Science + Technology

Science + Technology
11:25 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Stroke, Stroke, Stroke — The Atlantic Ocean's Dazzling Oarsmen

Gregory G. Dimijian Science Source

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 2:38 am

At night, in the ocean, they look like little Broadway billboards with dazzling trills of rainbow colored light. They have eight little runways on their bodies for light display. What are they?

They're called comb jellies. They're not jellyfish. They don't pulse like jellies. They seem to hang. You can find them bobbing off eastern beaches from Massachusetts to the Carolinas and if you pull them up (you can, they don't sting), they're goopy, gelatinous clumps vaguely shaped like walnuts.

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Environment
2:53 am
Thu June 27, 2013

This Climate Fix Might Be Decades Ahead Of Its Time

Global Thermostat's pilot plant in Menlo Park, Calif., pulls carbon dioxide from the surrounding air. The next challenge is to find uses for the captured gas.
Courtesy of Global Thermostat

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 3:35 pm

Every year, people add 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide to the air, mostly by burning fossil fuels. That's contributing to climate change. A few scientists have been dreaming about ways to pull some of that CO2 out of the air, but face stiff skepticism and major hurdles. This is the story of one scientist who's pressing ahead.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
2:10 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

How To Love The Zombie Apocalypse

World War Z is just the latest pop-culture incarnation of the Zombie Apocalypse. Adam Frank says the zombies keep coming because they're trying to tell us something.
MPC/Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 7:00 pm

"Zombie Apocalypse? What the hell are you talking about?"

It was our weekly astronomy group lunch when everyone, from the professors down to the undergrads, gets together for pizza. I'm not quite sure how the conversation took this turn, but at some point I quipped: "But of course that's after the Zombie Apocalypse."

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Science + Technology
7:04 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

How Circadian Rhythms Give Vegetables A Healthy Boost

Researchers at Rice University conducted lab studies using light-dark cycles to try to coax more beneficial compounds out of fruits and vegetables.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 4:56 pm

Just as we have internal clocks that help regulate the systems in our bodies, fruit and vegetable plants have circadian rhythms, too.

And a new study published in Current Biology finds there may be a way to boost some of the beneficial compounds in plants by simulating the light-dark cycle after crops are harvested.

So, how does it work?

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Science + Technology
10:37 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Does Life Have A Purpose?

Kind of cute. But pretty stupid. A scale model of a baby sauropod in its egg.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 10:15 am

I don't mean our private lives, our personal choices and hopes, the plans we make along the years. I imagine that each and every one of us believes our lives do have a purpose, or many. What I mean is life as a natural phenomenon, this strange assembly of matter endowed with autonomy, capable of absorbing energy from the environment and preserving itself through reproduction.

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Science + Technology
3:00 am
Thu June 20, 2013

What Makes Rituals Special? Join Us For A Google+ Conversation

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 12:30 pm

Click play on the video player above to watch my Google+ conversation with Harvard behavioral scientist Francesca Gino and Slate's Human Nature correspondent William Saletan about the role of ritual in human life.

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Science + Technology
2:58 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Wanna Be A Rock Star? NASA Needs Help Tracking Asteroids

Actor Bruce Willis appears on the surface of an asteroid in a scene from the movie Armageddon.
Frank Masi AP

It won't be quite like Bruce Willis in Armageddon, but maybe you'll feel just as much a hero.

The White House and NASA are seeking the public's help in hunting for asteroids that could someday smash into Earth. They're also looking for a perfect space rock to capture so that astronauts could go there and study it.

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Science + Technology
11:26 am
Wed June 19, 2013

How A Used Bottle Becomes A New Bottle, In 6 GIFS

Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 8:39 pm

For more, watch our video: Secrets From The Recycling Plant

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Science + Technology
1:00 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

How To Make Museums More Inviting For Kids With Autism

Dylan Murphy, 3, plays with a swan at the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia. It was his first trip to a museum that didn't overwhelm him.
Courtesy of Noelle Murphy

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 12:33 pm

Last January, Noelle Murphy and her family were on their way to the Please Touch Museum for children in Philadelphia. Right before they arrived, 3-year-old Dylan had an accident.

"He wet himself," Murphy said, "And we were thinking, 'Oh no, how are we going to deal with this?' "

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Science + Technology
4:14 am
Tue June 18, 2013

3-D Printer Brings Dexterity To Children With No Fingers

The newest version of the Robohand is made of snap-together parts, reducing the amount of hardware needed.
Courtesy of Jen Owen of Jen Martin Studios

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 3:24 pm

Richard Van As was working in his home near Johannesburg, South Africa, in May of 2011, when he lost control of his table saw.

"It's a possibility that it was a lack of concentration," he says. "It's just that the inevitable happened."

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Science + Technology
10:39 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Why Men Die Younger Than Women: The 'Guys Are Fragile' Thesis

YouTube

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 9:53 am

The 19th century just lost its last living man.

Jiroemon Kimura, of Kyotango, Japan, was born in April 1897, lived right through the 20th century and died last Wednesday. He was 116. According to Guinness World Records (which searches for these things), he was the last surviving male born in the 1800s. All the other boys from that century, as best we know, are dead.

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Science + Technology
5:40 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Privacy Past And Present: A Saga Of American Ambivalence

Protesters gather outside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday to rally against the National Security Agency's recently detailed surveillance programs.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 6:17 pm

America's privacy concerns go back to the origins of the country itself.

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Science + Technology
6:12 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Rule Would List All Chimps As Endangered, Even Lab Animals

Chimpanzee Toni celebrated his 50th birthday at the Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich on Nov. 22, 2011.
Sven Hoppe DPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 9:45 am

This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed a new rule that would extend "endangered species" protections to chimpanzees held in captivity. Nearly half of all the chimps in the U.S. live in research facilities, and the regulation changes would make it more difficult to use these animals in medical experiments.

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Science + Technology
5:56 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Archaeologists Discover Lost City In Cambodian Jungle

Australian archaeologists using remote-sensing technology have uncovered an ancient city in Cambodia that has remained hidden for more than a millennium under dense jungle undergrowth.

The discovery of Mahendraparvata, a 1,200-year-old lost city that predates Cambodia's famous Angkor Wat temple complex by 350 years, was part of the Hindu-Buddhist Khmer Empire that ruled much of Southeast Asia from about 800 to 1400 A.D., during a time that coincided with Europe's Middle Ages.

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Science + Technology
10:48 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Natural DNA Cannot Be Patented, Supreme Court Rules

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 11:28 am

In a decision that could have broad-reaching effects on the future of science and medicine, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that:

-- "A naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated."

-- But, synthetically created "strands of nucleotides known as composite DNA (cDNA)" are "patent eligible" because they do not occur naturally.

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Severe Weather
10:49 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Tornado Warning App by American Red Cross

Get your family and home ready for a tornado with the official Tornado App from the American Red Cross. The tornado warning app puts everything you need to know to prepare for a tornado – and all that comes with it – in the palm of your hand. With interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to be ready.

Science + Technology
5:16 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Massive Bat Cave Stirs Texas-Size Debate Over Development

Millions of bats live in Bracken Cave, in a rural area near San Antonio. Conservationists are worried that plans for a multithousand-unit housing development will disrupt the bat colony.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:28 pm

The Bracken Bat Cave, just north of San Antonio, is as rural as it gets. You have to drive down a long, 2-mile rocky road to reach it. There's nothing nearby — no lights, no running water. The only thing you hear are the katydids.

The cave houses a massive bat colony, as it has for an estimated 10,000 years. Bat Conservation International, the group that oversees the Bracken Cave Reserve, wants it to stay secluded, but the area's rural nature could change if a local developer's plan moves forward.

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Science + Technology
12:34 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

The Most Dangerous Traffic Circle In The World?

Rob Whitworth Vimeo

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 11:22 am

I've been to New Delhi where traffic is frightening. I've seen pictures of Nairobi and Bangkok, where it's even scarier. But Ho Chi Minh City? The town we used to call Saigon? I don't think I'd put myself in a truck, car, bike or even a Sherman tank in that town. This video opens in the scariest traffic circle I could imagine — actually, it's beyond imagining — where bikes, cars and people seem simultaneously, collectively and individually heading straight at each other (when you look, just count the vehicles and people on collision course; there are at least two or three in every frame).

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Science + Technology
3:11 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

How To Clean Up Fish Farms And Raise More Seafood At The Same Time

Thierry Chopin from the University of New Brunswick examines a raft that holds strings of seaweed. The seaweed grows around pens of farmed salmon and soaks up some of the nutrients that would otherwise pollute the Bay of Fundy.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 5:38 pm

Last month, we told you about companies that are growing salmon on dry land. That's an effective — but expensive — way to reduce water pollution caused by fish farms. After all, marine aquaculture provides about half of the seafood we eat.

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Science + Technology
6:19 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Tiny, Ancient Tree-Dweller Was One of Earth's Earliest Primates

Artistic reconstruction of Archicebus achilles in its natural habitat of trees.
Xijun Ni Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 6:59 pm

The origin of the first primates — the group that includes humans, apes and monkeys — is thought to lie in the deep past, about 55 million years ago.

Fossils from that period are rare. But now, there's an exciting new one. It's called Archicebus achilles, roughly meaning "beginning long-tailed monkey." Actually, this creature lived before the monkeys we know of today, a mere 10 million years after the dinosaurs died out.

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