15 4:45pm

Deep-Fried Graphene Could Be the Future of Batteries

The wondermaterial graphene could have so many crazy applications: Computer chips that run on light, saltwater electricity generation, and on and on. Perhaps most humble and important of all, though, is energy storage. South Korean scientists have found a way to make pom-pom-shaped graphene microparticles ideal for… » 1/19/15 1:25pm 1/19/15 1:25pm

There's Millions of Dollars Worth of Gold and Silver in Sewage  

There's gold in them thar sewers—and silver and platinum and copper, too. A study by Arizona State University (ASU) researchers estimates there is $13 million worth of precious elements in the sewage produced by a million-person city every year. Never think of sewage as stinky worthless waste again. » 1/16/15 6:40pm 1/16/15 6:40pm

Arm-Sized Bolts Keep Falling Off London's Cheesegrater Tower 

The Cheesegrater is a beautiful glass wedge of a building that rises over 700 feet into the London skyline. It unfortunately has some safety problems. This week, its owners revealed that a third bolt of high-strength steel snapped because of "hydrogen embrittlement"—an obscure term, but one that "causes fear among… » 1/16/15 1:45pm 1/16/15 1:45pm

A cargo of birds weighs nothing when they take flight, and then double

If you're driving a truck full of birds, can you bang the truck and lighten your load as the birds launch into the air? Mythbusters concluded "no" when they tackled this question several years ago—but that's because they didn't have equipment as high-tech as these Stanford engineers'. The real answer, it appears, is a… » 1/16/15 9:40am 1/16/15 9:40am

New Horizons is carrying the ashes of Pluto's discoverer to Pluto 

Later this week, NASA's New Horizons probe will finally be close enough to Pluto to begin observing the dwarf planet and its moons. Along with a bevy of scientific instrument, the probe has also been carrying a sentimental payload: a tiny tin of the ashes belonging to Clyde Tombaugh, also known as the man who… » 1/13/15 3:27pm 1/13/15 3:27pm

A New, Cutting-Edge Microscope Technique That Uses Diaper Absorbent

Up until now, most microscopy has operated on a pretty simple principle: Use tricks of light to make small things appear big. A group of MIT scientists, however, are trying something radically different. They've developed a technique that physically makes tiny neurons bigger, and yes, it uses a chemical commonly found… » 1/12/15 2:51pm 1/12/15 2:51pm

This Entire Website Is One Fascinating And Dead Simple Optical Illusion 

Ah the power of simple black lines. When a sheet of black lines is dragged over a still image, the images will suddenly appear to move: Pac-Man opens his mouth, gears turn, balls fall. Slow Scroll → Have Fun is a single brilliant site that harnesses the power of your mouse to tickle your eyeballs. » 1/09/15 1:17pm 1/09/15 1:17pm