A new iron age?

A new iron age?

Smelters refine aluminum ore, but not iron ore, with electricity. A new electrolytic process for refining iron ore could save vast amounts of greenhouse gases. More »

Neutrinos

Neutrinos

Synopsis: To view neutrinos from distant explosions, astrophysicists have set up thousands of detectors in pure ice at the South Pole. What are neutrinos, and what do these scientists hope to learning from them? Find the article: Chasing Neutrinos at… More »

When dead men speak…

When dead men speak…

How do bones, isotopes, historic records, DNA and grave goods tell us about the dead? We check out the example of King Richard III, found in a parking lot! More »

Wave power

Wave power

The first ocean wave energy-capturing device with a permit to connect back to a public power grid will enter the Pacific next month. How much power could the U.S. potentially harness from the waves crashing into its the coastline? According to researchers, wave energy might be one of our best renewable resources. More »

Boasting about the boson

Boasting about the boson

Award follows last year’s sighting of elusive boson at world’s largest atom smasher. At last, matter can have mass, and physics can understand why! More »

Denial of science, science of denial

old color engraving
Tobacco and cancer. CFCs and ozone. Vaccines and autism. And evolution through natural selection, acid rain and global warming. Why do the facts get lost in a cacophony of argument, falsehood and outright denial? A conference looks at why the media get taken for a ride, and how they can improve. More »

Patent wars!

Patent wars!

How do patents work? What is “new, non-obvious and useful”? What will happen after the biggest change in patent law in 60 years? More »

Farming, Native American style

Farming, Native American style

Native agriculture could be a sophisticated response to a challenging environment. What were the secrets of permaculture, companion cropping and corn farming? Could these techniques contribute to modern farming? More »

Flying robots

small robotic, red and white plane on surface of water

Compared to regular airplanes, radio-controlled craft are safer, cheaper, and easier to use for observing wildlife and environmental conditions. Where are these robots being used? What are they finding? And as prices continue to fall, what stands in the way of much broader use? More »

Science on the road!

Science on the road!

Hitting the road? What could be more enlightening than gawking at a cave, exploring a desert, or eyeballing the largest telescope in the world? Need proof that science is not just books and websites or equations and software? Get moving! More »

Biology as engineer

Biology as engineer

Long ago, nature devised the hinge and ball and socket for appendages like legs and wings. The screw is the latest simple machine to be discovered in nature. Why do weevils, a type of beetle, have a screw? How does it help weevils survive their 3-D world? More »

Nuclear nightmare in Japan

Nuclear nightmare in Japan

With three nuclear reactors and three pools of spent fuel teetering on the edge of meltdown, Japanese technicians struggled to throttle the nuclear demons after the gigantic tsunami. Is Fukushima closer to Chernobyl or Three Mile Island? How will the disaster affect plans for a renaissance of nuclear power? More »

I robot. Aye science!

I robot. Aye science!

Ocean technology on the move: 1: a robot sub smart enough to find stuff in the deep ocean 2: a metal fish glides for weeks under the ice 3: an electric sinker-bobber that never needs recharging 4: a research jet that flies miles above airliners. More »

Old-new glue for plywood, composites

Old-new glue for plywood, composites
Plywood used to be bonded with soybean glue; then along came synthetic adhesives. They were strong and cheap, but they did release toxic formaldehyde. Now, industry is switching to a new, improved soy adhesive. Tough, water-resistant soy glue does not release formaldehyde, and is already being used for interior plywood. More »

Future grid, smart grid

Brick building side showing 12 stories of windows, each with an air conditioner
We need more electricity. More alternative energy. Less greenhouse warming, and better ways to manage our power supply. Can the electric grid meet multiple challenges and help us survive prosperity? What good are smart meters? And what is this going to cost? More »