Four in ten nearby stars may host habitable planets

There could be a lot more potentially habitable planets out there than previously thought, and some of them could be very nearby.

Habitable zone redefined - and we're barely in it ourselves

We can all be picky at times, but you probably think of this planet as reasonably bearable. In a new model for what constitutes a habitable zone, however, the Earth barely scrapes over the bar.

Human evolution driven by sudden climate change

Erratic changes in the East African climate around two million years ago may have been the driving force behind human evolution, say researchers at Penn State and Rutgers University.

Lab-on-a-chip paves way for Star Trek tricorder

A device that sorts cells using acoustic waves could lead to the creation of miniature medical analytic devices that fit in a pocket.

Americans turned off by targeted political ads

Americans hate tailored political advertising - so much so that it's likely to put them off politicians they already support.

Polar bears have survived global warming before

Despite being separate species, polar bears and brown bears interbred during periods of global warming in the past - and appear to be doing the same today.

Robots, not humans will explore space


A Penn State engineer believes autonomous, self-replicating exobots will ultimately be tasked with exploring the universe.

Wastewater into electricity gets an ionic twist

What would happen if you jumped into a lake and then, still wet, went swimming in the ocean?

Alien probes could be within solar system, say researchers

The Fermi paradox asks why, if intelligent life is common, no technological civilizations have ever been observed.

Team finds 'inexhaustible' source of energy

A couple of grains of salt could be all that's needed to help bacteria produce hydrogen from wastewater or organic byproducts.

High school biology teachers refuse to teach evolution

High school biology teachers need more training to, um, help them understand and thus believe in basic tenets of biology.