Science & Health

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Daniel Espinosa's highly anticipated sci-fi thriller, Life, isn't just 2017's answer to Alien — it's much scarier. Unlike most movies in the genre, Life is terrifying because it taps into legitimate concerns about contaminating Earth that even NASA, ESA and other space agencies haven't entirely figured out — the fear that in our longing to discover alien life, we bring something back to our planet that could destroy it.

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Guppies might look like mindless, mouth-breathing little bastards, but it turns out some of them make better dating decisions than we do. No, really — these tiny fish, with their infinitesimal brains, are somehow more discerning with their mates than us, and we literally invented rockets. And Doritos.

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The International Space Station will receive three Australian-designed cubesats today, with the launch scheduled for a little after 1pm AEST. Part of the QB50 project, the one-kilogram satellites will eventually make their way to Earth's lower thermosphere to conduct research that could impact everything from weather prediction to communications. Best of all, NASA will be livestreaming the launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida, starting from 12:45pm.

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Who among us hasn't wondered who would win in a fight between a bear and an alligator? Or a ram and a tiger? A badger and a gopher? While these animals are all university mascots represented in the NCAA March Madness tournament, they're also competitors in an imaginary Pokemon battle-style spinoff tournament playing out right now on Twitter. And the "fights" are absurdly scientific.

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By most standards, Robert F. Dorr lived the most all-American, patriotic life anyone possibly could. He served in the Air Force, he was a diplomat with the State Department from the 1960s to the 1980s, and he went on to be a successful author and TV pundit about military affairs. But as a teenager, Dorr was investigated by the FBI for potential espionage. His crime? He kept writing to Boeing asking for photos of their planes.

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When a young boy identified only as Roman couldn't wake up his unconscious mother, he did what any astute, technologically-adept four-year-old would do: He used his mother's finger to unlock her phone, and then asked Siri to call emergency services. The boy's actions saved his mother, but the incident exposes some dark and dangerous flaws in our increasingly landline-less world.

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It's a widely accepted fact that we're screwed. That's sort of in a general sense. You, reader, are certainly not making it past 2100. And civilisation? Maybe it will meet its maker from superbugs and nuclear war in 50 years, or sea level rise in a few centuries. Maybe it will be an asteroid in a thousand years, or the Sun engulfing the planet in a few billion. Or, maybe a new mass extinction event will result in a lizard-pocalypse, which is basically what happened in Australia 35 million years ago.