Science & Technology

Science news

A Peek Into The Sex Lives Of Algae

Jul 15, 2017

Creating The Perfect Ice Cube

Jul 15, 2017

Buzz over the Chukchi Sea in a helicopter in early spring, and there’s little to see but sky and ice. That is, until your eye catches the maze of polar bear tracks threading across the ice in some areas. The sea, which stretches between northwestern Alaska and northeastern Russia, is home to one of the Arctic’s 19 distinct polar bear populations.

Kepler turns up a trove of new exoplanets

Jul 10, 2017
6
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Scientists behind NASA's Kepler K2 mission recently unveiled hundreds of new planet candidates for NASA’s exoplanet catalog, including 10 that could be rocky planets in the "just right" Goldilocks zone of their stars.

Is marijuana a secret weapon against the opioid epidemic?

Jul 9, 2017
R
Blair Gable/Reuters

As US Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a crowd of federal, state and local law enforcement in March, the country “is in the throes of a heroin and opioid epidemic.” According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription opioid and heroin overdoses kill 91 Americans each day.

Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
Greg Duckworth II / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/528zQV

Hikers trekking deep in the Pisgah National Forest are usually on the lookout for copperheads and black bears. But sometimes they are startled by a Big Bang of sorts, stumbling out of the woods and into a science fiction-like world of giant telescopes. But it's no illusion.

A Mathy Makeover For The Kilogram

Jul 8, 2017

Climate change is coming to your coffee cup

Jul 6, 2017
1
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mmmavocado/11488151544/">Malcom Manners</a>/<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">CC BY 2.0</a>

When it comes to coffee, Ethiopia is sacred ground.

It’s the home of Coffea arabica — one of the most popular species of coffee bean. And in Ethiopia, coffee is a major part of the economy: It makes up about a quarter of the country’s export earnings, and around 15 million farmers make a living farming the crop.

Elsa Loissel

Bird brains are the size of a nut, or possibly even smaller in some cases. But a plethora of new research shows that despite their small brain size, birds are actually among the most intelligent members of the animal kingdom.

“The Genius of Birds” (Penguin Books/2016) profiles a range of winged-beasts who are expert problem solvers and mappers with their own social networks and cultural traditions. Host Frank Stasio talks with science writer Jennifer Ackerman about her new book.

Kathy Cowell

A childhood spent in downtown Manhattan did not dampen Adam Summers’ passion for the outdoors. His family took yearly trips to Canada’s woods and streams, which instilled in him a special passion for marine life. Now a comparative bio-mechanist, Summers is an expert in the evolution, anatomy and movement of fish.

The key to eating more veggies? Trick your brain.

Jul 2, 2017
t
<a href="https://pixabay.com/en/tomatoes-tomato-harvest-healthy-1569280/">hansbenn</a>/<a href="https://pixabay.com/en/service/terms/#usage">CC</a><a href="http://pixabay.com/en/service/terms/#usage">&nbsp;BY 2.0 (image cropped)</a>

If you’ve ever scanned a restaurant menu and found yourself torn between the “sizzling grilled sirloin” and the healthy option, “8-oz sirloin steak,” you’re not alone. The healthier one doesn’t sound nearly as mouthwatering, does it?

What theoretical physics says about the future of our government

Jul 2, 2017
1
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/djc/15870725062/">Diego Cambiaso</a>/<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">CC BY-SA 2.0</a>&nbsp;(image cropped)

We’ve all heard campaigning politicians — especially those who want to be president of the United States — say that if elected, they’ll fix what’s wrong in Washington. But what if the tangle of issues faced by our government is just too complex for one person to manage?

Take a dazzling new peek at Jupiter

Jul 1, 2017
P
<a href="https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam/processing?id=1380">NASA/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran &copy;&nbsp;PUBLIC DOMAIN</a>

Jupiter may be one of the planets we can spot with the naked eye, but scientists have long puzzled over what lies beneath its swirling clouds — or inside its stormy Great Red Spot.

Could an Amazon pharmacy be a prescription for industry change?

Jul 1, 2017
m
<a href="http://freestocks.org/photo/medications-2/">Joanna Malinowska</a>/<a href="https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/">CC</a><a href="http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/">&nbsp;BY 2.0 (image cropped)</a>

These days, you can find just about anything on Amazon — from toilet paper to textbooks and even groceries. For now, though, there’s still something you won’t find on the site: prescription drugs.

Flu? There’s A Patch For That

Jul 1, 2017

Curiosity Gets An AI Upgrade

Jul 1, 2017

The Polar Bear Necessities

Jul 1, 2017

The natural sunscreen of the future

Jun 30, 2017
3
Matej Vakula, NYC/vakula.eu

Whether you fry in the sun or hardly seem to burn at all depends on something you can’t change: the amount of pigment, or melanin, in your skin. But what if you could add melanin to sunscreens for better sun protection?

In the future, we may come close: Researchers reporting in Science have developed a melaninlike substance that can be tuned to dark and light shades, corresponding with different degrees of protection against the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Finding an Earthly home for the Thirty Meter Telescope

Jun 28, 2017
T
Courtesy TMT International Observatory

Named for the diameter of its mirror, the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT, for short) will some day see 10 to 100 times farther in the sky than existing telescopes — far enough, scientists hope, to glimpse exoplanets and some of the oldest objects in the universe.

Caught On Video: How DNA Replicates

Jun 24, 2017

Baby Boxes, Singing Fish, And E-DNA

Jun 24, 2017

Getting To Know The Placenta

Jun 24, 2017

Tired of jogging? There’s an exosuit for that.

Jun 20, 2017
c
<a href="https://unsplash.com/photos/Apj4nSemkzk">Clem Onojeghuo</a> via <a href="https://unsplash.com/license">Unsplash</a>. Image cropped.

Talk about suiting up for a jog — researchers have developed an exosuit that helps runners use less energy.

The ensemble is no stiff, Iron Man-style exoskeleton — it looks more like a pair of belted spandex shorts. In the study, recently published in Science Robotics, researchers say that wearing the suit can cut the metabolic cost of a treadmill run by 5.4 percent.

For fish, the good and bad of warming ocean waters

Jun 19, 2017

As ocean temperatures rise, what will happen to the fish we eat?

According to a recent study published in “Progress in Oceanography,” some fish species will thrive in warmer waters — and others, not so much.

Using a detailed climate model and historical observation data, researchers at NOAA and The Nature Conservancy modeled the shifting thermal habitats of over 50 species along the Atlantic coast, from North Carolina to the Gulf of Maine.

Pages