big ideas

Earth’s microbial diversity may be underestimated.

A recent survey of 99 coral reefs found 500k species, which is kind of a lot. “The immense diversity of the microbes on the reefs may offer “ecological insurance” for coral, fish and other inhabitants, Pierre Galand, a researcher at […]

big ideas

The rise and fall of peer review.

Adam Mastroianni might have discovered a new human bias. Then, he did something very rare in the scientific community: he self-published his research. Then he wrote this post explaining why peer review, “the greatest scientific experiment in history failed”. His […]

big ideas

The current thing.

“It is very counter-intuitive to see how “bad” ideas are in fact extremely valuable: not only do they highlight why the good ideas are better, but they also sometimes show that the “good” ideas are in fact wrong. Arguing that […]

big ideas

Deploying 1.2 MWh nuclear plants anywhere within 48 hours.

“Radiant’s Kaleidos power generator will be an encapsulated, meltdown-proof core utilizing TRI-structural ISOtropic particle (TRISO) fuel, which the Office of Nuclear Energy claims to be “the most robust nuclear fuel on Earth”.” | learn more

fun facts

What is LUCA?

The last universal common ancestor (LUCA) is the most recent common ancestor of all current life on Earth. “While there is no specific fossil evidence of LUCA, it can be studied by comparing the genomes of all modern organisms, its […]

fun facts

Why retaining walls collapse.

“When you see a retaining wall in the wild, the job of holding back soil looks effortless. But that’s usually only true because much of the wall’s structure is hidden from view. A retaining wall is essentially a dam, except […]

tech, startups, internet

Space junk removal is not going smoothly

“After so many decades of the buildup of high-speed clutter in the form of spent rocket stages, stray bolts and paint chips, solid-rocket-motor slag, dead or dying satellites and the scattered fragments from antisatellite tests—all of which could individually damage […]