Science & Technology

Science news

Bonnie Rochman

Parents today have more options to determine and influence their children’s genetic makeup than ever before. But is knowing more about one’s DNA always empowering? In the new book “The Gene Machine: How Genetic Technologies Are Changing the Way We Have Kids- and the Kids We Have” (Farrar, Straus, Grioux/2017) writer Bonnie Rochman explores the possible benefits and drawbacks to modern genetic testing.

A UNC-Greensboro study sheds a good light on daydreaming
Flickr

New research from the UNC-Greensboro Psychology Department is shedding light on daydreaming as researchers set out to study mind-wandering in the real world.

The mathematician who’s using geometry to fight gerrymandering

Apr 16, 2017

After every new US census, states have to redraw their congressional districts to divide up their populations fairly. But in practice, these districts don’t always end up equal: Federal judges recently ordered Wisconsin lawmakers to redraw maps of the state’s legislative districts, after finding the districts had been shaped to favor Republican candidates.

The dinosaur family tree isn't quite what we thought it was

Apr 15, 2017

Since the 1880s, we’ve classified dinosaurs into two major groups, based on the shapes of their hips — the Saurischia are “lizard-hipped,” and the Ornithischia, “bird-hipped.”

Sensing Steps, And Perhaps Your PIN

Apr 15, 2017
www.adampiore.com/

 The great engineers of the twentieth century conquered the outside world: planes, skyscrapers and rockets. Today, some of the best engineers are looking inwards at spaces like the human body and discovering ways to fix and enhance it.

Here are a few ways to make the most of wildflower season

Apr 8, 2017

Despite winter’s scattered protests (like the blizzard that hit the Northeast in mid-March), spring has finally arrived in most parts of the United States. And with it: “The party is beginning,” says Andrea DeLong-Amaya, the director of horticulture at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas.

The Anatomy Of A Splash

Apr 8, 2017

Giant Viruses Beefed Up On Host Genomes

Apr 8, 2017

Controlling The Lyme Disease Epidemic

Apr 8, 2017
Tabacus: The Magazine of the British Tabulating Company, August 1958.

In the 1940s, Great Britain led the world in electronic computing. They were responsible for developing the world’s first digital electronic programmable computer; it helped crack enemy codes to aid the Allies in winning World War II. Three decades later, Great Britain’s computing industry was nearly extinct.  

How do tiny little bee brains do so much?

Apr 4, 2017
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<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml/32801121041">USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab</a>

Recently, researchers at Queen Mary University of London trained a group of buff-tailed bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) to get little balls into goals — in a soccer-like game — in exchange for sweet treats.

Climate change might leave a bad taste in your mouth. Literally.

Apr 3, 2017

The conversation about food and climate change often centers on how a warming climate will affect the quantity of food we can harvest. But as it turns out, a warmer world could change the quality, even the flavor, of our favorite foods, too — from the maple syrup that we slather on our pancakes to the tea that we brew before work.

“Tea is similar to maple syrup, in that it needs specific environmental conditions for an ideal harvest,” says Selena Ahmed, an assistant professor of sustainable food and bioenergy systems at Montana State University.

Does the idea of a self-driving ambulance freak you out?

Apr 2, 2017
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<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/pasa/14180432046/">Paul Sableman</a>/<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">CC BY 2.0</a>&nbsp;(image cropped)

Would you want a ride to the hospital in a self-driving ambulance?

If you caught yourself hesitating, you’re not alone. Researchers from the Florida Institute of Technology and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University recently found that many people are less willing to be transported in a driverless ambulance than a regular one — significantly less willing, as it turns out.

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NOAA/NASA

The mid-March blizzard that blanketed parts of the Northeast in several feet of snow may have been a freaky turn of weather, but it didn’t take us by surprise, thanks to the "eagle eyes" of satellites.

A week before the storm hit, a weather satellite run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration began monitoring the collision course of two low-pressure systems, from its position 22,300 miles above the Atlantic Ocean.

Engineering a Better Bionic Arm

Apr 1, 2017

A Life Robotic

Apr 1, 2017

Tweaking the Dinosaur Family Tree

Apr 1, 2017

Falling Into New Ideas

Apr 1, 2017

See how Tuvan throat singers can sing multiple notes at once

Mar 28, 2017

For traditional singers in Tuva, a Russian republic nestled between Siberia and Mongolia, capturing the sounds of their homeland is no easy task: Winds howl across the remote steppes, herds of animals bray and gallop, and water bubbles from mineral springs.

Before plate tectonics, the Earth may have been covered by one giant shell

Mar 27, 2017
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USGS

The Earth’s outer layer is split into slabs, called tectonic plates. As the plates slide across the Earth’s surface, their constant, often violent interactions with one another create volcanoes, earthquakes, rifts and mountain ranges. But the Earth may not always have been shaped this way.

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Max DeRoin. CC0.&nbsp;

Like many freelancers, Rochelle LaPlante is paid by the piece. “So, I have to balance doing it fast enough to make it worth my time, but also make sure I'm doing high-quality work,” she says.

But LaPlante’s job isn’t the writing or design work you might expect in today’s gig economy. She’s an independent content moderator, tasked with keeping unwanted, sometimes graphic content off the social apps and websites we use every day. “So, it's like modern-day piecework, but with the added layer of psychological stress,” she says.

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