This Week: Ancient water = ancient habitat?
In the News: Texas is dry and hot. Global warming?
Coming Thursday: Roaches: A lot smarter than you thought!
Meteorite hunters were out in force after the biggest impact in 100 years injured more than 1,200. Does the meteorite market damage science by sending the best samples to private collections, or does it feed science as well as the market?
British archeologists unearthed bones of Richard III, who died in 1485 after a murderous reign. How do bones, isotopes, historic records, DNA and grave goods tell us about the dead?
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.
Can we spot these young, male, angry, frustrated killers in advance? Will science help us identify them in time?
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”!
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…
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?
Scientists thought wings were the first evidence of flight. But plenty of falling ants can glide back to “their” tree to avoid being devoured on the forest floor. If an ant’s brain and body are able to detect its position and change its flight path, is gliding the first flight?
With space shuttles in museums, what is the near-term American plan to return to space? Can other countries or private companies fill the gap?
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!
Fish contamination was rare after the giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, with levels of dangerous hydrocarbons well below “levels of concern.” But nobody looked systematically at heavy metals, the Gulf still has a lot of oil, and the many different hydrocarbons may have unpredictable impacts.
Darwin thought life had to predate the Cambrian era, and yet there was no evidence. In 1953, a Wisconsin geologist saw fossils aged almost 2 billion years. Now, life has been discovered in rocks from 3.5 billion years. What was life like, and how do we recognize it?
Coffee’s not just a mood-boosting addiction: That complex chemistry could help with diabetes, dementia, heart disease, cancer.
A report that people were in Texas 15,500 years ago settles a long dispute: The Americans who made Clovis-style spear-points were not the first Americans — despite heavy archeological skepticism. Pre-Clovis rules! But who were the pre-Clovis people, and why are scientists so dismissive of contrary evidence?