Latest stories - Alessandra Potenza

Yesterday   The popular myth that strong earthquakes happen during certain Moon phases has no basis in science, according to new research. Susan Hough, a scientist at the US Geological Survey, pored over 400 years of data from over 200 earthquakes of magnitude eight or larger.

Yesterday   On her very first dive into the frigid waters of Antarctica, Orla Doherty’s yellow submarine began taking on water. So she did what she was supposed to — she stuck a finger in the puddle at her feet and licked it.

2 Days Ago   Last year was either the second- or the third-warmest year on record, depending on whether you ask NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

3 Days Ago   Early last year, an ad agency approached Jonas Hansson, product manager for Mercene Labs in Stockholm, to see if he could create a quite unorthodox advertisement for Ikea: a magazine ad that asked pregnant women to pee on the page to reveal a discount for a crib.

3 Days Ago   In May 2015, researchers in central Kazakhstan witnessed something really strange: thousands of saiga antelopes began acting a bit weird, becoming unbalanced, and then just plopping on the ground within a few hours — dead.

5 Days Ago   Emoji have become a language of their own, but until recently, the language made it hard to talk about climate change: There are no emoji about pollution, wildfires, or rising sea levels.

8 Days Ago   After a monster “bomb cyclone” and frigid Arctic blasts that set some new records on the US East Coast, temperatures have been a bit more merciful this week.

8 Days Ago   This afternoon, the United Launch Alliance is set to launch a classified spy satellite on one of its Delta IV rockets from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

10 Days Ago   War’s main effect is killing people, sure — but it also kills wildlife. In Africa, the number of large animals like elephants, zebras, and buffalo can decline as much as 90 percent during wartime, according to new research.

12 Days Ago   Over the weekend, Twitter users — including some climate scientists — were upset by a plaque at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York, which seems to be spreading misinformation about climate change.

15 Days Ago   The monster “bomb cyclone” that hammered the US East Coast this week made it snow in places that are rarely coated in white: Savannah, Georgia got some 1.2 inches of snow, making records; while Charleston, South Carolina got 5.3 inches on January 3rd, the city’s third-snowiest day on record.

15 Days Ago   For the next 10 years, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the US Geological Survey (USGS) should focus their space-based observations of Earth on answering key questions about our planet: How much will sea level rise in the future?

16 Days Ago   Corals are bleaching more and more often around the world because of warming ocean waters, a new study shows. Since bleaching can cause corals to die, this means that coral reefs — which provide food and profits for thousands of people — risk disappearing in the future if we don’t stop climate change.

17 Days Ago   If you live in the eastern US, from northern Florida all the way to New England, you’re in for some nasty weather: a massive winter storm called a “bomb cyclone” is hammering the coast, bringing snow, ice, flooding, and strong winds.

24 Days Ago   Christmas is over — so now what do you do with that massive Fraser fir that’s been decorating your living room? Well, you could mulch it, or just toss it in a lake.

30 Days Ago   Up in the Austrian Alps, inside two hydropower mills, a start-up called HydroMiner keeps high-power computers, CPUs, and servers running around the clock. These machines suck in a steady 600 Kilowatts of cheap hydroelectric power as they seek to mine new bitcoins — an energy-intensive process that involves solving mathematical problems by repeated trial and error.

30 Days Ago   Life expectancy in the US is continuing to drop because of accidental deaths from the prescription and illicit opioids that are sweeping the country. This is the second year in a row that life expectancy declines in the US — to 78.6 years in 2016, down from 78.7 years in 2015 and 78.8 in 2014, according to a report by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

31 Days Ago   Scientists have successfully tweaked the DNA of mice with a specific genetic mutation to prevent them from going completely deaf. If the gene-editing technique is proven safe, it could one day be used to treat the same type of hearing loss in people.

32 Days Ago   There are so many things that could go wrong when you’re sleeping with a robot. Your partner might freak out in a burst of 21st century jealousy.

36 Days Ago   In February 2015, journalist Kate Dawson was browsing the Getty Images website when she stumbled upon an enigmatic black and white photo of a woman with four strings of pearls around her neck and a chiffon scarf around her nose and mouth.

36 Days Ago   Hagfish are jawless, eel-like creatures that are known to spray huge quantities of goo when attacked. Now, scientists have found another defense mechanism that protects these slimy monsters: their flaccid, squishy skin.

37 Days Ago   The deep sea is filled with scaly and gelatinous creatures feasting on each other — and now we have an unprecedented view into this cannibalistic all-you-can-eat buffet.

38 Days Ago   Children born near fracking sites are 25 percent more likely to weigh less than what is healthy at birth, according to a new study. Why this is happening isn’t clear, but the researchers believe that it might have to do with environmental pollution, which may have negative health effects on mothers — and their babies.

39 Days Ago   There are a lot of questions that should yield very straightforward yes or no answers, no matter what conspiracy theorists say. Is the world flat? No. Is the Moon made of cheese?

40 Days Ago   President Donald Trump is officially directing NASA to send astronauts back to the Moon, as a pit stop to eventually send people to Mars. The move is part of a new order, Space Policy Directive-1, which Trump signed today during a very brief ceremony at the White House.

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