Invasive weed removal harms native bird in California

Invasive weed removal harms native bird in California
As invasive weeds choke the shore in San Francisco Bay, ecologists try to eradicate the invader without harming the California clapper rail, which has learned to live among the invader. A computer model aims to meet the conflicting goals by allowing nature to take its course — within limits. More »

Melting Antarctic ice, rising seas: What can we expect?

Melting Antarctic ice, rising seas: What can we expect?
A computer model and satellite radar offer the same chilling conclusion: Antarctic ice has begun melting. The melt is accelerating, and no end is in sight. Water from the frozen south is already raising sea level, but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. More »

Hurricanes, typhoons moving away from equator

Hurricanes, typhoons moving away from equator
As the globe warms, a sophisticated analysis of satellite records shows that tropical cyclones are moving away from the equator, as much as 39 miles per decade. The shift will raise the danger in some places and lower it in others. More »

Tornadoes strike again. How do they work?

Tornadoes strike again. How do they work?
How do tornadoes derive so much power from the air? What good are tornado watches? Will predictions improve? Can you build a safe room to withstand 2x4s flying at 100 miles per hour? More »

Deceptive bird “lies” to steal food!

Deceptive bird "lies" to steal food!
The drongo bird utters alarms to frighten other birds away from their food, then swoops in to steal dinner. The drongo may run through different alarms — looking for one that works and preventing victims from detecting the scam. More »

Global warming crisis: One expert’s view

Global warming crisis: One expert's view
For an overview on warming, we interview the scientist who introduced the “hockey stick” graph showing rapid global warming. Is the stick still relevant? Dive into the science and politics of climate change: the ultimate environmental problem. More »

Fruit fly study finds long-term impact of sleep deprivation

Fruit fly study finds long-term impact of sleep deprivation
Most animals — from flies to people — sleep much more when very young. A new report traces this increased sleep to the brain chemical dopamine. Holy cow! Here’s the ‘so-what’: Later on, the sleep-short flies had less interest in mating! More »

Lies and liars: Can you catch them?

Lies and liars: Can you catch them?
Was Pistorius lying? Liars challenge our law, economy and society. If you want to catch a liar, you might as well flip a coin. Why are liars so hard to catch? Is there anything on the horizon to make lying more difficult? More »

Fundamental facial expressions: are there really 21?

Fundamental facial expressions: are there really 21?
How about sadly disgusted? Fearfully angry or fearfully surprised? We’re happily surprised to see that these categories seem burned into the human psyche. When volunteers are asked to make a “disgustedly surprised” face, they all look pretty much alike. How come? More »

Ancient filter-feeder was a “gentle giant”

Ancient filter-feeder was a "gentle giant"
Just 22 million years after the “Cambrian explosion,” a top predator had already evolved into a filter-feeder, able to sweep up food with sieves built into its front appendages. So what’s this got to do with the whale shark? More »

College admission conundrum?

College admission conundrum?
Critics carp about college entrance exams and point to data showing that high-school grades better predict success. How do the “non-submitters” actually do at colleges that have quit requiring the tests? More »

Whale “sonar” an ancient invention!

Whale "sonar" an ancient invention!
A whale fossil from 28 million years ago shows compelling evidence for echolocation — the ability to “see” objects by listening for the echoes of your own noise. The discovery traces deep roots for a talent that helps animals live in dark and murky conditions. More »

Bats on the wing

Bats on the wing
Bat wings are built like a mammal’s arm—and so their flight is fiendishly complex. Scientists have decoded the fluid dynamics of the flight of a fruit bat—and this airborne mammal has some nifty tricks for staying aloft! More »

The benefits of watching

The benefits of watching
A fascinating study taps “mirror neurons” to improve hand strength and dexterity. If I watch a movie of somebody cutting with scissors, and then use scissors myself, my brain will change — and my hand will be stronger. No kidding! More »

Menace to monarchs

Menace to monarchs
20 years ago, up to 1 billion monarch butterflies wintered in Mexico’s mountains. This January, a few tens of millions are roosting there after their long migration across North America. What menaces the marvelous monarch migration? More »