When – and why – did people first start using money?
by cosmoso

Sometimes you run across a grimy, tattered dollar bill that seems like it’s been around since the beginning of time. Assuredly it hasn’t, but the history of human beings using cash currency does go back a long time – 40,000 years. Scientists have tracked exchange and trade through the archaeological record, starting in Upper Paleolithic […]

Time travel: a conversation between a scientist and a literature professor
by cosmoso

Richard Bower, Durham University and Simon John James, Durham University Literature professor Simon John James and physicist Richard Bower were both involved in the curating the exhibition, Time Machines – the past, the future, and how stories take us there. Their conversations quickly revealed to them the many, wildly various, meanings of “time travel”. Here, […]

Beyond just promise, CRISPR is delivering in the lab today
by cosmoso

Ian Haydon, University of Washington There’s a revolution happening in biology, and its name is CRISPR. CRISPR (pronounced “crisper”) is a powerful technique for editing DNA. It has received an enormous amount of attention in the scientific and popular press, largely based on the promise of what this powerful gene editing technology will someday do. […]

When I grow up, I want to be a researcher…
by cosmoso

Jérémy Filet, Université de Lorraine and Lisa Jeanson, Université de Lorraine “So what’s your PhD topic again?”… Nowadays, this is the question most commonly asked to early-career researchers, and the answer is becoming more and more complex. While an interdisciplinary approach is favoured in English-speaking world, the French academic system often keeps doctoral students within […]

Japanese space agency’s mission aims to uncover how moons of Mars formed
by cosmoso

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has announced a mission to visit the two moons of Mars and return a rock sample to Earth. It’s a plan to uncover both the mystery of the moons’ creation and, perhaps, how life began in our Solar System. The Solar System’s planets take their names from ancient Greek […]

Why North Korea’s nuclear threat must be taken more seriously than ever
by cosmoso

Graham Ong-Webb, Nanyang Technological University During what was the 2017 Easter weekend for most of the world, North Koreans celebrated the “Day of the Sun”. It was the 105th birthday of the country’s late founding leader and “eternal president” Kim Il-sung (1912-1994). Thousands of soldiers, military vehicles and, most notably, various ballistic missiles were paraded […]

Facebook’s new anti-fake news strategy is not going to work – but something else might
by cosmoso

Have you seen some “tips to spot fake news” on your Facebook newsfeed recently? Over the past year, the social media company has been scrutinized for influencing the US presidential election by spreading fake news (propoganda). Obviously, the ability to spread completely made-up stories about politicians trafficking child sex slaves and imaginary terrorist attacks with […]

Cassini Captures Closest Images of Saturn’s Atmosphere
by cosmoso

This unprocessed image shows features in Saturn’s atmosphere from closer than ever before. The view was captured by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft during its first Grand Finale dive past the planet on April 26, 2017.

Lyrids in Southern Skies
by cosmoso

Earth’s annual Lyrid meteor shower peaked before dawn on April 22nd, as our fair planet plowed through dust from the tail of long-period comet Thatcher. Seen from the high, dark, and dry Atacama desert a waning crescent Moon and brilliant Venus join Lyrid meteor streaks in this composited view. Captured over 5 hours on the […]

Mt. Etna Lava Plume
by cosmoso

Mt. Etna has been erupting for hundreds of thousands of years. Located in Sicily, Italy, the volcano produces lava fountains over one kilometer high. Mt. Etna is not only one of the most active volcanoes on Earth, it is one of the largest, measuring over 50 kilometers at its base and rising nearly 3 kilometers […]