On the Scene

  1. From the infectious diseases meeting: What’s with the vaccine-o-phobia?

    Science News writer Nathan Seppa talks with physicians about people opting out of vaccinations.

  2. Humans

    A health-care communication revolution

    Discussing how physicians and patients can cure their misunderstandings of medical statistics.

  3. Life

    African genetic diversity

    Researchers are just beginning to explore the genetic landscape of the cradle of humanity

  4. Missing genes? Sometimes, it’s not a problem

    Chunks of the genome appear to be disposable and many healthy people do without substantial stretches of DNA, Science News reports from the American Society of Human Genetics meetings in Honolulu, Hawaii

  5. More science for science writers

    More dispatches from the 47th annual New Horizons in Science meeting, sponsored by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing and held this year in Austin, Texas.

  6. Particle Physics

    Discovery of Higgs at Large Hadron Collider might not make all physicists happy

    Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg suggests many would be horrified if all the LHC discovers is its prime target, the Higgs boson. Tom Siegfried and others blog from the 47th annual New Horizons in Science meeting sponsored by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing in Austin, Texas.

  7. Anthropology

    Droughts gave early humans survival skills for later travels

    Droughts were actually good times for early humans, helping to develop skills for survival in other parts of the world, Lisa Grossman reports in a blog from the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing's New Horizons in Science meeting.

  8. Magic for neuroscientists

    Magicians and neuroscientists may not seem like a likely match, but they have one important thing in common: A fascination with the brain, Science News reporter Laura Sanders reports in this blog filed from the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting in Chicago. As Science News pointed out in an article about science and magic in April, neuroscientists delve deep into the human mind to see how things like attention, perception and memory work, while magicians manipulate these very same things to confound their audience. This unlikely alliance was solidified October 17 at the Society for Neuroscience’s Annual Meeting in Chicago as two world-class magicians demonstrated some of their tricks to an audience of thousands of neuroscientists.

  9. Science for science writers

    Science News blogs from Austin, Texas, where the 47th annual New Horizons in Science meeting is taking place. Freelance Laura Beil describes how Skip Garner began his accidental journey into scientific misconduct investigation after he developed a computer program that could, as he put it, “help a physicist understand medicine,” he told writers in the audience at the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing symposium. Got milk tolerance? Your ability to digest lactose as an adult is relatively new in the human species. And, said John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides evidence of rapid evolution over the past 10,000 years, Elizabeth Quill reports in this blog from the meeting. Virgil Griffith’s life goal is “to create a machine who feels.” Griffith, a doctoral student at Caltech, isn’t the only one. During his talk, he revealed that turning people into cyborgs is the secret passion of many of his Caltech peers, Rachel Ehrenberg reports. (They contend that they are working on implant devices for the injured bodies of people like Vietnam vets, says Griffith, but if you get them drunk they’ll confess that the real aim is to make cyborgs of us all.) Also, blogging from: Eva Emerson on some new results on longevity without caloric restriction in yeast; freelance Susan Gaidos on a Boston University medical statistician who has devoted lots of time to studying errors in the voting process, and says things can, and do, routinely go wrong; and Lisa Grossman on how mapping fossil fuel emissions may help scientists find where carbon is hiding in the biosphere.

  10. Manatee and whale woes with boat speed limits

    This isn’t a cop convention. These are marine mammal biologists, but they do care about speed limits. At the 18th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Science News reporter Susan Milius blogs about manatee researcher Edmund Gerstein's work on boat speeds and gory collisions with manatees. Gerstein is the guy at this meeting who has been arguing what sounds just backward at first. In circumstances such as murky water, he says, slow boats are more likely to hit manatees than are fast boats: Slow boats don’t make as much noise within the manatee hearing range, he says. So when manatees have to rely on sound to detect boats, the animals don’t pick up the warning until too late. There's also news on how well -- or not well -- speed limits set for boats that frequent the same waters as right whales are being followed.

  11. Space

    Too much plume promise

    BLOG: NASA hype over moon crash may have clouded value of real data.

  12. Space

    Jupiter’s second greatest hit

    Features of a bruise in the Jovian atmosphere suggest an asteroid may be what pummeled the planet this summer.