Science & Technology

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Where is modern cloning, 20 years after Dolly?

Aug 14, 2016
The University of Nottingham

Twenty years ago, Dolly the sheep was born, becoming the first mammal cloned from an adult cell. Dolly lived for 6.5 years and developed osteoarthritis late in life. Researchers analyzed her chromosomes and found that she had shortened telomeres, an indication that her genetic age was actually older than her 6.5 years.

Why snails are one of the world's deadliest creatures

Aug 13, 2016
Alan R. Walker/CC BY-SA 3.0

As far as the world’s deadliest creatures go, large predators like sharks and lions tend to get all the credit. But in fact, if we were to point to the animal kingdom’s most frequent killer, it’d actually be the mosquito.

Another creature belonging to the “small but deadly” category is the freshwater snail, which is responsible for more than 200,000 deaths a year — more deaths than sharks, lions and wolves combined.

Why New Zealand is going all out to kill its rats, possums

Aug 13, 2016

New Zealand is well-known for harboring hundreds of beautiful native bird species, many of which have called the archipelago home for millennia. Mammalian species, on the other hand, are not native to the island nation — all except two surviving bat species arrived along with humans a mere 700 years ago. Since then, nearly a quarter of the country’s native birds have gone extinct.

Photo of patient using virtual reality system
Neurorehabilitation Laboratory, Alberto Santos Dumont Association for Research Support (AASDAP), São Paulo, Brazil

Eight paraplegic patients have regained partial control of their lower limbs, according to a recent rehabilitation study led by a Duke University neuroscientist.

Rose Lincoln/Harvard

Put simply, Lisa Randall’s job is to figure out how the universe works, and what it’s made of.

Her contributions to theoretical particle physics include two models of space-time that bear her name. The first Randall–Sundrum model addressed a problem with the Standard Model of the universe; the second concerned the possibility of a warped additional dimension of space.

Photo of Dr. Cynthia Toth and Dr. Francesco LaRocca
Francesco LaRocca / Duke University

A team of engineers and physicians at Duke University has developed a new device that can capture high-quality images of retinas. It can produce high-resolution images of photoreceptor cells, or rods and cones.

Previous technology required the patient to sit still and concentrate for a few minutes, something children can't do very well. This lightweight handheld device fixes that problem.

Watch this slow-motion video of attacking electric eels

Aug 8, 2016

Scientists have long known that electric eels can send out short pulses of electricity to sense their environment and also to paralyze their prey. But one researcher has recently discovered that eels can also use powerful electric pulses to attack or defend themselves while leaping out of the water. 

Valentin Flauraud/Reuters

Today, the federal government spends about $60 billion a year on research. That research gets published in scientific journals that institutions, researchers and the public have to pay in order to access.

Many have argued that the government should make this taxpayer-funded research freely available. And now Congress has drafted a piece of legislation that would do just that.

The women who made communication with outer space possible

Aug 6, 2016

In 1969, the world watched as Neil Armstrong marked his historic achievement with the words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” His now-famous transmission was heard around the globe thanks to NASA’s Deep Space Network, which made communication from outer space possible.

The Physics of the Fastest Swim Strokes

Aug 5, 2016

Is a Healthier English Bulldog Possible?

Aug 5, 2016
Frank Drake

When astronomer Frank Drake organized the first SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) conference back in 1961 in Green Bank, West Virginia, only a dozen people attended.

Here are all your burning questions about recycling, answered

Aug 1, 2016

Have you ever wondered whether your milk carton caps can be recycled? Or what happens to your recycling after it gets picked up from your curb? Science Friday video producer Luke Groskin decided to explore the mysteries of recycling further. He visited a recycling facility in Brooklyn and came back to report on it.

According to Groskin, the inside of a recycling facility looks like it might look like if you were “inside the digestive track of a robot that eats recyclables. It's really really mechanized.”

The real science in the new Ghostbusters

Jul 30, 2016
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures.

In a film about the paranormal, what possible role could science play behind the scenes? As it turns out, several scientists were involved in the creation of the new Ghostbusters film.

Physicists James Maxwell, a staff scientist at the Department of Energy’s Jefferson Lab, and Lindley Winslow, an assistant professor of physics at MIT, both got the call to bring their expertise to the big screen. 

What does racism do to your health?

Jul 30, 2016
David Gray/Reuters

The videos of recent tragic shootings are disturbing and hard for anyone to watch. But it can be even harder if the person in the video looks like you.

In fact, researchers say that experiencing, witnessing, or even just hearing about discrimination could result in anxiety, depression, psychosis, or PTSD.

And early evidence suggests that racism can boost heart rate and blood pressure, and ultimately influence life expectancy in people of color.

Staying Healthy in Space

Jul 29, 2016

After Months Of Study, NC Zoo Elephants Form A Herd

Jul 29, 2016
NC Zoo

Five of the African elephants at the North Carolina Zoo have formed a herd, according to zoo officials.

This comes after staffers spent months studying the behavior of each elephant and observing how they interact with each other.