Science + Technology

Science + Technology
5:22 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Mating Rituals: Why Certain Risky Behaviors Can Make You Look Hot

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 9:29 am

Social science research suggests risky behavior such as braving heights or swimming in deep waters increases your sex appeal. Driving without a seat belt? Not so much.

Science + Technology
3:21 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Why Those Tiny Microbeads In Soap May Pose Problem For Great Lakes

Researcher Sherri Mason looks for microbeads in a water sample from Lake Michigan. Legislation to phase out products containing the beads is pending in New York and Illinois.
Cheryl Corley

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 3:19 pm

From the shoreline at North Avenue Beach in Chicago, the blue water of Lake Michigan stretches as far as the eye can see. But beneath that pristine image, there's a barely visible threat, says Jennifer Caddick of the Alliance for the Great Lakes: microbeads.

These tiny bits of plastic, small scrubbing components used in hundreds of personal care products like skin exfoliants and soap, can slip through most water treatment systems when they wash down the drain.

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Science + Technology
3:20 am
Wed May 21, 2014

For N.J. Mayor, The Time To Adapt To Rising Sea Levels Is Now

Hoboken, N.J., residents walk through flood water in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Mayor Dawn Zimmer is advocating for better planning and increased funding for flood-prone urban areas.
Charles Sykes AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 12:41 pm

Last week, scientists warned that a massive chunk of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet will eventually drift into the sea and melt, raising sea levels at least 10 feet higher than previous predictions.

Even before the announcement, scientists at the nonprofit research organization Climate Central predicted that surging seas could put the homes of nearly 5 million Americans underwater by the end of this century.

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Science + Technology
4:57 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Big Bang's Ripples: Two Scientists Recall Their Big Discovery

The Holmdel Horn Antenna at Bell Telephone Laboratories in New Jersey was built in 1959 to make the first phone call via satellite.
NASA

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 8:27 pm

On May 20, 1964, two astronomers working at a New Jersey laboratory turned a giant microwave antenna toward what they thought would be a quiet part of the Milky Way. They weren't searching for anything; they were trying to make adjustments to their instrument before looking at more interesting things in the sky.

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Science + Technology
3:14 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Global Temperatures Tied Record High Last Month

Worldwide temperatures were once again above normal last month, tying the record for the hottest April set back in 2010.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Tuesday said the average global temperature for land and sea was 56.7 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 1.39 degrees warmer than the 20th century average.

"The last below-average April was April 1976, and the last average or below-average temperature for any month was February 1985," according to NOAA.

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Science + Technology
4:04 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

NASA Chief Dismisses Concern Over Russia Quitting Space Station

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speaks during a news conference in Berlin on Monday. Bolden said no single country was indispensable to the International Space Station's success.
Michael Sohn AP

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 6:04 pm

NASA's Administrator Charles Bolden says that Russia's plan to end cooperation on the International Space Station after 2020 will not have an impact on the success of the orbital platform.

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Science + Technology
3:12 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

A Giant Among Dinosaurs, Discovered In Argentina

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 11:28 am

Paleontologists in Argentina say they have unearthed the fossils of the biggest dinosaur ever to walk the planet.

The bones are believed to be from a new species of the aptly named titanosaur, a massive herbivore from the late Cretaceous period, officials from the Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio told BBC News.

The titanosaur was a sauropod, like the apatosaurus or brachiosaurus, that roamed the forests of Patagonia 95 million years ago.

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Science + Technology
3:42 am
Thu May 15, 2014

FCC To Unveil Proposed Rules To Govern Internet Traffic

Proponents of open Internet access protest in front of the FCC headquarters in Washington, D.C. The commission votes Thursday on its proposed rules amid debate about network neutrality.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 2:55 pm

The Federal Communications Commission announced last month that it would propose new rules. In a blog post, Chairman Tom Wheeler insists that the open Internet rules will help maintain what's called network neutrality. That is, making certain that your Internet provider doesn't give a faster connection to a service that can pay more.

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Science + Technology
7:13 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

In Kansas, Professors Must Now Watch What They Tweet

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 3:17 pm

The Kansas Board of Regents gave final approval Wednesday to a strict new policy on what employees may say on social media. Critics say the policy violates both the First Amendment and academic freedom, but school officials say providing faculty with more specific guidelines will actually bolster academic freedom on campus.

The controversial policy was triggered by an equally controversial tweet posted last September by David Guth, an associate journalism professor. Reacting to a lone gunman who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., he wrote:

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Science + Technology
12:15 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

The Forgotten History Of Climate-Change Science

It has been a full century since the engine driving climate change was first discovered. It's been more than a half-century since the risks entered the realm of public policy.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 10:01 am

It's a fine mess we've gotten ourselves into. Last week the National Climate Assessment report was released detailing the toll climate change is already taking on the United States in terms of droughts, floods, heat waves and changes in agriculture.

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Science + Technology
5:19 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Melting Of Antarctic Ice Sheet Might Be Unstoppable

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 6:31 pm

Scientists have long worried about climate change-induced melting of the huge West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Now they say that not only is the disintegration of the ice already underway, but that it's likely unstoppable.

That means that in the coming centuries, global sea levels will rise by anywhere from 4 to 12 feet. As NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports, that's a larger increase than the United Nations expert panel noted last year. But it would occur over a longer time frame — centuries instead of decades.

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Science + Technology
1:17 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Why Aren't Teens Reading Like They Used To?

British Library of Political and Economic Science Flickr

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 10:21 am

Harry Potter and The Hunger Games haven't been big hits for nothing. Lots of teens and adolescents still read quite a lot.

But a roundup of studies, put together by the nonprofit Common Sense Media, shows a clear decline over time. Nearly half of 17-year-olds say they read for pleasure no more than one or two times a year — if that.

That's way down from a decade ago.

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Science + Technology
10:27 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Joust To The Music: Video Game Evolves Beyond The Screen

Revelers play Johann Sebastian Joust.
Brent Knepper Courtesy of jsjoust.com

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 3:26 pm

On a plaza outside a hotel in Culver City, Calif., four people are stalking each other with PlayStation Move controllers. The devices look a bit like microphones, with glowing orbs on top lit up in pink, yellow and blue.

Video game designer Douglas Wilson is holding a portable speaker, blasting Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.

From afar, this looks like some sort of public performance art. But it is actually a high-tech combination of tag and musical chairs, called Johann Sebastian Joust.

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Science + Technology
3:34 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Former Commando Turns Conservationist To Save Elephants Of Dzanga Bai

Kalron and his team have set up video cameras that transmit real-time images of the bai via satellite.
Courtesy of Maisha Consulting

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 3:26 pm

In the spring of 2013, poachers looking for elephant ivory took advantage of the chaos of a civil war raging in the Central African Republic, and massacred 26 rare forest elephants at a special place called the "Dzanga bai."

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Science + Technology
10:26 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Nation's Report Card Shows Stagnant Scores For Reading, Math

In the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress, 26 percent of high school seniors scored at or above grade level in math compared with 38 percent in reading.
Chad McDermott iStockphoto.com

The government released the latest national test scores on Wednesday, and the news isn't good: 12th-graders are headed toward graduation, but many don't have the skills they need to succeed in college or work.

The test is the National Assessment of Educational Progress, often referred to as "the nation's report card."

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Science + Technology
3:37 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Chemist Turns Software Developer After Son's Cancer Diagnosis

Noah Shaw, now 5, shows off his Texas roots at a recent birthday party.
Courtesy of Bryan Shaw

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 1:34 pm

A scientist's ambitious plan to create an early detection system for eye cancer using people's home cameras is coming along.

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Science + Technology
12:03 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Even Penguins Get The Flu

Adelie penguins frolic in Antarctica, unaware of a flu virus that circulates among them.
Peter & J. Clement Science Source

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 4:35 pm

When you think of bird flu, you may conjure up images of chickens being slaughtered to stem an outbreak, or of migrating ducks, which can carry flu viruses from one continent to the next. Well, it's time to add penguins to your list of mental images.

Yes, Adelie penguins, which breed in huge colonies on the rocky Antarctic Peninsula, also harbor a version of the avian influenza virus, according to a study published in the journal, mBio.

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Science + Technology
3:39 am
Mon May 5, 2014

You Had Me At Hello: The Science Behind First Impressions

Humans make split-second judgments about others based on the way they talk.
Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 8:08 am

Remember that famous line in the movie Jerry Maguire where Renee Zellweger says to Tom Cruise, "You had me at 'hello' "? Well it turns out there is some scientific evidence to back this up. People use voices to instantly judge people, researchers say.

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Science + Technology
1:02 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

One Universe, One Life: A Conjecture

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An artist's impression of a trio of super-Earths discovered with the ESO's 3.6-m telescope at La Silla, Chile.
Illustration ESO

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 12:10 pm

Opening Disclaimer 1: Although there may be more than one universe, as per the hypothetical multiverse, we will humbly submit to our own bubble of information, the sphere with a radius equal to the distance light has traveled since the beginning of time some 13.8 billion years ago. Factoring in the expansion of the universe, this radius is about 46 billion light years.

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Science + Technology
5:14 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Mom's Diet Right Before Pregnancy Can Alter Baby's Genes

Even before you were a twinkle in your mom's eye, what she ate — and didn't eat enough of — may have helped shape you.
George Marks Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 9:59 am

Pregnant women have heard it time and time again: What you eat during those nine months can have long-term effects on your child's health.

Heck, one study even found that when pregnant women eat a diverse diet, the resulting babies are less picky in the foods they choose.

So what about mom's eating habits before she even knows she's pregnant?

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