Bugs for dinner!

Bugs for dinner!
What about farming insects? 2 billion people eat insects, and more should be, according to the UN. As the planet searches for protein sources that are easy on the environment, are you ready for a 6-legged solution? More »

Stem cell therapy: When will it help the heart?

Stem cell therapy: When will it help the heart?

Heart muscle is never replaced if it dies in a heart attack. Muscle cells grown from stem cells can briefly help broken hearts. Could new approaches make the healing long-term? More »

Denial of science, science of denial

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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 »

Shaking it up: Maverick scientist dies

Shaking it up: Maverick scientist dies

Sometimes, scientists feel the need to leave the lab and warn the public about onrushing hazards. Rowland warned about ozone, but others are warning about warming. Does scientific culture encourage or hinder going public? Does the helpful response to ozone depletion suggest we’ll succeed in confronting global warming? More »

Calendars: A fix needed?

Calendars: A fix needed?

A “permanent” calendar could finally answer the annual, “Uh, what day is New Year’s eve this year?” question. This calendar would place each date on a specific day every year, and simplify life for schedulers. But would a permanent calendar be accepted? More »

Bookin’ science: Best of the batch.

If (gasp!) the subject is too big for a Whyfile, hit the books. Here, we review four great science books, on evolution, environment, fighting nature, and discovering motherly love.

Climate: Simple = beautiful?

Climate: Simple = beautiful?

Earth’s orbit subtly changes over thousands of years, in complex cycles that affect the timing and delivery of sunlight to various regions of the globe. Climatologists have said that when this “Milankovitch cycle” warms the Arctic, it somehow warms the Antarctic. A new study finds that the cycle acts more directly. More »

Bottoms up!

Bottoms up!

People have been controlling fermentation for at least 9,000 years. What were the ancients brewing, and how did alcohol change society? More »

Phony science

Phony science

Fraud happens. In a 2009 survey, 2 percent of scientists admitted faking data; 14 percent said colleagues have done it. Problems worst in drug and other medical studies. More »

Science Education 101

Don’t know much about Science Education: A new survey shows three out of every four US adults do not feel they have a good understanding of science. More »

“Dr. Death” released. Anything new about dying?

Jack Kevorkian forced us to confront the fears and hopes of terminal illness. What’s happened with “right to die” laws in Oregon and the Netherlands? Can “dignity therapy” ease the pain of dying?
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Scrapping Science: Do Facts Really Matter?

Obama: “…promoting science isn’t just about providing resources—it’s about protecting free and open inquiry. It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient—especially when it’s inconvenient.” What science issues face his administration? More »

Forensic Anthropology

This Why File surveys the latest in forensic anthropology, with a visit to the Forensic Anthropology Center at the University of Tennessee, AKA The Body Farm. More »