Explainer: how the brain changes when we learn to read

Explainer: how the brain changes when we learn to read

Right now, you are reading these words without much thought or conscious effort. In lightning-fast bursts, your eyes are darting from left to right across your screen, somehow making meaning from what would otherwise be a series of black squiggles. Reading for you is not just easy – it’s automatic. Looking at a word and…

Mining the moon for rocket fuel to get us to Mars

Mining the moon for rocket fuel to get us to Mars

Forty-five years have passed since humans last set foot on an extraterrestrial body. Now, the moon is back at the center of efforts not only to explore space, but to create a permanent, independent space-faring society. Planning expeditions to Earth’s nearest celestial neighbor is no longer just a NASA effort, though the U.S. space agency…

Why bad moods are good for you: the surprising benefits of sadness

Why bad moods are good for you: the surprising benefits of sadness

Homo sapiens is a very moody species. Even though sadness and bad moods have always been part of the human experience, we now live in an age that ignores or devalues these feelings. In our culture, normal human emotions like temporary sadness are often treated as disorders. Manipulative advertising, marketing and self-help industries claim happiness…

Physicists use Einstein’s ‘spooky’ entanglement to invent super-sensitive gravitational wave detector

Physicists use Einstein’s ‘spooky’ entanglement to invent super-sensitive gravitational wave detector

The first direct detection of gravitational waves, a phenomenon predicted by Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity, was reported by scientists in 2016. Armed with this “discovery of the century”, physicists around the world have been planning new and better detectors of gravitational waves. Physicist Professor Chunnong Zhao and his recent PhD students Haixing Miao…

The science of finding buried bodies

The science of finding buried bodies

Ian Brady, who tortured and killed five children in the UK in the 1960s with his accomplice Myra Hindley, died in prison on May 15. Jailed in 1966, Brady buried four of his victims in shallow graves on Saddleworth Moor outside Manchester – and the remains have since been found. Sadly, the body of one…