All around the world, from the Himalayas to the Great Plains, fresh water is starting to run low. It’s shaping up to be one of the 21st century’s great environmental and humanitarian challenges: People use water faster than nature can replenish it. Some people argue that privatization is the answer to the water crisis — but others say that’s a recipe for disaster.
The world’s deep seafloors are dark and airless places, but vast swaths may pulse gently with energy conducted through a type of newly discovered bacteria that forms living electrical cables.
This image from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows an ancient southern sea that used to sprawl out near the south pole of Saturn’s moon Titan. In an annotated version, the red outline traces the ancient shoreline. Within this basin is the largest present-day lake in Titan’s southern hemisphere, Ontario Lacus. Ontario Lacus appears black, indicating it is filled with liquid.
A tiny robot capable of bending and flexing into a huge range of shapes could pave the way for real-life Transformers. The milli-motein — so called because it is essentially a millimetre-scale motorised device inspired by the natural complex folding …
Time is eternal, but methods of tracking it are not — and so a Johns Hopkins University astronomer wants to replace the Gregorian calendar, with its leap years and floating dates and 15th-century effluvia, with a sleek and standardized system for the world.
The city of Venice has long been valued for its unique character. Built in a lagoon along the coast of Italy, the scenic city is crisscrossed with canals. Its waterlogged nature draws a steady stream of visitors, but also makes it vulnerable to costly flooding. The region sometimes experiences unusually high tides, locally referred to as “acqua alta.”