Hydrothermal Vent Mining Is Almost A Thing

Deep sea hydrothermal vents, home to exotic forms of life that exist nowhere else on earth, are very close to being commercially mined for precious and rare-earth metals. This could have profound effects on the isolated ecosystems surrounding the vents, some of which have existed for millennia. » 7/30/14 12:59am 7/30/14 12:59am

What Most Freaks Out Scholars Who Study The Future Of Humanity?

It's only Tuesday, but already this week's news is apocalyptic: the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is unstoppable, the UN is debating whether to ban killer robots and the U.S. and Russia are going 1980s-retro with nuclear war games. What should worry us the most? Here's what two experts think. » 5/13/14 6:30am 5/13/14 6:30am

Did Microbes Cause The Earth's Most Devastating Mass Extinction?

A little over 250 million years ago, our planet experienced a mass extinction the likes of which have never been seen before or since. About 90% of all species were suddenly wiped out. And new study suggests it wasn't caused by an asteroid or super-volcano — but rather methane-spewing microbes. » 3/31/14 12:00pm 3/31/14 12:00pm

If bees go extinct, this is what your supermarket will look like

Over the past decade, bee populations have been dropping, partly as a result of a disease called colony collapse disorder. This is very bad news for humans, because bees are a crucial part of the reproductive cycle of many of our favorite foods, including apples, onions, avocados, and more. This incredible data… » 6/15/13 2:10pm 6/15/13 2:10pm