At Facebook’s annual developer conference, F8, on Wednesday, the group unveiled what may be Facebook’s most ambitious—and creepiest—proposal yet. Facebook wants to build its own “brain-to-computer interface” that would allow us to send thoughts straight to a computer.
Food scientists are already looking to some dramatic-sounding options, from bugs to lab-grown meat to large fish farms, in order to feed a world whose population could approach ten billion humans by 2050. Combined with climate change, the food of the distant future may look very different.
Every once in a while our Sun gives off a tremendous belch of high energy particles. Called a coronal mass ejection (CME), these episodes can vary in intensity, but they can produce bursts of electrical charge when they interact with our upper atmosphere in a geomagnetic storm. In a strange twist, new research shows that geomagnetic storms can produce the opposite effect, stripping the upper atmosphere of electrons for hundreds of miles. Which, if you like electronic gadgets, may be a problem.
It’s known as the “death stalker”—a four-inch-long predatory arachnid capable of whipping its tail at speeds reaching 51 inches per second. Footage shot with high-speed cameras shows how the death stalker and other scorpions use their deadly tails to ward off would-be predators and catch unsuspecting prey.
Wine is spoiled grape juice. It’s old squished grapes mixed with yeast that get you drunk. But lots of people have a lot of things to say about wine, and maybe you’ve wondered what it is that gets them so jazzed over rotten grapes. Well, a lot of their enjoyment comes from biology, chemistry and psychology, as well as the kinds of molecules that travel from the glass into your body.
In 2009, Kerry McPhail descended Jacques Cousteau-style towards the Axial Volcano, inside the cramped, 30-year-old little submarine DSV Alvin, with a pilot and another scientist. Three hundred miles off the coast of Oregon, they were collecting tubeworms, bacterial mats and bivalves living near a deep sea volcanic vent. These samples could potentially yield new pharmaceutical compounds—and in turn, new chemical cures and desperately needed antibiotics that are yet undiscovered.
The giant deep-sea octopus Haliphron is so rare that marine biologists have seen it just three times in 27 years. Using a robotic sub, scientists have finally caught video footage of this animal at mealtime—revealing its distinct preference for gelatinous sea creatures.