Smart News Science

Longhorn cattle in Houston, Texas.

Why Do Cows Have Spots?

Cows' mottled coats may have evolved to help keep flies away.

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How to Recognize and Avoid Fake Health Food

It's no surprise that many of food health labels stray from truth, but how can we cut the rubbish and identify the things that are actually good for us?

The European Space Agency wants to put an unmanned lander on the Moon in 2018.

India Wants to go to Mars Too, And Other Upcoming Space Missions

Though all eyes are on Curiosity, space agencies from around the world have by no means been resting on their laurels.

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Scientists Explain How an All Drug Olympics Could Create the Greatest Athletes Ever

If we let athletes dope all they want, just how big, fast and strong can they really get?

This palm frond fossil dating to the the Eocene period was found in Utah’s Green River Basin.

Ancient Climate Change Meant Antarctica Was Once Covered with Palm Trees

53 million years ago, Antarctica was so warm that palm trees lived along its shores.

The Beaufort Sea, off the coast of Alaska, on July 25, 2006.

Miners, Drillers Push Into Void Left By Melting Arctic Ice

The opening of parts of the Arctic Ocean each summer, and the melting of surface ice on northern landscapes, driving a gold rush into the Arctic frontier

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Research Suggests Politicians are More Likely to Be Psychopaths

Several of the characteristics that define a psychopath also correspond to the traits that make for effective leaders. For politicians, this is true

Artist rendering of Curiosity cruising the Martian surface

How to Follow Every Second of the Curiosity Mars Mission

The Curiosity lander sets down in just a few days, and here's who to follow on Twitter in anticipation

Smell Hallucinations Exist Too, and Could Be a Sign of Health Problems

Nasal hallucinations are a real thing, and they stink

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How The Feeling We Call Awe Helped Humans Conquer the Planet

Getting your daily dose of awe inspires patience, altruism, and life satisfaction

Goats beware.

When It’s Okay to Kill 80,000 Wild Goats

The Galapagos recently finished exterminating 80,000 invasive goats from the island

India’s northwestern boundary with neighboring Pakistan is so brightly lit that the thin orange line tracing its path can be seen from space.

How An Unholy Alliance of Unusual Weather and Scarce Coal Nuked India’s Power Grid

Power grids supplying both the northern and eastern parts of India went down, throwing 620 million people, or 8.9% of the world population into darkness

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Why You Shouldn’t Panic Over The Latest News About Bird Flu

New research reveals that the flu virus has mutated into a novel strain of influenza, which transfers not just from bird to seal, but from seal to seal

This crystal ball won’t help you.

Why Experts are Almost Always Wrong

No one, not even the experts, really knows what's about to happen

Mycoplasma mycoides, 2011

Teaching Molecular Biology with Watercolors

Molecular biology professor David Goodsell is just as skilled with a microscope as with a paint brush

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We’re Biased By Our Body’s Dominant Side

A new study shows that right-handed and left-handed people make different choices

The Environmental Case Against Cheap Coffee

Bad news for coffee drinkers: It turns out that those cheap coffee pots found in offices are one of the biggest energy hogs in the modern workplace

This dog loves the laser beam, but it might wind up making him crazy.

How LOLCats and Laser Pointers Are Bad for Our Pets

The things we do to animals for the LOLs might not be as innocuous as they seem

The fountains of Enceladus as seen by Cassini

If Humans Are Ever Going to See Alien Life, Here’s Where It Will Happen

Scientists are all atwitter over Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons and one of the most likely places in our solar system to harbor life

Lights, climate change, dams and mines–An increasing number of scientists believe humans are the primary geological force on the planet.

Anthropocene

How The Fukushima Exclusion Zone Shows Us What Comes After The Anthropocene

Images of the evacuated area around the Fukushima Daiichi power plant offer a glimpse at a world without humans

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