Interstellar Travel & the Hunt for Life

Project Icarus is a five-year study into the possibility of sending a unmanned ship to another star. The project recently outlined expected scientific benefits, including the search for life. 

What's the Latest Development?

Project Icarus, a five-year study into the feasibility of sending an unmanned spacecraft to another star, could provide vast amounts of new scientific data and an extraordinary close-up of habitable foreign planets. The project's director of "Scientific Objectives" recently discussed the science that could be carried out during an interstellar journey and once the craft had arrived at a foreign star system. In choosing a destination for an interstellar craft, priority would be given to a system where a habitable planet could be found. 

What's the Big Idea?

There are a number of scientific tasks that could be completed en route to a foreign star system but since these data could be gathered on the way to anywhere, planners would consider the destination of primary importance. Knowledge of star systems within 15 light years outside our own remains limited but can be expected to increase in the coming decades. That discovery process may occur in tandem with technological develops needed to successfully explore foreign star systems. 

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

A new study says alcohol changes how the brain creates memories

A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
  • This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
  • The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
Keep reading Show less

Juice is terrible for children. Why do we keep giving it to them?

A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.

Pixabay user Stocksnap

Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you. 

Keep reading Show less

Heatwaves significantly impact male fertility, says huge study

As the world gets hotter, men may have fewer and fewer viable sperm

Surprising Science
  • New research on beetles shows that successive exposure to heatwaves reduces male fertility, sometimes to the point of sterility.
  • The research has implications both for how the insect population will sustain itself as well as how human fertility may work on an increasingly hotter Earth.
  • With this and other evidence, it is becoming clear that more common and more extreme heatwaves may be the most dangerous aspect of climate change.
Keep reading Show less