NASA and Google have come together to buy a new kind of computer that the manufacturer says runs on the strange laws of quantum mechanics. But some physicists counter that the machine, known as the D-Wave Two, has never demonstrated a phenomenon known as "quantum entanglement."
May 21, 2013 Engineers have figured out a way to get crystals to form rose and tulip sculptures, each smaller than a strand of hair. The gardens sprout up on a penny dipped in a salt solution. The technique is similar to 3-D printing and could one day be used to make any complex shape.
May 20, 2013 People are notorious for under-reporting what they consume — they lie, forget or just guess wrong. For researchers who want to know how much soda we're drinking, a high-tech analysis technique could help.
May 20, 2013 A computer-simulated woman named Ellie is designed to talk to people who are struggling emotionally and take their measure — 30 times per second. Researchers hope their technology, which reads a person's body language and inflections, will yield diagnostic clues for clinical therapists.
May 20, 2013 When several states passed laws banning same-sex marriages, researchers found that the mental health of gay residents seemed to suffer. Conversely, stress-related disorders dropped after the legalization of gay marriage in one state. Researchers say negative media portrayals and loss of safety were contributing factors.
May 18, 2013 Atmospheric scientist Ira Leifer installed special air sensors on a camper, then drove from Florida to California, measuring methane levels all along the way. More than 6,000 readings later, he found some noticeable spikes, especially around petrochemical plants and urban areas like Los Angeles.
May 16, 2013 The results are preliminary, and alpha parents seeking an edge for their children shouldn't risk electrocution. Still, the findings are provocative and may lead researchers down a new road.
May 16, 2013 Scientists have discovered water that was sealed in Canadian bedrock for nearly half of Earth's history. It may contain the descendants of ancient microbes. The discovery could give scientists new insights into early life on Earth and inform the search for life on other planets.
May 15, 2013 After decades of trying, scientists say they've finally figured out how to make personalized embryonic stem cells. One day, these designer cells may help treat an array of diseases. A jolt of caffeine and and a little electric shock helped to do the trick.
May 15, 2013 Fish are moving away from the equator and toward the poles to maintain their preferred water temperature. That means, for example, that fishermen are seeing swordfish normally found in the Mediterranean swimming near Denmark. But in the tropics, there are no fish to replace the ones that are leaving.
May 14, 2013 By the end of the century, ocean levels could rise by 2 or 3 feet. That's enough to flood the colonists' first settlement at Jamestown, Va. And it's putting pressure on archaeologists to get as many artifacts out of the ground as quickly as possible — before it's too late.
May 13, 2013 The appeal of owning your own property — and all the private goods that came with it — may have convinced nomadic humans to settle down and take up farming. So says a new study that tried to puzzle out why early farmers bothered with agriculture.