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 »

Old and distant galaxy

Old and distant galaxy
A faint smudge — with the dark red insignia of super-old light — distinguishes the oldest galaxy ever seen. The old gal was active in a period when the universe was very different, but still looks a bit like a midget-size modern galaxy. More »

Sweet and sour!

Sweet and sour!
Study finds added sugar — equal to 3 cans of soda a day — doubles death rate among female mice, and impairs male reproduction. Even if mice aren’t people, yikes! More »

Poaching problem

Poaching problem
As elephant poaching soars, carbon dating, a mainstay of archeology, could be used to date ivory, based on heavy isotopes left over from the atom-bomb era. More »

Mining data

Mining data
As the government collects security data, science is dealing with massive amounts of data in genetics, astronomy, meteorology and social science. What are the drawbacks of a data glut? More »

Comet explores sun!

Comet explores sun!

In 2011, a suicidal comet brushed the sun — showing a swirling magnetic field, the source of dangerous “space weather.” What did we learn from the sacrifice of comet Lovejoy? More »

Counting bugs in Panama

Counting bugs in Panama

Life is biology is species: But how many species live on Earth? About six million arthropods (insects, spiders and crustaceans), says a new study. 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 »

Galactic rays

Galactic rays

Scientists have tracked a light beam that’s half-a-million light years long to a monster black hole and found that the hole and its disk of orbiting junk are spinning in parallel. Their new, supersize radio telescope promises more details on black holes at the center of most galaxies, including ours. More »

Finding the killers — in advance

Finding the killers -- in advance

Can we spot young, male, angry, frustrated killers in advance? Will science help us identify them in time? Learn the lessons of Aurora, Colo. More »

Final score: Mustard-bomb plant 1, mouse 0

close-up photo of mouse face eating seeds

Plants and animals are in a constant struggle for survival and reproduction. Plant toxins prevent most animals from eating their seeds and destroying them. No kidding: A desert mouse is smart enough to eat edible fruit flesh without triggering the “mustard-oil bomb”! More »

Mourning the dying weather satellites

Mourning the dying weather satellites

We love accurate weather forecasts, but the weather satellites they rely on are nearing the boneyard. Some replacements have crashed into the ocean, others are in financial limbo. Be very worried about our fragile planet: these satellites also track climate, ice, fire, and the health of forests and ocean! More »

Super-volcanoes!

Super-volcanoes!

Take a modern volcano, and multiply it by 1,000. That’s a super-volcano. Their rare eruptions change landscapes and weather. How long can giant pools of molten rock sit beneath the surface before a super-v blows? A new study says, not long at all… 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 »