Science + Technology

A trio of scientists, two from Japan and one from the U.S., will share the Nobel Prize in physics for the invention of blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which led to a new, environmentally friendly light source.

Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Japan and U.S. scientist Shuji Nakamura were selected by the committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to share the 8 million Swedish kronor ($1.1 million) prize.

Nobelprize.org says:

To everyone reading this story: This is not about you. This is about the 4.4 billion other people on this planet who have never been online.

Ah, I remember it like it was just last spring. The flurry of rumors, the initial shock, the charge of surprise, the sheer delight before a major scientific discovery. Yes, I remember it like it was last spring because — it was.

And now it's all dust.

Embracing 'Deep Time' Thinking

Sep 29, 2014

The past two Sundays I reflected, here and here in 13.7, on my anthropological fieldwork among experts developing a Safety Case supporting what might, in Finland in the early 2020s, become the world's first working

When Richard Larson co-wrote a scientific paper about the perils of up-and-down funding for the National Institutes of Health, he noted that the research cycled between states of "euphoria," and a "hangover" far greater than you'd expect.

The tiny, island nation of Iceland is in the middle of a growth spurt. For the past month, the country's Bardarbunga volcano has been churning out lava at a prodigious rate. And the eruption shows no signs of abating.

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Last Sunday, I reflected here in 13.7 on my anthropological fieldwork among Biosphere Assessment (BSA) experts involved with Safety Case projects supporting what might, in the early 2020s, become the world's first operationa

NASA's MAVEN spacecraft conducted a 33-minute burn of its six main engines to ease into an orbit around Mars after a nearly yearlong, 442 million-mile voyage from Earth. The probe's mission is to study the red planet's atmosphere.

Four years ago, Angela Stimpson agreed to donate a kidney to a complete stranger.

"The only thing I knew about my recipient was that she was a female and she lived in Bakersfield, Calif.," Stimpson says.

It was a true act of altruism — Stimpson risked pain and suffering to help another. So why did she do it? It involved major surgery, her donation was anonymous, and she wasn't paid.

"At that time in my life, I was 42 years old. I was single, I had no children," Stimpson says. "I loved my life, but I would often question what my purpose is."

This Sunday night, we headed back to Mars: NASA's MAVEN spacecraft fired its six main engines, slowing down enough so it could be captured by the gravity of the red planet and go into orbit.

MAVEN, which stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, is a distinctly un-sexy name for a project as cool as a sojourn to Mars. But whatever it's called, the probe is on a mission that should be of interest to everyone who likes living on Earth.

For tens of thousands of years, the skeleton of a giant mammoth lay in one place: a gravel pit about 50 miles south of Dallas.

A few months ago, the bones were unearthed — and now they're on the move. Paleontologists are carefully packing them up, preparing them to travel to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, in Dallas.

A Gravel Pit Reveals Its Secret

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"Where were you?" my beloved asked as I walked through the door caked in mud and sweat. "I was communing with my gods," I responded — and proceeded to tell her about the exquisite hike I'd had that morning in New York's Letchworth State Park (the Grand Canyon of the East).

Scientists analyzing data from a map of connections inside the human brain have gained new insights into the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

After the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft spent a decade just catching up with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, mission controllers have announced the spot where the probe's Philae lander will touch down. It turns out that there are no really good spots to land on a comet.

Envisioning Landscapes Of Our Very Distant Future

Sep 15, 2014

A few minutes before my flight to Helsinki touched down, I looked out the window at Finland's flat, snowy, forested landscape. It appeared still and serene.

It was December 2011, and I was moving to Finland to conduct anthropological fieldwork among experts developing what might, in the early 2020s, become the world's first operational geological repository for high-level nuclear waste.

If you have ever seen, or spent time with (or, God forbid, had to live with) a colicky baby, this will make perfect sense to you. It may not make actual sense, but when the baby is crying you don't think very straight.

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