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Meet the Martian Hopefuls: Elon Musk and All the Others Trying to Get to Mars

Ready set go. Elon Musk still really wants to put people in a canister, set off a controlled explosion beneath them, and shoot them out of the Earth’s atmosphere towards a barren, airless piece of rock—preferably one 33 million miles away. On Friday at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide,…

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Genetically Engineered Bacteria Spread by Mosquitos’ Breeding Could Eradicate Malaria

Scientists spent ten years developing the special bug. The mosquito micro biome influences what parasites take hold. The mosquito is a delicate insect, with spindly legs and a graceful proboscis. The parasitic, single-celled organisms that spread malaria are even smaller and more fragile, and scientists are trying their hardest to…

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Six Apps to Add Blockbuster Special Effects to Your Smartphone Videos

And…action! Add professional effects by simply tapping your phone’s screen. David Nield/Popular Science The smartphone revolution hasn’t just put a video camera in your pocket. It’s given you a whole movie-making studio in one compact package. With the right apps, you can add special effects and filters that the Hollywood…

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Physicists Report New, Solid Observation of Gravitational Waves

It’s pretty much official now: there are gravitational waves. A collaboration between the LIGO Lab and the Virgo interferometer collaboration just reported the first joint detection of gravitational waves, adding much more weight to previous detection events. It’s not the first time gravitational waves had been detected. Physicists had recorded…

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The Most Expensive Fungus in the World: a Dead Caterpillar That Sells for $50,000 a Pound

The most expensive fungus in the world isn’t any truffle or Mattake mushroom, it is a dead caterpillar fungus that grows in the Himalayas. They go for 50,000 USD a pound; compare that to the most expensive truffles which sell for up to 8,000 USD a pound. This expensive fungus…

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Anatomy of a Hurricane

Tennessee Star

Here’s how these huge storms form. Hurricane Irma near Cuba on September 8, 2017. NOAA/CIRA What makes a hurricane tick? Whether it’s a disheveled tropical depression or a picture-perfect category five swirling across the ocean like a buzzsaw, every tropical cyclone that forms on Earth has the same basic structure….

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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Ends Its Historic Exploration of Saturn

Cassini program manager at JPL, Earl Maize, left, and spacecraft operations team manager for the Cassini mission at Saturn, Julie Webster embrace after the Cassini spacecraft plunged into Saturn, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Photo Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky › Full image and caption…

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