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Science

Companies May Soon Have to Reveal a Hidden Risk: Carbon Emissions

Big businesses set splashy climate targets but don’t always reveal their data. The Securities and Exchange Commission wants to change that—to protect investors.

The Danger of Russia’s Lies About Bioweapons in Ukraine

Ukraine’s research labs are vital to global health. Disinformation aimed at their work puts everyone in danger.

The Pandemic Revolutionized Disease Surveillance. Now What?

Covid forced the world to develop some of the best epidemiological surveys ever done. Now they’re being cut back, even as the threat of the virus lingers.

Online 'Happiness' Classes Might Work Better Than You Think

Science of happiness courses are attracting thousands of students. But there’s still a lot to learn about whether these lessons stick.

How to Navigate Online Mental Health Resources

Finding therapy and support can be confusing. Here are some tips on how to get help, from understanding insurance websites to keeping track of the bills.

Big Pharma's Ethical Dilemma: Should They Keep Selling to Russia?

Sanctions and boycotts following the invasion of Ukraine have curtailed the export of nearly every product—except medicines. That's up to drugmakers.

The War in Ukraine Is a Reproductive Health Crisis for Millions

Russia's invasion is making it harder to deliver babies and provide birth control, abortion services, and other essential care.

NASA Bets on an Asteroid Killer, a Venusian Balloon, and More

The agency’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program provides seed funding for ideas that sound like sci-fi—but just might work.

Astronomers Tally the Growing Carbon Footprint of Space Science

Observatories require electricity and computing power to process data from deep space. Is there a way to make them run greener?

NASA Finally Rolls Out Its Massive SLS Rocket, With Much at Stake

The agency’s long-awaited, costly Space Launch System is finally ready for a practice countdown before the first Artemis mission this spring.

Mercury Could Be Littered With Diamonds

Scientists think the diminutive planet’s surface could be covered with space gems, thanks to an abundance of carbon and pressure from colliding asteroids.

A Global Boom in Fences Is Harming Wildlife

Barriers are going up rapidly as border projects and livestock farming increase, but they impede wildlife migrations and genetically isolate threatened species.

Scientists Map Yellowstone’s Plumbing With … a Helicopter

For the first time, scientists get a look at what's going on under the park's geysers. It may even help them better understand the origin of life on Earth.

The EPA May Extend the Use of Pesticides that Paralyze Bees

Later this year, the agency will decide whether to allow four chemicals, which have been banned in Europe, to continue being used on US farms. 

The Amazon Rainforest May Be Nearing a Point of No Return

Satellites spot troubling signals that may portend a transformation from rainforest to savanna, with profound implications for the planet.

A Bold Idea to Stall the Climate Crisis—by Building Better Trees

Changing the genetic makeup of trees could supercharge their ability to suck up carbon dioxide. But are forests of frankentrees really a good idea?

The Deadly Cyclone That Changed the Course of the Cold War

A 1970 storm that killed half a million people became a flashpoint for political upheaval in Pakistan—and ultimately brought America and Russia to the brink of war.

Underwater Permafrost Is a Big, Gassy Wild Card for the Climate

You’ve probably heard of permafrost, the frozen carbon-rich land. But it’s also thawing under the sea, burping up planet-warming gases.

Climate Change Is Disrupting the Global Supply Chain Too

Extreme weather, from floods to wildfires, is increasingly hammering ports, highways, and factories. It’s expected to get worse.

Coal Threatens a Comeback as the EU Pulls Away From Russian Oil

Europe's efforts to avoid Russian energy imports will likely trigger a short-term spike in coal, and environmentalists are concerned.

The Nuclear Reactors of the Future Have a Russia Problem

Next-generation nuclear plants could be safer and more efficient, but first the US has to figure out how to fuel them up—without relying on Russia.

Why You (and the Planet) Really Need a Heat Pump

Using a furnace is so 1922. In 2022, humanity has to massively ramp up adoption of clean ways to heat buildings.

It’s a Perfect Time for EVs. It’s a Terrible Time for EVs

Gas prices are up, commutes are back, and Russian oil is under sanction. Too bad the electric vehicle industry isn’t ready to seize the moment.

Math’s ‘Oldest Problem Ever’ Gets a New Answer

A new proof significantly strengthens a decades-old result about the ubiquity of ways to represent whole numbers as sums of fractions.

Can You Make a Hollow Metal Sphere So Big That It Floats?

Theoretically, yes. But it’s not terribly practical. And it might mean you’re a supervillain.

What It Would Take to Bring the ISS Back to Earth in One Piece

NASA plans to deorbit the International Space Station in 2031 by crashing it into the ocean. But is there another way?

Any Single Galaxy Reveals the Composition of an Entire Universe

In computer simulations, researchers have discovered that a neural network can infer the amount of matter in a whole universe by studying just one galaxy.

To Test Cancer Drugs, These Scientists Grew ‘Avatars’ of Tumors

Growing organoids in dishes and xenografts in mice lets scientists recreate a living person’s tumor—and test dozens of drugs against them at the same time.

The Most Complete Simulation of a Cell Probes Life’s Hidden Rules

A 3D digital model of a “minimal cell” leads scientists closer to understanding the barest requirements for life.

Police Used a Rape Survivor's DNA to Link Her to Another Crime

A controversial California case has raised questions about police use of DNA databases and the need for better genetic privacy laws.

A Twist on Stem Cell Transplants Could Help Blood Cancer Patients

Cell grafts can help people fighting leukemia—but they risk a dangerous immune reaction. An experimental way to filter donors’ cells might offer a solution.

This Cheetah Robot Taught Itself How to Sprint in a Weird Way

Researchers got the machine to run nearly 13 feet per second. It ain't graceful, but this powerful technique is preparing robots for the chaos of the world.

Here Come the Underdogs of the Robot Olympics

Can a scrappy team of robotics undergrads play to win against the best-funded labs in the world? At the Darpa Challenge, it’s anyone’s game.

See Little Robots Get Swole in This Virtual 'Gym'

The bizarre robots look like cobbled-together Tetris pieces. A new system "evolves" them to run, climb, and throw stuff better.

This Drone Uses Piercing Talons to Perch—or Snatch Things

What do you get when you slap 3D-printed raptor legs on a quadcopter? A robot that can land like a falcon to keep an eye on the forest.

Scientists Watch a Memory Form in a Living Brain

While observing fearful memories take shape in the brains of fish, neuroscientists saw an unexpected level of synaptic rewiring.

Are These Chimpanzees Using Insects as Medicine?

Researchers observed chimps in Gabon applying insects to wounds—and it’s raising big questions about animal altruism and self-medication.

Neural Noise Shows the Uncertainty of Our Memories

The electrical chatter of our working memories reflects our lack of confidence about their contents.

What Neurodivergence Teaches Us About How to Live

Scientist and writer Camilla Pang explains what the rationality of science showed her about making better decisions, processing feedback, and feeling like an outlier.
Re-sssourceful

How Boa Constrictors Can Breathe Even as They Crush Their Prey

New research shows the snakes activate different sections of their rib cage, using their lungs as bellows to pull in air.
Chef's kiss

How to Tell If Your Spaghetti Is Done Using Just a Ruler

Keep throwing noodles against the wall if you want, but this tactic ensures the pasta's texture is just right every single time.
Live Well

How Apps Can Help People Manage Chronic Illnesses

Conditions such as Hashimoto’s disease often require ongoing treatment and lifestyle modifications. But apps can empower patients to improve their health.
Star Signs

4 Years On, a New Experiment Sees No Sign of ‘Cosmic Dawn’

Astronomers tried to confirm a signal from the birth of the first stars after the Big Bang. They saw nothing.
Dot Physics

How Much Pi Do You Really Need?

To celebrate Pi Day, we look at applications—from NASA to cars—that prove you can have too much of a good thing.
Public Health

The War Puts Ukraine's Clinical Trials—and Patients—in Jeopardy

Hundreds of trials have been disrupted in the medical research hub. Some patients are at risk of losing their last chance at survival.
Public Health

The War in Ukraine Is Threatening the Breadbasket of Europe

Millions of tons of grain may not make it out of the country this year. The shortfall could spread hunger and civil unrest worldwide.
Deep Dive

How a Plucky Robot Found the Long-Lost Endurance Shipwreck

Over a century ago, two dozen men were stranded in Antarctica. Here’s how a robot dove 10,000 feet to glimpse their lost ship for the first time.
Danger Zone

The Situation at Chernobyl Is Deteriorating

The defunct site of the infamous 1986 meltdown has lost power two weeks after it was seized by Russian forces. Experts fear another nuclear disaster looms.
Island Mode

The Race to Rescue Ukraine’s Power Grid From Russia

In late February, Ukraine began a long-planned 72-hour test to unhook its electricity grid from Russia’s. Then the invasion started.
Climate Change

Machines of War Take a Heavy Toll on Ukraine—and the Planet

The conflict is poised to exacerbate the climate crisis, as tanks, jets, and convoys burn fossil fuels and nearby nations boost their military spending. 
Ukraine

These Ukrainians Are Stuck in Antarctica as War Rages at Home

At the Vernadsky research base, a crew of 12 Ukrainians watch from thousands of miles away as their country is battered by Russian attacks.
Overcooked

Climate Change Is Taking a Big Bite out of Our Food Supply

This week’s startling United Nations IPCC report suggests the situation is worse than previously thought, and war in Ukraine will only compound the problem.
Be Well

You Should Still Test Yourself for Covid. Here’s When

Even if you're vaccinated, there are still scenarios where you should get tested and use your results to make smart, empathetic choices.
Failure to Launch

Turmoil Over Ukraine Could Debilitate Russia's Space Program

In response to international sanctions, Russia’s space agency is distancing itself from its former partners and risks losing its role as a major space power.
Public Health

Iceland Bets on Herd Immunity

The island nation's government joins several other European countries in dropping Covid restrictions—but not everyone is sure the timing’s right.
Public Health

Ukraine Is in an Environmental Crisis Too

Russia’s attack is literally tearing the country apart, polluting air and water. Ukrainians will suffer long after the conflict ends.
Fuzzy Signals

Offshore Wind Turbines Could Mess With Ships’ Radar Signals

A new study finds that turbines can muddle ships' navigational systems, obscuring the location of smaller boats or creating misleading images on radar screens.
Public Health

The Pandemic Tanked Rates of Childhood Vaccination—for Everything

Routine shots are down for everything from measles to tetanus to polio, leaving kids unprotected and raising the risk of outbreaks.
Storm Spotting

A New Super-High Satellite Will Eye Weather on Earth—and in Space

The GOES-T spacecraft will focus on tracking storms and fires in the western half of North America, from well above low Earth orbit.