Science

A Quantum Computer Isn't Nearly As Glamorous As It Sounds

You’d think quantum computers exist in heavily-guarded labs, with many men in white suits manning control stations filled with unfathomable screens and charts. Actually, they exist in a small cupboard in England’s West Country.


This Unusually Short-Lived Fish Could Hold The Secrets To Getting Old

The turquoise killifish is largely unremarkable except for how fast it ages. In just three months, it goes from a spry, young fish (left) to a decrepit, old one (right). For scientists who study ageing, the turquoise killifish could be the key to their future experiments.


Fukushima Is Teaching Us How Radioactivity Spreads

After the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima, scientists began a massive effort to monitor radioactive contamination of food grown nearby. And one good thing did come out of it — we learned how radioactivity moves through the ecosystem.


Why Flying Cars Are Difficult And Dumb

Video: By this stage, it’s fairly clear that flying cars aren’t going to happen any time soon, despite what the media might want to say. And there’s a simple reason for that — the whole concept of flying cars is pretty stupid in the first place. Vsauce uses this video to explain why a number of futuristic technologies — flying cars, teleportation and space colonies — aren’t quite here yet.


We're Looking For Alien Life On Bizarre 'Eyeball Planets'

It’s easy for us Earthlings to imagine life evolving on planets like ours. But there are exoplanets out there that strain the imagination. Take “eyeball planets”, which are half frozen, half broiling with the heat of their suns. Earthlike planet Zarmina, in the Gliese system, is one of these. We shouldn’t rule these bizarre planets out from our search for life.


How The Search For Life On Mars Could Be Dooming Itself By Accident

When Curiosity goes looking for organic molecules in Mars’s solid surface, it vapourises a rock sample and sniffs the gas that comes out. The plan could be going awry thanks to a pesky little mineral called jarosite.


The Double Cyclone Disaster That Smashed Into Australia Last Week

Here you can see a composite satellite photo of two cyclones hitting northern Australia within six hours of each other this week. In the upper left is Cyclone Lam, and in the lower right is Cyclone Marcia. It’s beautiful but also terrifying.


Should We Be Trying To Make Contact With Extraterrestrials?

Another debate up popped again this week, one that’s been talked about and argued over for years now. Should we be actively seeking out and sending messages to habitable planets in the search for life beyond Earth?


The US Just Approved Its First GMO Apple, Which Doesn't Turn Brown 

For years, a small Canadian company, Okanagan Specialty Fruits, has been touting its Arctic apple, which doesn’t turn an unsightly brown after being sliced. The US Department of Agriculture finally approved it for planting this week.


The Foods That Will Survive The Disasters Of The Future

When we think of the future of food, we think of crops that are bred to be stronger, more production, and even more nutritious. But it turns out that these super-crops can have unexpected weaknesses — as one scientist realised after a cyclone hit eastern India in 2009.