Once you hit a certain age, visiting a doctor is basically a guilt trip. All that satisfying stuff you eat, drink or smoke is killing you, a white-coated overachiever tells you. You need to exercise and lose weight, or the grim reaper will be at your door long before you’re ready. And it will all be your fault.
There’s truth in that message. The primary causes of death in Western society today are cardiovascular disease and cancer, two diseases that are very much tied up with what we put in our bodies and how we use and abuse them. If you eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and absta...
Found in: Humans
Forty vie for top awards in 2013 Intel Science Talent Search. (p. 14)
Found in: Science & Society
SN Prime | August 13, 2012 | Vol. 2, No. 31
In school we learn that science proceeds logically from one experiment to the next, leaving in its wake a complete and certain body of knowledge.
But science isn’t like that. It twists and turns, careens and tumbles and gets stuck in deep, sticky mudholes. And sometimes, science backtracks.
That’s happened in cosmology recently, as observations of the universe’s accelerating expansion have forced theorists to go back and restore a notion — the cosmological constant — that
Einstein abandoned by the scientific roadside eight d...
Physics is really two sciences. There’s quantum mechanics, the weird tumultuous world where particles pop into and out of nothingness and cats can be simultaneously living and dead. And there’s general relativity, Einstein’s majestic vision of massive objects bending space and time.
Ever since these two very different views of the universe emerged early in the 20th century, generations of physicists have tried to unite them in a single theory that would ideally describe all four of nature’s basic forces to boot. Even Einstein tried, and failed. Now, after an especially frustrating... (p. 26)
A year ago, most geneticists had all but dismissed the notion that humans and Neandertals interbred. But with the cataloging of the full Neandertal genome, announced in May, we now know that people of European and Asian descent really have inherited a small percentage of their DNA from a rival species that went extinct about 30,000 years ago.
That’s not all we now know that we didn’t know way back in the first decade of the 21st century. Then, it was still an open question whether NASA’s Kepler mission would be able to fulfill its goal of detecting Earthlike planets orbiting distant... (p. 18)