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 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 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, More »

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!
Halloween is supposed to be fun, but there’s a disturbing undercurrent of real belief in unreal stuff. The Why Files tours the occult. More »

Roads: helpful here, harmful there

Roads: helpful here, harmful there

Roads are the first insult to pristine natural areas — and a key to agricultural productivity in places where farming makes sense. More »

Wolf mystery solved at last!

Wolf mystery solved at last!

And how did it traverse 460 kilometers of ocean? Apparently by crossing a narrow band of ice during the last Ice Age. A new study More »

Lying liars lie!

Lying liars lie!

We lie for many reasons: Glory. Money. Both. Something else. Is there a science of detecting lies? Does the digital realm make lying More »

After the flood, the menace of mold

After the flood, the menace of mold

After Sandy’s soaking: How dangerous are molds and bacteria that grow in a soggy house? What is the best way to salvage a water-damaged More »

Fixing filthy beaches

Fixing filthy beaches

Most water pollution originates in polluted runoff. After a near-record number of beach closures, could green infrastructure convert 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 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 »

Should “wastewater” be wasted?

effluent pumps

Population growth, climate change and development are all focusing attention on water shortages. Theoretically, water can be recycled 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 More »

Short of meds…

Short of meds…

Contaminated injection blamed for mini-epidemic. Why are hospitals running out of generic drugs, anesthetics and antibiotics? More »