To play, and therefore to mate

To play, and therefore to mate

Are we affecting the character of future generations by the way we choose mates? If choosing attractive mates tends to make the More »

Climate: Simple = beautiful?

Climate: Simple = beautiful?

Earth’s orbit subtly changes over thousands of years, in complex cycles that affect the timing and delivery of sunlight to various More »

Bottoms up!

Bottoms up!

People have been controlling fermentation for at least 9,000 years. What were the ancients brewing, and how did alcohol change society? More »

Phony science

Phony science

Fraud happens. In a 2009 survey, 2 percent of scientists admitted faking data; 14 percent said colleagues have done it. Problems worst More »

India’s Red Rain: Aliens or Hype?

Did red rain in India carry alien bacteria? One Indian scientist thinks so. Others say it was just spores of a common alga. Pay your More »

Long-Distance Prayer Fails Trial

People pray for the health of friends and family. Can science prove these prayers work? Should it try? Random, double-blind studies More »

Space Travel: Humans vs. Robots

Bush proposes mission to moon and Mars, but how great are the scientific payoffs of this expensive, risky adventure? Would it be More »

Forensic Anthropology

This Why File surveys the latest in forensic anthropology, with a visit to the Forensic Anthropology Center at the University of More »

Nobel Prizefight

Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology given to inventors of MRI machine — but were these guys really the inventors? Meet an More »

Nuclear Wizard Dies

Edward Teller helped invent the hydrogen bomb, then pushed missile defense. By public advocacy and secret research, he changed the 20th More »

Space Travel: How Healthy?

What are the medical and psychological costs of long-term space travel? Radiation, isolation, osteoporosis: Sounds like a real picnic More »