This rock-bending tech may change clean energy
A technology that stores energy underground could make enhanced geothermal systems more cost competitive.
1.7 billion years ago, Earth had a natural nuclear reactor
Seventeen natural sites possessing ancient nuclear reactions have now been found: evidence of Earth's first nuclear reactor.
This logarithmic view of the Universe will blow your mind
From here to the limits of what we can see, here's a breathtaking illustrated logarithmic view of the Universe.
Breakthrough in photosynthesis boosts plant growth up to 30%
In a small study, researchers have engineered soy plants to have higher yields thanks to improved photosynthesis.
A large solar storm could knock out the power grid and the internet
Typical amounts of solar particles hitting the earth’s magnetosphere can be beautiful, but too much could be catastrophic.
Bad news for the 2022 hurricane season: The Loop Current is coming 
The Loop Current, a fueler of monster storms, is looking a lot like it did in 2005, the year of hurricane Katrina.
Tapping into the million-year energy source below our feet
Quaise Energy wants to repurpose coal and gas plants into deep geothermal wells by using X-rays to melt rock.
The cosmos can kill us in many ways. But the James Webb Space Telescope can help save us
Asteroid strikes, supernova explosions, and gamma-ray bursts are just a few of the ways the cosmos can kill us.
This is the damage a tiny speck of space debris can do at 15,000mph
A crater 5 inches deep was caused by something about the size and weight of an eraser on the end of a pencil.
What happens if the Solar System’s largest comet collides with Earth?
The asteroid that caused the last mass extinction 65 million years ago was only 5 kilometers across — tiny compared to this one.
17 pictures that show how mind-bogglingly large the Universe is
Our entire planet is a little under 13,000 kilometers in diameter, or about seven orders of magnitude greater than the size of a human.
When will the Earth come to an end?
There are many different "ends" in store for our planet, in both the near and far future. Here are the ways our planet will meet its demise.
reduce plastic pollution
Spray-on “peel” for produce helps reduce plastic pollution
A Bill Gates-backed startup is helping reduce plastic pollution and food waste by coating produce in an edible spray.
A world map of private islands (some are a steal!)
Private islands exert a special attraction on the imagination. While they're often the realm of the rich, some are downright cheap.
What the world will look like in the year 250,002,018
On Pangaea Proxima, the supercontinent of the future, Cape Town and Mexico City are just a day’s drive apart.
This company is tackling Kuwait’s ‘tire graveyard’ problem by tire recycling
Kuwait wants to build 25,000 new houses on the site of a former tire graveyard. Here's how they're going to do it.
An asteroid could wipe out an entire city – here’s NASA’s plan to prevent catastrophe
Cosmic bodies, like asteroids and comets, are constantly zooming through space and often crash into our planet.
tree of life
Online tree of life now connects 2.2 million living species
OneZoom is an interactive “tree of life” that lets you explore the evolutionary connections between more than two million species.
Series | Make It Count
How biomaterials could save the planet
By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. But biomaterials may be the solution.
How to slay a hurricane
Hurricanes are becoming more powerful — can scientists engineer a way to weaken them and save lives?
cigarette butts
A startup is stuffing teddy bears with recycled cigarette butts
Indian startup CODE Effort has developed a process for recycling cigarette butts, the world’s most littered objects.
plastic waste into vanillin
E. coli turns plastic waste into vanillin
Scientists have engineered E. coli bacteria to convert plastic waste into vanillin, an in-demand compound used in vanilla flavoring and more.
space dust
More than 5,000 tons of space dust hit Earth every year
We now know about how much space dust — micrometeorites that may have seeded Earth with the ingredients for life — hits the planet every year.
light-driven levitation
Light-driven levitation could lift probes to the edge of space
A new light-driven levitation technique can lift objects large enough to carry sensors to the understudied mesosphere near the edge of space.
global sustainability
How ‘mental time travel’ can lead us to sustainability
Bina Venkataraman, author of The Optimist's Telescope, believes that modern society’s shortsightedness is the root of many avoidable catastrophes.
earthquake prediction
Will we ever predict earthquakes?
In 2010, an earthquake killed 222,570 people in Haiti, injuring 300,000 and displacing over a million. In an attempt to discover how to predict earthquakes, these researchers are using machine learning to analyze the acoustic data from tectonic plates.
Could the human race survive a supervolcano?
The eruption of Mount Tambora pushed humanity to the brink of extinction. Today, active supervolcanoes still have the power to nullify our future. What can we do to prepare?
underwater drones
The fleet of underwater drones probing Earth’s interior
The Earth’s interior may be the last wild frontier, but not for long. These underwater drones are scanning the ocean to create a 3D model of its internal dynamics.
The robot racing to study Antarctica’s massive ice melt
Icefin, a semi-autonomous research vessel, is on a mission to search for clues about one of the continent’s fastest melting glaciers, the Thwaites Glacier.
diversity in the outdoors
Diversity in the outdoors: bridging the adventure gap
This DC nonprofit is defying statistics by promoting diversity in the outdoors and connecting people from all walks of life with the wonders of nature.
NASA wants YOU to help track landslides
NASA is enlisting citizen scientists to collect important data on recent landslides, in an effort to improve prediction models and assist in disaster prevention.