Is There Any Plausible Reason Why Aliens Would Evolve To Look Like Us?

In science fiction movies and TV shows, intelligent aliens are usually the same basic shape as humans: two arms, two legs and a head. But why would creatures that evolved on a completely different planet look so similar to us? We asked some experts, and they told us the most likely explanations for humanoid aliens. » 9/23/14 6:01pm Today 6:01pm

How To Make a 1000x Microscope With Your Phone and a Glass Bead

In the aftermath of our annual ritual for receiving the newest and shiniest iPhones, let's not forget that even our slightly outdated phones are pretty nifty devices. With a cheap glass bead, a 3D-printed clip, and the camera of an old phone, scientists have made a powerful microscope with up to 1000x magnification.… » 9/19/14 1:50pm Friday 1:50pm

The Chemistry Behind the Different Colors of Autumn Leaves

At some point when you were a wee child, your parents or teachers probably gave you a simple—but incomplete—explanation of why leaves change color in the fall: green chlorophyll fades to reveal the yellows and oranges that have been there all along. That's true, but that's not the whole chemical story. » 9/18/14 2:25pm Thursday 2:25pm

A Chemistry Set Spice Rack Puts Science in the Spotlight At Supper Time

Even something as simple as making toast involves a whole lot of complex science that most of us don't even think about. But when dinner preparation involves a chemistry set full of spices, you'll be hard pressed to not wonder about all the chemical reactions going down in your dinner. » 9/17/14 5:00pm 9/17/14 5:00pm

Your iPhone Houses All These Chemical Reactions Every Single Day

Other than the times we notice our battery bars inching towards the red or our screens go silent, we usually don't think too about how it is our phones actually function. But as a new video from the Reaction YouTube channel shows, there's a whole host of complex chemical reactions going on both during production and… » 9/15/14 4:48pm 9/15/14 4:48pm

All Science Should Be Taught With Gigantic Ball Machines

When drug manufacturer Seattle Genetics needed an effective way to promote its cancer-fighting antibody-drug conjugate medicines at a trade show, it enlisted a company called Creative Machines to design and build this amazing ball contraption that actually illustrates how the drug enters a cell and attacks cancer… » 9/15/14 11:51am 9/15/14 11:51am

Plankton Makes This Dinosaur Toy Glow, Batteries Not Required

As the story goes, the folks at BioPop were trying to make a sustainable light that relied on something other than man-made batteries. They tried using a bioluminescent plankton called dinoflagellates, but the tiny creatures required too much intervention to be a practical light source. They would, however, make for a… » 9/11/14 5:00pm 9/11/14 5:00pm

Induced Stem Cells Will Be Tested on Humans for the First Time

Back in 2006, when controversy over embryonic stem cell funding was still raging, a piece of research came along that would make the debate essentially obsolete: normal adult cells can actually be reprogrammed into stem cells. No embryos necessary. The technique went on to win its inventor the Nobel Prize. And now,… » 9/10/14 6:03pm 9/10/14 6:03pm

Bloodletting and Bone Brushes: The White-Knuckle Days of Early Dentistry

With all those gleaming, stainless-steel tools readied for painful prodding, few people look forward to visiting the dentist. But modern dentistry is a walk in the park compared with archaic methods of treating oral maladies: Be glad you're not seeking treatment for mysterious "tooth worms" or using dentures filled… » 9/10/14 3:00pm 9/10/14 3:00pm

Levitating Toy Trains Are the Best Use of Superconductors Yet

Science and electrical engineering types might have a list of practical uses for superconductors a mile long, but the rest of us really only care about how they can make things magically levitate. Just imagine if a company like Lionel revealed a levitating train set available in time for the holidays, the demand for… » 9/09/14 12:36pm 9/09/14 12:36pm