A Brief History Of Pi

That the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter is constant has been known to humanity since ancient times; yet, even today, despite 2000 years of thought, theories, calculations and proofs, π’s precise value remains elusive.


We Only Just Discovered This Super-Common Virus That's Probably Inside Of You

Today, scientists report the discovery of an incredibly common new virus that lives inside human gut bacteria. It’s called crAssphage (more on the name later!), and it’s about six times more abundant than all other known bacterial viruses put together. How did we miss it for so long?


Wet Computing Could Put A Terabyte In A Tablespoon

We live in a world of physical computing. Solids and silicon store all our tweets, texts, and selfies, but what if the traditional ways of computing underwent a phase change?


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 prototype that could one day make glasses or contacts obsolete — at least when you’re looking at your phone or computer.


A Brief History Of Voyager 1 Not Quite Exiting The Solar System

You may have heard that Voyager 1 has exited the Solar System. And that it hasn’t. This is a chronicle of that probe’s greatest journey in headlines, including a few of our own.


Monster Machines: America's Next Big Space Launch Rocket Is A Total Beast

With its forthcoming Space Launch System, NASA hopes to send astronauts farther into space than it ever has ever before — to Mars and beyond. And when the first crew does leave to make interplanetary history, they will do so aboard these rocket engines.


Tiny Gold Nanomotors Spin 10 Times Faster Than A Race Car Engine

Nanomotors are an amazing feat of engineering: tiny gold rods less than a micrometer long, powered by ultrasonic waves to spin at crazy-fast speeds. How fast? Scientists just figured out a way to measure, and it’s astonishing: 150,000 RPM, 10 times faster than the fastest race car engine.


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 possible, according to New Zealand astronomers who detail how they turned an obsolete satellite dish into a radio telescope for astronomy.


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 that could harbour alien life.


Good News! Sitting Won't Kill You After All

Sitting is undeniably one of the comfiest ways to arrange your body. Almost as good as lounging, really, and just short of “dangling worry-free from hammock”. But it has acquired a very bad rap over the past few years. A bad rap it doesn’t quite deserve.