The Woods Around Chernobyl Aren't Decaying

Like a landscape of the undead, the woods outside Chernobyl are having trouble decomposing. The catastrophic meltdown and ensuing radiation blast of April 1986 has had long-term effects on the very soil and ground cover of the forested region, essentially leaving the dead trees and leaf litter unable to decompose. The… » 3/17/14 1:50pm 3/17/14 1:50pm

Chemists show life on Earth was not a fluke

61

How life came about from inanimate sets of chemicals is still a mystery. While we may never be certain which chemicals existed on prebiotic Earth, we can study the biomolecules we have today to give us clues about what happened three billion years ago. Now scientists have used a set of these biomolecules to show one… » 10/24/13 8:40am 10/24/13 8:40am

This map of gender segregation shows how New Yorkers live and die

In New York City, genders are unevenly mixed. As men and women age, they pour into and out of neighborhoods, pooling, dispersing and redistributing across the five boroughs in a mesmerizing demographic dance that datavisualization expert John Nelson calls "gender flow." In his latest visualization, he charts this dance… » 10/16/13 12:05pm 10/16/13 12:05pm

The average human lifespan, illustrated with jelly beans

Ze Frank takes a break from disseminating true facts about the seahorse (nature's most romantic and poorly made creature) and the echidna (the most adorable creature on Earth with a four-headed penis) to talk, rather movingly, about the time we have and how we spend it. » 6/24/13 8:40am 6/24/13 8:40am

Beautiful Minimalist Science Graphics, c. 1960

For the weekend: vintage science art from the backs of books in LIFE Magazine's Science Library, published throughout the 1960s by Time Inc. See also: this set of minimalist science posters by graphic designer Kazumasa Nagai, also featured in the magazine's 60s Science Library. » 2/08/13 9:40am 2/08/13 9:40am

Nearby super-Earth might be the Predator's real-life home planet

This newly discovered planet is just 22 light-years away. Its discoverers are calling it the "new best candidate" to support water, and possibly life. The planet's unique features could even make it the ideal home for creatures like the Predator! » 2/02/12 3:02pm 2/02/12 3:02pm

NASA claims to have found "bullet proof evidence" of Mars' watery past

A few weeks ago, NASA scientists announced they'd discovered something completely new on the surface of the Red Planet. Now they know what it is —and they're calling it the most powerful evidence for liquid water on Mars ever encountered by the Opportunity Rover. » 12/08/11 8:30am 12/08/11 8:30am