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John Glenn, the Last Remaining Mercury Astronaut, Dies at Age 95

John Glenn, a military vet turned space pioneer, has died at the age of 95. After flying 59 combat missions in World War II, Glenn became an early recruit into NASA's Mercury program.

Child Mummy Could Rewrite Smallpox Timeline

The oldest genetic sample of smallpox ever studied could rewrite the timeline for this deadly disease, which ravaged Europe and much of the world beginning in the eighteenth century.

Deform to Perform: A Different Take On Programmable Matter

Crowning the plethora of issues with the last Transformers movie, Michael Bay notwithstanding, was the programmable matter — matter that can change its physical properties autonomously, or based on instructions from a designer.

Flickering Light Could — Key Word Could — Treat Alzheimer's

Staring into a flickering light could help treat Alzheimer's disease. Using a mouse model, researchers from MIT have demonstrated that flashing light at a specific frequency can alter patterns of brain activity in a way that reduces levels of amyloid-beta plaque in the brain.

Aviation Research, for the Birds

Sometimes, it takes a goggle-wearing parrot to show us where we went wrong. A study from researchers at Stanford University suggests that our previous models of lift, as they pertain to animals, are all incomplete, based on observations of an intrepid parrotlet in their laboratory.

Chimpanzees See Butts Like We See Faces

Chimpanzees may look at each other's butts the same way we look at faces. A pair of researchers from Leiden University in the Netherlands and Kyoto University in Japan studied how chimps process images of other chimps' rear ends, and found that they perceive them in the same way that we do faces.

Breakthrough Prize-Winning Scientists Share $25 Million

During the 5th Annual Breakthrough Prize ceremony, an affair with all the trappings of the Oscars, a handful of scientists in the fields of life sciences, physics, and mathematics became millionaires.

An Imposing Egyptian Queen, Survived Only By Her Knees

After years of speculation, researchers have proven that a pair of mummified knees found in Egypt's Valley of the Queens once belonged to Queen Nefertari, wife of Ramses the Great.

For Cancer Patients, Psilocybin Brings Much-needed Relief

Two recent studies of psilocybin, the psychoactive compound in so-called magic mushrooms, contend that the chemical can act as a powerful remedy for cancer patients suffering from depression and anxiety.

Found: A Missing Link in Whale Evolution

Whales are some of largest animals to ever exist on Earth, and they have an incredible evolutionary history.

Google's Timelapse Tool Shows How Busy Humanity Has Been

One of the most difficult problems for writers and historians alike is that it's hard to encapsulate the sheer magnitude of man's impact on the planet.

In Tiny Spaces, Boiling Water Stays Solid

A new study shows that confining water to very small spaces can keep it solid past even its normal boiling point.

Coconut Crabs' Crushing Grip Finally Measured

Talk about a powerful handshake. Researchers have measured the crushing grip of coconut crabs, the largest hermit crabs on Earth, for the first time, and the results are imposing.

A Brief History of Celebrating Thanksgiving in Space

Nothing puts the concept of "thanks" in perspective like floating in a tin can, high above the world.

Antarctica's Fastest Melting Glacier Began Retreating in the 1940s

In the late 1940s, with World War II finally over, the USS Pine Island was redeployed from the fight in the Pacific on yet another perilous mission: Operation Highjump.

When Humans Domesticated the Turkey

As Thanksgiving approaches we all try to remember to count our blessings, but we should also give thanks to the animal that sacrificed it all for our holiday meal — the noble turkey.

The Impossible' EmDrive Thruster Has Cleared Its First Credibility Hurdle

After years of unwarranted hype and dubious experimental claims, the EmDrive, an “impossible” propulsion device that claims to produce thrust while violating Newton’s Laws of Motion, has received its first published, peer-reviewed paper.

Genetic Basis of 'Uncombable Hair Syndrome' Discovered

The next time you have a bad hair day, at least you can fix it. Be glad you don't suffer from "uncombable hair syndrome." The condition, which is usually present only in childhood, results in a tangled mess of frizzy hair that leaves the afflicted looking like they're being perpetually shocked by static electricity.

Yellowstone Park: America's Cherished Cauldron of Death

Walking into the wilderness is always dangerous. That holds true in national parks, where the bounty of paved roads, groomed campsites and friendly rangers can make nature feel downright civilized.

Brightest-Ever Fast Radio Burst Contains Cosmic Clues

There’s a long list of scientific discoveries that continue to puzzle researchers around the world, and one of the most mysterious comes in the form of something called Fast Radio Bursts, or FRBs.