First neutrinos from outer space

First neutrinos from outer space
Neutrinos are almost invisible, but a 1-kilometer cube of ice has found 28 from beyond the solar system. Some are from other galaxies. Neutrinos seldom interact with anything, so they are pristine messengers from deepest space. Next job: Reading that message. 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 »

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 »

Bird migration: Key explanation skewered!

Bird migration: Key explanation skewered!

How do homing pigeons find their way on their amazing migrations? Scientists thought iron-bearing nerve cells in the beak can detect Earth’s magnetic field. But those iron granules are in immune cells. How do they do it? More »

First forest: New details emerge

First forest: New details emerge

Returning to the site of a classic “first forest” site, New York scientists have found extra complexity: three fossilized trees-like species aged almost 400 million years. One find, a vine-like monster, may be a direct descendant of all seed-bearing trees! More »

Cattle, wildlife: No real conflict?

zebra in foreground, cattle in background

In African savannas, cattle graze the same grass as zebras, elephants and gazelles. Obviously, wildlife are stealing food from the mouths of cattle, and from the people who depend on cattle. But new data show that in the wet season, grazing wildlife actually benefit cattle! More »

Wildfire!

Wildfire!

Constant fire-fighting has made remaining fires more intense, but controlled burns have their own hazards. Is climate change making forest fires stronger, more common, or both? More »

English is optional dep’t

ancient map of astrological signs

Must scientific literature be so darn murky? Do we really need clinkers like “biomedicine” and “astrolicism”? What if they just wrote English for a change? Join us for an entertaining tour of the dark side of the scientific enterprise! More »

Internet: The fastest teacher?

Internet: The fastest teacher?
MRI scans of older people show major differences between searchers and non-searchers. After seven hours of Internet experience, those differences disappear. Honest? Could changing the brain be this easy? More »

Cloning Fraud: How’d it Happen?

Korean scientist pulled off the biggest scientific fraud in memory. How did he do it? How is science supposed to prevent fraud? Why did it matter, and who loses out? More »

Time to Reconsider the Leap Second

The solar clock doesn’t quite line up with the atomic clock. We use leap seconds to make them match. Should we dump the leap second? 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 »