Can Placebos Work—Even When Patients Know They’re Fake?
by Claudia Lopez Lloreda on October 20, 2020 at 12:00 pm
Researchers showed that a saline spray “treatment” reduced people’s emotional distress, even though the study subjects knew the spray […]
It’s Time to Talk About Covid-19 and Surfaces Again
by Gregory Barber on October 20, 2020 at 11:00 am
In the early days, we furiously scrubbed, afraid we could get sick from the virus lingering on objects and surfaces. What do we know now?
Babies May Be Drinking Millions of Microplastic Particles a Day
by Matt Simon on October 19, 2020 at 3:00 pm
Scientists discover that baby bottles shed up to 16 million bits of plastic per liter of fluid. What that means for infants’ health, no one can yet say.
The New Science of Wildfire Prediction
by Lauren Goode on October 19, 2020 at 11:00 am
On this week's Get WIRED podcast, writer Dan Duane dives into the inevitability of fires in the west and how better models would help combat them.
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Is About to Touch an Asteroid
by Daniel Oberhaus on October 19, 2020 at 11:00 am
After years of studying Bennu, the spacecraft will make its first attempt at a sample collection on Tuesday.
Computer Scientists Break the 'Traveling Salesperson' Record
by Erica Klarreich on October 18, 2020 at 12:00 pm
Finally, there’s a better way to find approximate solutions to the notorious optimization problem, often used to test the limits of efficient computation.
Want Some Eco-Friendly Tips? A New Study Says No, You Don’t
by Kate Yoder on October 17, 2020 at 12:00 pm
Nagging, giving unsolicited advice, and “ecopiety” are out. But there are better ways to get people to adopt green habits.
Treatment and Vaccine Trials are Halted, US Cases Rise, and More Coronavirus News
by Eve Sneider on October 16, 2020 at 8:02 pm
Catch up on the most important updates from this week.
America's Poor Were Sick Before the Pandemic. Covid Made It Worse
by Adam Rogers on October 16, 2020 at 12:00 pm
An enormous new data set peers into the health of the world’s population before 2020—and how the coronavirus turned that into a global disaster.
In the US, 50 States Could Mean 50 Vaccine Rollout Strategies
by Maryn McKenna on October 16, 2020 at 11:00 am
The CDC put out a central playbook for how to distribute the shots. But how states will address these guidelines is anything but uniform.
How to Build a Spacecraft to Save the World
by Daniel Oberhaus on October 15, 2020 at 12:00 pm
WIRED paid a visit to NASA's first probe designed to protect Earth from killer asteroids. It launches next year.
What Forest Floor Playgrounds Teach Us About Kids and Germs
by Megan Molteni on October 15, 2020 at 11:00 am
Finnish researchers just published the first big test of the “biodiversity hypothesis”—that exposure to the microbes in dirt is good for […]
Wild Predators Are Relying More on Our Food—and Pets
by Eric Niiler on October 14, 2020 at 1:00 pm
A new study shows that some big carnivores are getting up to half their diet from sources like trash, crops, or small mammals that live near people.
See Earth Transform Like You're a Time-Traveling Astronaut
by Matt Simon on October 14, 2020 at 12:00 pm
The new photo book Overview Timelapse shows the startling ways humanity is changing the planet, from lithium mines to the ravages of climate change.
This Is My Brain on Salvia
by Daniel Oberhaus on October 14, 2020 at 11:00 am
I loaned my head to the world’s first fMRI study on the effects of salvinorin A, a potent psychedelic. Here’s what it revealed.
What Would Happen If All the Antarctic Ice Melted?
by Rhett Allain on October 13, 2020 at 1:00 pm
It … let's just say it would not be good. Here, let's do the math.
‘Meteorite’ Is a Love Letter to Space Rocks
by Daniel Oberhaus on October 13, 2020 at 12:00 pm
For centuries, scientists thought meteorites were too fantastical to exist. A new book reveals that they hold even more mysteries.
AI Is Throwing Battery Development Into Overdrive
by Daniel Oberhaus on October 12, 2020 at 12:00 pm
Improving batteries has always been hampered by slow experimentation and discovery processes. Machine learning is speeding it up by orders of magnitude.
New York Is Trying Targeted Lockdowns. Will It Curb Covid?
by Gregory Barber on October 12, 2020 at 11:00 am
Instead of shutting down all of New York City, this time officials are taking a block-by-block approach to home in on areas with increasing case numbers.
The Effort to Build the Mathematical Library of the Future
by Kevin Hartnett on October 11, 2020 at 12:00 pm
A community of mathematicians is using software called Lean to build a new digital repository. They hope it represents where their field is headed next.