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New Release: Kepler-186f – Rachel Ford

FF Sci-Fi Romance

QSFer Rachel Ford has a new FF sci-fi romance book out: Kepler-186f. And there’s a giveaway! The Genesis mission promised a new start on Kepler-186f. A new start for Captain Nikkole Johnson, and a new start for humanity. An elite soldier recruited to protect settlers on the new world, Johnson wakes from cryosleep to find that the mission went sideways thousands of years ago. Most of the original crew has vanished. Those who remain know no more than she. Strange voices whisper in the trees and on the winds. Monsters attack in the night to carry off the survivors. To … Read more

Scientists Grow Mini Brains With Eyes – What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Brain With Eyes - Deposit Photos

Scientists recently grew mini brains with their own sets of “eyes,” according to a new study. Organoids are miniature versions of organs that scientists can grow in the lab from stem cells, or cells that can mature into any type of cell in the body. Previously, scientists have developed tiny beating hearts and tear ducts that could cry like humans do. Scientists have even grown mini brains that produce brain waves like those of preterm babies. Now, a group of scientists has grown mini brains that have something their real counterparts do not: a set of eye-like structures called “optic … Read more

SPACE: Are Buried Martian “Lakes” Just Frozen Clay?


Bright reflections that radar detected beneath the south pole of Mars may not be underground lakes as previously thought but deposits of clay instead, a new study finds. For decades, scientists have suspected that water lurks below the polar ice caps of Mars, just as it does here on Earth. In 2018, researchers using the MARSIS radar sounder instrument on the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft detected evidence for a lake hidden beneath the Red Planet’s south polar ice cap, and in 2020, they found signs of a number of super-salty lakes there. If these lakes were remnants of … Read more

ANNOUNCEMENT/GIVEAWAY: Ternary – Kristin L. Stamper

Ternary - Kristin L. Stamper

Kristin L. Stamper has a new MMF sci fi book out: Ternary. And there’s a giveaway! Elora isn’t a robot, but she isn’t human either. She’s an abominable combination of the two, a cyborg. For this offense, she must face judgment in a court of law. There, it will be decided if she’s a person, owed the same rights as any other, or an object, owed no rights at all. But when a last-ditch effort to demonstrate her humanity backfires, Elora is faced with an element of human nature she always hoped to avoid: love. The consciousness of a dead … Read more

recreating the Smells of 16th Century Europe

nose smell - pixabay

History is written, read, told — but rarely ever is it smelled. Historians and scientists across Europe have now gotten together with perfumers and museums for a unique project: to capture what Europe smelled like between the 16th and early 20th centuries. A European street today may smell like coffee, fresh-baked bread and cigarettes. But what did it smell like hundreds of years ago? As part of this three-year-long project called “Odeuropa,” the researchers want to find all the old scents of Europe — and even recreate some of this ancient smellscape: from the dry tobacco scents and the earthy … Read more

SCIENCE: Scientists Create the First-Ever Permanently Magnetic Liquid

For the first time, scientists have created a permanently magnetic liquid. These liquid droplets can morph into various shapes and be externally manipulated to move around, according to a new study. We typically imagine magnets as being solid, said senior author Thomas Russell, a distinguished professor of polymer science and engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. But now we know that “we can make magnets that are liquid and they could conform to different shapes — and the shapes are really up to you.” The liquid droplets can change shape from a sphere to a cylinder to a pancake, … Read more

There Are Blueberries on Mars. Sort Of. – Live Science

It was just a few months after NASA’s Opportunity rover touched down on Mars in 2004 that it spotted a geological curiosity: tiny, iron-rich spheres scattered across the rock surface near the robot’s landing site. Snack-loving scientists working with the mission dubbed these objects “blueberries,” but the features were easier to name than to understand. Their recipe remains something of a puzzle. Trying to sort out the origins of these blueberries has always involved studying similar-looking spherical formations here on Earth. New research takes its inspiration from these terrestrial analogs to offer a new idea of the chemistry that may have gone … Read more

SPACE: Scientists Propose Tunnelbot to Explore Europa


A group of scientists wants to send a nuclear-powered “tunnelbot” to Europa to blaze a path through the Jovian moon’s thick shell of ice and search for life. Europa, the fourth largest of Jupiter’s 53 moons, is one of the best candidates in our solar system for hosting alien life. Researchers believe that its icy crust hides a liquid water ocean and that vents through that crust might deliver the necessary heat and chemical ingredients for life into that ocean.To peek beneath that thick veil of ice, researchers on the NASA Glenn Research COMPASS team (a group of scientists and … Read more

SPACE: Why Haven’t We Found Aliens Yet? Scientists Have Some Theories

alien - pixabay

One night about 60 years ago, physicist Enrico Fermi looked up into the sky and asked, “Where is everybody?” He was talking about aliens. Today, scientists know that there are millions, perhaps billions of planets in the universe that could sustain life. So, in the long history of everything, why hasn’t any of this life made it far enough into space to shake hands (or claws … or tentacles) with humans? It could be that the universe is just too big to traverse. It could be that the aliens are deliberately ignoring us. It could even be that every growing … Read more

SCIENCE: Scientists Blast a Fake Asteroid Into A Fake Earth (And It’s Really Cool)

asteroid cannon

Scientists at Brown University wanted to find out. So, they did what any one of us would do and built an indoor asteroid cannon — with a lot of help from NASA. The resulting study, published April 25 in the journal Science Advances, may sound ridiculous (or ridiculously awesome), but it aims to answer some of the most persistent questions in the science of planet formation. How did initially bone-dry planets get their water in the earliest days of the solar system? Why were traces of water discovered in the mantle of Earth’s parched moon or near the massive Tycho … Read more