Here's the Physics Behind That Insane Chinese Traffic Jam

A few days ago, a drone captured this eye-popping video of the world’s worst traffic jam on the G4 Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau Expressway. Blame foggy weather if you like, but physics says it all comes down to a question of density — namely, an unusually high number of people returning to Beijing after a week-long holiday… »10/09/15 12:43pm10 minutes ago

DNA Repair Earned the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and Here's Why

Yesterday the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Tomas Lindahl, Aziz Sancar, and Paul Modrich for their work in mapping out how cells repair damaged DNA. Their research improved our understanding of how our own cells work and helped in the development of cancer treatments, but… »10/08/15 5:06pmYesterday 5:06pm

Incredible Fossil of an Ancient Horse Still Contains Its Unborn Foal

Paleontologists in Germany have identified the fossilized remains of a horse-like animal that dates back 48 million years. Remarkably, the fossil still contains its unborn foal and traces of soft tissue—leading scientists to call it the earliest and best-preserved specimen of its kind. »10/08/15 10:39amYesterday 10:39am

Here's How Black Holes Turn on the Lights In the Universe Around Them

Despite their popular reputation as dark inescapable pits, black holes really put out a lot of energy. They thrust out jets of matter. They get matter to heat up through friction as it swirls around them. And, in some cases, they contribute to bursts of incredibly high energy photons, thanks to a phenomenon first… »10/06/15 7:35pmTuesday 7:35pm

New Scale Pinpoints Most Life-Friendly Alien Planets 


Researchers at the University of Washington’s Virtual Planetary Laboratory have devised a new habitability index for judging how suitable alien planets might be for life. The point of the exercise is to help scientists prioritize future targets for close-ups from NASA’s yet-to-be-launched James Webb Space Telescope »10/06/15 6:15pmTuesday 6:15pm

The House That Calculus Built Can Be Yours for Just $17.2 Million

Most people cringe in horror at the mere mention of calculus, but one man loved it so much, he designed his Toronto dream house around it. And now the so-called “Integral House” — named after one of the key concepts in calculus — has hit the market. Asking price: a cool £11.4 million (about $17.2 million). »10/05/15 5:13pmMonday 5:13pm