This Supercomputer Can Calculate in 1 Second What Would Take You 6 Billion Years

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This Supercomputer Can Calculate in 1 Second What Would Take You 6 Billion Years

This Supercomputer Can Calculate in 1 Second What Would Take You 6 Billion Years

To keep Summit from overheating, more than 4,000 gallons of water pump through its cooling system every minute, according to Oak Ridge National Laboratory where the beast is housed.

Credit: ORNL


It’s shiny, fast and ultrapowerful. But it’s not the latest Alfa Romeo. A physics laboratory in Tennessee just unveiled Summit, likely to be named the world’s speediest and smartest supercomputer.

Perhaps most exciting for the U.S.? It’s faster than China’s.

The supercomputer — which fills a server room the size of two tennis courts — can spit out answers to 200 quadrillion (or 200 with 15 zeros) calculations per second, or 200 petaflops, according to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where the supercomputer resides.

“If every person on Earth completed one calculation per second, it would take the world population 305 days to do what Summit can do in 1 second,” according to an ORNL statement.

Put another way, if one person were to run the calculations, hypothetically, it would take 2.3 trillion days, or 6.35 billion years. [9 Super-Cool Uses for Supercomputers]

The former “world’s fastest supercomputer,” called Sunway TaihuLight, can perform 93 quadrillion calculations a second (93 petaflops), while humming away inside China’s National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi.

So, how did Summit become such a giant?

The supercomputer is an IBM AC922 system that’s made up of 4,608 computer servers — each comprising processors (the brains of the computer). But what’s actually going on inside these processors is what makes the difference.

“Summit’s computer architecture is quite different from what we have had before,” Daniel Jacobson, a computational biologist at ORNL, who is working on Summit, told Live Science. For one thing, the computer uses the new Tensor Core feature in its graphics cards (made by Nvidia), which is designed specifically for applications focusing on machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), and to be fast.

Basically, unlike older computer chips, these chips are optimized for a special type of mathematical operation on matrices — or rectangles filled with numbers with rules for adding, subtracting and multiplying the different rows and columns. Computers equipped with AI programs often learn using so-called neural networks, which have several layers in which lower calculations feed into higher ones. And this process requires the heavy use of matrices.

“This is a brand-new feature that has allowed us to break the exascale barrier,” Jacobson said, referring to a processing speed that’s over a billion billion calculations per second.

In addition, Summit has loads of superfast memory (RAM) available on each of its nodes, where localized calculations can take place.

“Each node on Summit has 512 Gb [gigabytes] of RAM and the network that communicates between nodes uses adaptive routing, and is thus incredibly fast, which helps us scale the calculation across all the nodes very efficiently,” Jacobson said. So-called adaptive routing means Summit has some flexibility in how it runs calculations — sort of like networks of brain cells connected to synapses.

And though pricey — a New York Times report puts the cost at $200 million — Summit could deliver big for science: The supercomputer is built to integrate artificial intelligence into its computing, which could make Summit a formidable foe in the battle for answers to some of the world’s most complex mysteries.

“There are many, many scientific uses of this sort of supercomputing capacity,” he said. “Whether this is for new discoveries for bioenergy or new discoveries for precision medicine, many things are now possible that simply weren’t before.”

For instance, just as artificial intelligence programs are being co-opted to learn to pick out cats from images, said Jack Wells, the director of science at ORNL, these AI programs running on Summit could learn to pick out and categorize all kinds of data, ranging from those in biological sciences to physics, such as detections of neutrinos and other particles.

“Something new that’s happening, is it’s going to be at the intersection of machine learning and simulation science, because this machine is going to be able to do both of those things in a very significant way,” Wells told Live Science.

Summit’s placement as the “world’s fastest” isn’t exactly official yet, because the Top500 list for supercomputer rankings hasn’t been updated yet, but according to the Times article, it should get the top slot when the list is updated later this month.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated to correct the speed of the former “world’s fastest supercomputer.”

Originally published on Live Science.

What Is Photosynthesis?

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What Is Photosynthesis?

Photosynthesis takes in the carbon dioxide produced by all breathing organisms and reintroduces oxygen into the atmosphere.

Credit: KPG_Payless | Shutterstock

Photosynthesis is the process used by plants, algae and certain bacteria to harness energy from sunlight into chemical energy.

There are two types of photosynthetic processes: oxygenic photosynthesis and anoxygenic photosynthesis. Oxygenic photosynthesis is the most common and is seen in plants, algae and cyanobacteria.

During oxygenic photosynthesis, light energy transfers electrons from water (H2O) to carbon dioxide (CO2), which produces carbohydrates. In this transfer, the CO2 is “reduced,” or receives electrons, and the water becomes “oxidized,” or loses electrons. Ultimately, oxygen is produced along with carbohydrates.

Oxygenic photosynthesis functions as a counterbalance to respiration; it takes in the carbon dioxide produced by all breathing organisms and reintroduces oxygen into the atmosphere. In his 1998 article, “An Introduction to Photosynthesis and Its Applications,” Wim Vermaas, a professor at Arizona State University surmised, “without [oxygenic] photosynthesis, the oxygen in the atmosphere would be depleted within several thousand years.”

On the other hand, anoxygenic photosynthesis uses electron donors other than water. The process typically occurs in bacteria such as purple bacteria and green sulfur bacteria. “Anoxygenic photosynthesis does not produce oxygen — hence the name,” said David Baum, professor of botany at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “What is produced depends on the electron donor. For example, many bacteria use the bad-eggs-smelling gas hydrogen sulfide, producing solid sulfur as a byproduct.”

Though both types of photosynthesis are complex, multi-step affairs, the overall process can be neatly summarized as a chemical equation.

Oxygenic photosynthesis is written as follows:

6CO2 + 12H2O + Light Energy → C6H12O6 + 6O2 + 6H2O

Here, six molecules of carbon dioxide (CO2) combine with 12 molecules of water (H2O) using light energy. The end result is the formation of a single carbohydrate molecule (C6H12O6, or glucose) along with six molecules each of breathable oxygen and water.

Similarly, the various anoxygenic photosynthesis reactions can be represented as a single generalized formula:

CO+ 2H2A + Light Energy → [CH2O] + 2A + H2O

As explained by Govindjee and John Whitmarsh in “Concepts in Photobiology: Photosynthesis and Photomorphogenesis” (Narosa Publishers and Kluwer Academic, 1999) the letter ‘A’ in the equation is a variable and ‘H2A’ represents the potential electron donor. For example, ‘A’ may represent sulfur in the electron donor hydrogen sulfide (H2S).

The following are cellular components essential to photosynthesis.


Pigments are molecules that bestow color on plants, algae and bacteria, but they are also responsible for effectively trapping sunlight. Pigments of different colors absorb different wavelengths of light. Below are the three main groups.

  • Chlorophylls: These green-colored pigments are capable of trapping blue and red light. Chlorophylls have three sub-types, dubbed chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b and chlorophyll c. According to Eugene Rabinowitch and Govindjee in their book “Photosynthesis” (Wiley, 1969) chlorophyll a is found in all photosynthesizing plants. There is also a bacterial variant aptly named bacteriochlorophyll, which absorbs infrared light. This pigment is mainly seen in purple and green bacteria, which perform anoxygenic photosynthesis.
  • Carotenoids: These red, orange, or yellow-colored pigments absorb bluish-green light. Examples of carotenoids are xanthophyll (yellow) and carotene (orange) from which carrots get their color.
  • Phycobilins: These red or blue pigments absorb wavelengths of light that are not as well absorbed by chlorophylls and carotenoids. They are seen in cyanobacteria and red algae.

Photosynthetic eukaryotic organisms contain organelles called plastids in their cytoplasm. According to Cheong Xin Chan and Debashish Bhattacharya of Rutgers University (Nature Education, 2010), the double-membraned plastids in plants and algae are referred to as primary plastids, while the multiple-membraned variety found in plankton are called secondary plastids. These organelles generally contain pigments or can store nutrients. In “The Cell: A Molecular Approach 2nd Ed” (Sinauer Associates, 2000), Geoffrey Cooper enumerates the various plastids found in plants. Colorless and non-pigmented leucoplasts store fats and starch, while chromoplasts contain carotenoids and chloroplasts contain chlorophyll.

Photosynthesis occurs in the chloroplasts, specifically, in the grana and stroma regions. The grana is the innermost portion of the organelle; a collection of disc-shaped membranes, stacked into columns like plates. The individual discs are called thylakoids. It is here that the transfer of electrons takes place. The empty spaces between columns of grana constitute the stroma (The Cell: A Molecular Approach 2nd Ed, Sinauer Associates, 2000).

Chloroplasts are similar to mitochondria in that they have their own genome, or collection of genes, contained within circular DNA. These genes encode proteins essential to the organelle and to photosynthesis.  Like mitochondria, chloroplasts are also thought to have originated from primitive bacterial cells through the process of endosymbiosis.

“Plastids originated from engulfed photosynthetic bacteria that were acquired by a single-celled eukaryotic cell more than a billion years ago,” Baum told LiveScience. Baum explained that the analysis of chloroplast genes shows that it was once a member of the group cyanobacteria, “the one group of bacteria that can accomplish oxygenic photosynthesis.”

However, Chan and Bhattacharya (Nature Education, 2010) make the point that the formation of secondary plasmids cannot be well explained by endosymbiosis of cyanobacteria, and that the origins of this class of plastids are still a matter of debate.


Pigment molecules are associated with proteins, which allow them the flexibility to move toward light and toward one another. A large collection of 100 to 5,000 pigment molecules constitutes “antennae,” according to Vermaas. These structures effectively capture light energy from the sun, in the form of photons. Ultimately, light energy must be transferred to a pigment-protein complex that can convert it to chemical energy, in the form of electrons. In plants, for example, light energy is transferred to chlorophyll pigments. The conversion to chemical energy is accomplished when a chlorophyll pigment expels an electron, which can then move on to an appropriate recipient.

Reaction centers

The pigments and proteins which convert light energy to chemical energy and begin the process of electron transfer are know as reaction centers, according to Vermaas.

Anoxygenic photosynthetic and oxygenic photosynthetic organisms use different electron donors for photosynthesis. Moreover, anoxygenic photosynthesis takes place in only one type of reaction center, while oxygenic photosynthesis takes place in two, each of which absorbs a different wavelength of light, according to Govindjee and Whitmarsh. However, the general principles of the two processes are similar. Below are the steps of photosynthesis, focusing on the process as it occurs in plants.

The reactions of plant photosynthesis are divided into those that require the presence of sunlight and those that do not. Both types of reactions take place in chloroplasts: light-dependent reactions in the thylakoid and light-independent reactions in the stroma.

Light-dependent reactions (also called light reactions): When a photon of light hits the reaction center, a pigment molecule such as chlorophyll releases an electron. “The trick to do useful work, is to prevent that electron from finding its way back to its original home,” Baum told LiveScience. “This is not easily avoided because the chlorophyll now has an “electron hole” that tends to pull on nearby electrons.” The released electron manages to escape by traveling through an electron transport chain, which generates the energy needed to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate, a source of chemical energy for cells) and NADPH. The “electron hole” in the original chlorophyll pigment is filled by taking an electron from water. As a result, oxygen is released into the atmosphere.

Light-independent reactions (also called dark reactions): ATP and NADPH are rich energy sources, which drive dark reactions. During this process carbon dioxide and water combine to form carbohydrates like glucose. This is known as carbon fixation.

Photosynthesis in the future

Photosynthesis generates all the breathable oxygen in the atmosphere, and renders plants rich in nutrients. But researchers have been looking at ways to further harness the power of the process.

In his 1998 article, Vermaas mentions the possibility of using photosynthetic organisms to generate clean burning fuels such as hydrogen or even methane. Vermaas notes, “Even though methane upon combustion will form CO2, the overall atmospheric CO2 balance would not be disturbed as an equal amount of CO2 will have been taken out of the atmosphere upon methane production by the photosynthetic organism.”

Advances have also been made in the field of artificial photosynthesis. A group of researchers recently developed an artificial system to capture carbon dioxide using nanotechnology (nanowires). This feeds into a system of microbes that reduce the carbon dioxide into fuels or polymers by using energy from sunlight.

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Corpse of Mysterious Sea Creature Washes Ashore in Namibia

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Corpse of Mysterious Sea Creature Washes Ashore in Namibia

Corpse of Mysterious Sea Creature Washes Ashore in Namibia

Scientists found the decomposed body of a sea creature on Nambian shores. They think it is a Cuvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris).

Credit: Nambian Dolphin Project/Caters News

A bizarre-looking, nearly 20-foot-long (6 meters) sea creature washed ashore at Dorob National Park in Namibia last week. When scientists found the body, it was so decomposed that they didn’t really know what they were looking at — it could’ve been a dolphin or a whale, or something else, according to the Daily Mail.

After measuring the carcass and analyzing the shape of its head, the scientists are now almost certain that the mysterious creature is a Cuvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) — a creature that hasn’t been sighted in Namibia since 2000, according to Simon Elwen, a principal investigator of the nonprofit Namibian Dolphin project and one of the researchers who found the creature, as reported by the Daily Mail.

“I was quite surprised,” Elwen told the Daily Mail. “These animals are rarely seen in the water, so to see them on land is very unique.” [Marine Marvels: Spectacular Photos of Sea Creatures]

Cuvier’s beaked whales can be found across the world and tend live in temperate, subtropical and tropical waters. They can weigh up to 6,800 lbs. (3,090 kilograms) and can grow up to 23 feet (7 m) long, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). They have a “goose-like” head with an upward-slanted jawline that makes them look as if they are smiling, according to NOAA.

Because the body was so decomposed, the scientists couldn’t figure out the cause of death, according to the Daily Mail. Though the jawbone was cracked and broken, the scientists think that happened after death, since the creature didn’t have any other visible injuries, according to the Daily Mail.

On the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Cuvier’s beaked whale is listed as “least concern.” Although global trends and population numbers for this elusive creature don’t exist, there are at least 100,000 of them in the world, according to the IUCN. Possible threats to this species include entanglement in fishing gear, collisions with ships and human-caused noise, such as from ships.

The Cuvier’s beaked whale is one of the deepest divers — plunging to a depth of about 3,300 feet (1,000 m). In addition, the species uses sound to find food, communicate with each other and navigate.

The team collected parts of the animal, including its skull, to investigate further, Elwen said.

Originally published on Live Science.

Russia’s Floating Nuclear Power Plant Heads for the Bering Strait

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Russia’s Floating Nuclear Power Plant Heads for the Bering Strait

World’s first floating nuclear power plant ‘Akademik Lomonosov’ passed Langeland, Denmark on May 4.

Credit: Tim Kildeborg Jensen/EPA-EFE/Rex/Shutterstock

Russia’s got a floating nuclear plant on a barge, and it’s heading for the Bering Strait — just a short hop from Alaska.

The “Akademik Lomonosov,” according to a statement from Russian nuclear energy company Rosatom, docked in the Russian port of Murmansk on Saturday (May 19). There it will receive its supply of nuclear fuel. Tugboats will eventually haul the nuclear plant to the town of Pevek in the Russian Far East — just 53 miles (86 kilometers), as Reuters noted, from the western edge of Alaska, across the Bering Strait.

The St. Petersburg-built power plant will replace a coal plant and an older, landlocked nuclear plant. It will serve a population of about 50,000 people, Rosatom said. [Top 10 Greatest Explosions Ever]

Rosatom pitches the Lomonosov as the first in a series of floating plants that will serve remote Russian communities and cut greenhouse gas emissions. There are objections from within the anti-nuclear wing of the environmental movement, which is represented by a subset of hardline environmental groups like Greenpeace and doesn’t necessarily include all environmentalists.

In an April 26 blog titled “What Could Possibly Go Wrong with a Floating Nuclear Power Plant?” Greenpeace nuclear experts Jan Haverkamp and Rashid Alimov suggested these plants will primarily serve to power Russian fossil-fuel extraction efforts in the de-iced Arctic, and said, “If this development is not halted, the next nuclear catastrophe could well be aChernobyl-on-ice or a Chernobyl-on-the-rocks.”

Rosatom highlighted the potential for immediate emissions reductions and cited support from nuclear advocates. It said that no nuclear material would be left in the Arctic, and that in 40 or 50 years the plant will be towed away from the site for decommissioning.

Once the Lomonosov, with its two KLT-40 reactors — similar to reactors used to power Russian icebreaker ships — is hooked up to the power grid along the Bering Strait, it will be the only floating plant of its kind in the world.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the U.S. planned to park a floating reactor off the coast of New Jersey, as Matt Reimann reported for Timeline. It was planned as the first in a series of floating reactors built with the idea that construction costs would drop if all the necessary skilled labor were located in one place, before the plants were shipped elsewhere. However plans for the plant were scrapped as energy became less profitable during the 1973 oil embargo.

Originally published on Live Science.

Two-Headed Deer Found Dead in Minnesota Woods

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Two-Headed Deer Found Dead in Minnesota Woods

Two-Headed Deer Found Dead in Minnesota Woods

These conjoined twin fawns are the first known deer to be born with two heads, two hearts and a full coat of spots.

Credit: Gino D’Angelo et al/University of Georgia

In May 2016, a Minnesota man was hunting for mushrooms in a forest near the Mississippi River when he stumbled upon something a little more unusual than fungi. Nestled dead in the underbrush was what looked like a single newborn baby fawn, carrying two heads on one body.

The baby deer was actually a pair of conjoined female twins with a body about 23 inches (60 centimeters) long from tail to heads. Their body was patterned with the telltale spots of other white-tailed deer and appeared to have been recently groomed. Yet the fawns lay alone, dry and freshly dead on the ground with no signs of their mother in sight. [Photos: See the World’s Cutest Baby Wild Animals]

The mushroom hunter delivered the deer to the nearby Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, knowing he had discovered something remarkable. Now, a new case study published in the April issue of thejournal The American Midland Naturalist explains just how remarkable the conjoined fawns truly are. According to the new study, this discovery marks the first documented case of two-headed white-tailed deer twins brought to full term and birthed.

“It’s amazing and extremely rare,” study author Gino D’Angelo, assistant professor of deer ecology and management at the University of Georgia,told The Independent. “We can’t even estimate the rarity of this.”

A CT scan of the fawns (A) revealed where their shared spinal column split into two individual necks and heads. A necropsy (B) showed twin sets of organs, including two hearts nestled in the same sac (a).

A CT scan of the fawns (A) revealed where their shared spinal column split into two individual necks and heads. A necropsy (B) showed twin sets of organs, including two hearts nestled in the same sac (a).

Credit: Gino D’Angelo et al/University of Georgia

For their new study, D’Angelo and his colleagues conducted computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans on theconjoined twins, then conducted a full necropsy.

The MRI scans revealed that the twins shared a single spinal column that forked into two distinct necks and heads about halfway up. During the necropsy, researchers found that the fawns had two hearts nestled inside a single pericardial sac. They had two esophagi and forestomachs (the first compartment of the stomach where food is partially digested to be regurgitated as cud), one of which ended in a closed-off tube.

“Their anatomy indicates the fawns would never have been viable,” D’Angelo told The Independent. “Yet, they were found groomed and in a natural position, suggesting that the doe tried to care for them after delivery. The maternal instinct is very strong.”

D’Angelo said he suspects the fawns were likely delivered stillborn — but the mere fact that they were delivered at all is a scientific first. According to the new study, most female white-tailed deer carry twins, but observations of conjoined twins are extremely rare in the scientific literature. A 2008 review of studies looking as far back as 1671 found only 19 cases of conjoined twins in nondomestic land mammals, just two of which were white-tailed deer. In both cases, the mother doe and her children all died while the twins were in utero.

Originally published on Live Science.

10 Disturbing Medical Images from History

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10 Disturbing Medical Images from History


WARNING: DISTURBING. I recently bought an amazing book about one of my favourite places on earth (though I have yet to visit there): The Mütter Museum. It is a museum filled with medical anomalies and photographs of such. In this book are some incredible (but disturbing) images from the museum. I have selected 10 of the most interesting to share you with you today. If you like this list be sure to consider buying the book – it has over 200 incredible images just like this. Click the images to view larger.


Chinese Fingernails

As a symbol of high social standing, high members of the Chinese aristocracy would often grow their fingernails to an excessive length. This was perhaps (like foot binding) a sign that they need not have functional use of their hands for work.

See even more of the macabre exhibits of the Mutter Museum—some of which have never been unveiled to the public. Buy Mutter Museum Historic Medical Photographs at!



This is the skeleton of John Aasen (1890-1938) who was employed in the circus as a sideshow freak. John was 7’1/2″ (214cm) tall. Due to his height he was also used in Hollywood movies.


Triple Amputee

The thirty-two year old man pictured here had his legs and one arms crushed by a railroad car which was transporting building materials. He had to have all three limbs amputated. His was the second successful triple amputation in the United States.


Widow Sunday

This is a wax model of Madame Dimanche (Widow Sunday) who had a 9.8 inch horn on her head. It took six years to grow to that length. It was removed successfully by a famed French surgeon.


Foot Deformity

The deformed feet above are the result of a birth defect. These can occur not just in the feet but on the hands also. These deformities were often attributed to “germ or sperm”.


Blanche Dumas

Long time readers will have heard of Blanche Dumas – she is featured on the list of Bizarre Relationships for having sex with a man with three legs and two penises – Juan Baptista Dos Santos; rather convenient for her as she had three legs and two vaginas (and four breasts too). This is the first time we have featured a photograph of Blanche taken from the rear.

What stories do the dead tell? Author Kathleen Sands imagines the lives that came before in her creepy fictional work Boy of Bone: Twelve Stories Inspired by the Mutter Museum at!


Enlarged Bosom

This rather unfortunate woman suffered from bilateral hypertrophy of both breasts. Amazingly she survived an operation to remove them both. After removal the left breast weighed seventeen pounds and the right weighed forty-three pounds.



The man above – suffering from elephantiasis – was so distressed by his condition that he begged for amputation. Instead an experimental surgery was performed on him which successfully removed much of the excess tissue. Unfortunately, however, he died five months later.



This man suffered from Von Recklinhausen’s Disease (also known as neurofibromatosis). It is a genetic disorder in which your nerves grow tumours. If one of parent’s suffers from this illness you have a 50% chance of inheriting it.



Cyclopia is a rare birth defect in which the body is unable to properly separate the two eye sockets so they remain merged as one. The majority of babies suffering this disease are stillborn but if they survive it is not usually for more than a few hours.

The Most Interesting Science News Articles of the Week

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The Most Interesting Science News Articles of the Week

Each week we uncover the most interesting and informative articles from around the world, here are 10 of the coolest stories in science this week.

Scientists have their eyes on a new breakthrough in laser technology. It involves cow eyeballs.

Scientists have their eyes on a new breakthrough in laser technology. It involves cow eyeballs.

Credit: Shutterstock

Ordinary contact lenses just moved one step closer to letting you shoot lasers from your eyes.

But don’t worry — nobody’s building battalions of bovines that can blast beams from their eyes. [Read more about the eyeballs.]

This DigitalGlobe satellite image shows Punggye-ri, the North Korea nuclear test site.

This DigitalGlobe satellite image shows Punggye-ri, the North Korea nuclear test site.

Credit: DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images

North Korea conducted its latest nuclear test at Punggye-ri on Sept. 3, and it was the most massive one yet, registering on sensors as a 6.3-magnitude earthquake. Around 8 minutes later, geologists detected a smaller rumbling of 4.1 magnitude that got scientists speculating: Could the nuclear test site, hidden inside a mountain, have collapsed? [Read more about the trial.]

An illustration of human T cell leukemia virus (HTLV).

An illustration of human T cell leukemia virus (HTLV).

Credit: Science Photo Library/Alamy

It’s related to HIV, yet you’ve probably never heard of it: a virus called human T-cell leukemia virus type 1, or HTLV-1.

But what exactly is HTLV-1, and how is it different from HIV? [Read more about the virus.]

Gamers around the world helped physicists crowdsource a reality check.

Gamers around the world helped physicists crowdsource a reality check.

Credit: Shutterstock

A groundbreaking quantum experiment recently confirmed the reality of “spooky action-at-a-distance” — the bizarre phenomenon that Einstein hated — in which linked particles seemingly communicate faster than the speed of light. [Read more about the test.]

Humanoid robot Atlas is on the move.

Credit: Boston Dynamics

You can run from Boston Dynamics’ humanoid robot Atlas, but it wouldn’t do you any good — the robot can run after you.

This isn’t the first time that Atlas’ antics have gone viral. Atlas appeared in a video compilation posted to YouTube on Feb. 23, 2016, that showed the robot walking flat-footed through a snow-covered forest, stacking boxes on shelves and recovering its balance after a Boston Dynamics employee pushed the bot with a hockey stick. [Read more about the robot.]

Elon Musk and musician Grimes show up as a couple to the 2018 Met Gala on May 7 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Elon Musk and musician Grimes show up as a couple to the 2018 Met Gala on May 7 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Credit: ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images

It’s Elon Musk at his Elon Musk-iest: According to news reports, the space-and-electric-car entrepreneur met his current girlfriend by making a joke about treacherous artificial intelligence. [Read more about the experiment.]

Chlamydia in koalas is no laughing matter.

Chlamydia in koalas is no laughing matter.

Credit: Shutterstock

One of the leading killers of Australia’s endearing koalas is a debilitating bacterial infection: chlamydia. [Read more about the situation.]

Your 'behavioral immune system' is a thing, and it might be making every potential love interest seem too disgusting to date.
Your ‘behavioral immune system’ is a thing, and it might be making every potential love interest seem too disgusting to date.

Credit: Shutterstock

That is the question of dating. And while you might believe the answer hinges mostly on “chemistry” or mutual interests, a team of psychology researchers from McGill University in Montreal suggests that there’s an unlikely judge ultimately making the call: your behavioral immune system.

In the study, Sawada and her colleagues recruited several hundred people ages 18 to 35, who were single and heterosexual, to participate in either an in-person or online speed-dating experiment. [Read more about the culprit.]

The ice age horse is about the size of a large Shetland pony.

The ice age horse is about the size of a large Shetland pony.

Credit: Thanksgiving Point

During the last ice age, a small horse about the size of a Shetland pony somehow trampled into a big lake. It’s unclear how the animal died, but its body fell to the bottom of the lake, where it lay buried for about 16,000 years — that is, until this past fall, when landscapers in Utah unexpectedly unearthed the horse’s remains in their backyard.

Though the horse’s death will remain a mystery, researchers are excited to study its remains. [Read more about remains.]

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