Can Natural Remedies Really Help You Fight the Coronavirus?

As COVID-19 blasts its way across the globe, viral wellness videos, tweets and social media posts are springing up in its wake. Whatever the platform, these blitzes share the same underlying message: Certain supplements and natural remedies can prepare your immune system to do battle against the infection caused by the novel coronavirus. Some online […]

VIDEO: The Sun: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Hot

You know, for how often we see the sun, there’s an awful lot we don’t know about it. I mean, we know it’s powered by nuclear fusion, that it’s 92.96 million miles away, and that it’s about a million times bigger than the Earth by volume. But there’s more to it than that. Like, why is […]

Why We Buy Weird Things in Times of Crisis

The world is in the grip of a serious pandemic as a novel virus sweeps from continent to continent, causing cases of sometimes-deadly COVID-19. Yet much of the global social media response has centered around a somewhat trivial and comical side effect: the hoarding of toilet paper. News reports cover accounts of people coming to […]

Abandoned ancient machinery on Mars proves that the planet was once inhabited

If an advanced, intelligent species had once inhabited Mars, but went extinct for some reason, would we have any way to know it today? Depending on how technologically advanced the civilization was some things will be visible. Archaeological evidence of structures, tools or even machinery could tell us a lot. The images below show some […]

How Robots Could Help on the Frontlines of the Coronavirus Pandemic

As health care workers, grocery store employees and delivery truck drivers repeatedly expose themselves to COVID-19, one thing has become clear to engineers: Robots could be handling some of these dangerous tasks. In an editorial in Science Robotics, researchers argue that many essential but risky jobs could be performed by robots during health emergencies. Some […]

A Bit of Less Bad Than Usual News About the Arctic

A large iceberg floats among sea ice floes off the coast of Greenland, as seen during an aerial survey on April 21, 2018. (Source: NASA/Linette Boisvert) Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be buoyed by news that an expanse of Arctic sea ice the size of Arizona and Nevada has gone missing. But given the state of the […]

Closing in on the New Coronavirus

It is new, but not entirely. The coronavirus upending the world right now is so similar to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus of 2002–03 that virologists opted to simply call it SARS-CoV-2. Yet there seem to be some crucial differences between the virus that caused an epidemic 17 years ago and the one […]

It’s Wrong to Blame Bats for the Coronavirus Epidemic

Genomic research showing that the COVID-19 coronavirus likely originated in bats has produced heavy media coverage and widespread concern. There is now danger that frightened people and misguided officials will try to curb the epidemic by culling these remarkable creatures, even though this strategy has failed in the past. As an environmental historian focusing on […]

Life’s Little Oscillations

Living things must deal with a universe that is both regular and ever-changing: No day exactly mirrors the last, yet the sun and moon still appear at their appointed hours. Cells contain their own seeming chaos, with countless molecules cooperating to produce subtle responses and behaviors. And in recent decades, a great deal of focus […]