What Lies Beneath: Diving Into the Neptune Undersea Observatory Project [Infographic]

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On the surface, it would seem that new frontiers have been just about exhausted on Earth… but sometimes you just have to look deeper. The world’s oceans are vast, covering 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and containing 97 percent of the water… yet only about 5 percent of the ocean and its depths have been explored. The Neptune Canada project is aiming to change that. By filling us in with real-time video and data direct from the far reaches of the sea floor, the project launched in 2009 is already helping scientists understand mysteries of the deep – and they’re doing it with the help of people like you.

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The Galaxy Quest: Going Into Orbit With the International Space Station [Infographic]

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In recent years, there have been few space projects as exciting as the International Space Station, or ISS. Even though it is the 9th space station to take orbit, it is the first to house a full-time crew and a dedicated research laboratory. And, with recent social media exploits – like those of the excellent Commander Chris Hadfield who famously sang David Bowie’s Space Oddity from orbit – space has never looked so near or friendly for the human species.

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From the Inside: Looking into the Human Genome Project [Infographic]

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As far as great projects go, it’s hard to top the Human Genome Project (HGP). Still the largest collaborative biological endeavor in history, it has given us the first complete look at the blueprint for building human beings, and with that knowledge, it’s hard to think of anything that is contributing more to human health in our modern world.

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A Smart Animation Explores the Magnitude of our Solar System [Infographic]

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The last time I went to the planetarium it was in Delhi, India. I didn’t expect much from the domed structure with swarms of kids inside, but in fact I was blown away. It’s a hard thing to show the magnitude of the universe and impress people with its true scale – but even the rough idea I saw that day was mind blowing. This video from German design trio Kurzgesagt takes a whole different angle, impressing us with facts about the form of our solar system in flat infographic form. The result is informative and even jaw dropping when you consider the facts.

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Can You Tell Which of These Identical Twins Smoked Longer?

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It’s common knowledge that smoking ages your body, right? But how do we really know that’s happening when we’re looking at individuals? Couldn’t their other habits, like not wearing sunscreen or drinking too much, have really been the culprit? Researches from the Department of Plastic Surgery at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio have put these questions to rest with their study Facial Changes Caused by Smoking: A Comparison between Smoking and Nonsmoking Identical Twins.

Over the four years from 2007 to 2010, the researchers attended Twins Days Festival in… ehem… Twinsburg, Ohio, and collected 79 sets of twins between the ages of 18 and 78. One criteria in their search? One twin had to have been a smoker for at least 5 years longer than their sibling.

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Paper Goes Viral: Cellular Sculptures By Charles Clary

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Germs never looked so clean-cut until they met artist Charles Clary. A painter and papercrafting artist originally from Tennessee, Clary uses an Xacto knife to dissect hundreds of colorful sheets, which he stacks to create beautiful molecular reliefs. Resembling delicate microbial colonies that contaminate the walls they touch–while simultaneously evoking sound waves, fractals, and topographical landscapes–his works transform simple two-dimensional surfaces into pulsing, surreal structures. 

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Brilliant Suspensions In Time: High-Speed Liquid Photography

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Thankfully, oil and ink don’t mix–which makes these dazzling photographs by Alberto Seveso possible. In his “Dropping” series, the Italian artist drips colored inks into oil, photographs the splash, then flips the resulting image upside down. The collision of oil and ink results in an exuberant dance of suspended droplets, which Seveso documents as saturated molten sculptures.

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Missing NASA? Here are Photos of Earth from the European Space Agency’s Archive: Observing the Earth

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Unless you’re one of those cool people who makes a daily trip to space via NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day, you might not have noticed that the long running and much loved site is currently down. The site has been running consistently for over 18 years in a co-effort between NASA and Michigan Technological University… but due to some unexpected budget cuts amounting to a 97% cut in workforce (and in other news much of the US federal government), we’re not getting our daily dose of fascinating imagery from outer space.

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This is An Orchid Mantis: 5 Praying Mantis Species That Will Blow Your Mind (or Give You Nightmares)

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What do you think about when your hear ‘mantis‘? Do you think of the standard green insect in praying pose we are all familiar with? Do you think of females eating their mates after sex? Those are both real-life examples of the mantis, but far from the most surprising. Enter 5 mantis species that are masters of camouflage and the stealthy attack.

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Awesomely Nerdy Tattoos, Drawn by Science

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Tattoos are an incredible, and indelible, way to make a statement. Sometimes that’s simply that you love parties and dolphins (like, a lot!!)… and other times it is a confession of how much you love science (my ♥ ≥ ∞). In 2007 Carl Zimmer, science writer for Discover Magazine, the New York Times and author of 6 books asked a question on his blog: “Are Scientists Hiding Tattoos of Their Science?” The answer has been overwhelmingly “yes!”

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