Science & the Public
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Science & the Public
Technology,, Humans & Society,, Life & Evolution,, Genes & Cells,, Earth & Environment,, Ecology 12:37am, December 15, 2012
Any day now, a team of 40 scientists and support personnel expects to begin using a warm, high pressure jet of water to bore a 30 centimeter hole through 83 meters of ice. Once it breaks through to the sea below, they’ll have a few days to quickly sample life from water before the hole begins freezing up again. It's just a test. But if all goes well, in a few weeks the team will move 700 miles and bore an even deeper hole to sample for freshwater life that may have been living for eons outside even indirect contact with Earth’s atmosphere.
Humans & Society 9:30am, December 6, 2012
Many people of a certain age (like my folks) enjoy flying south to warmer climes when winter weather threatens. I’m also flying south this December — but not to warm up. As a guest of the National Science Foundation, I’ll be checking out summer in the really deep South: Antarctica. Temps expected at certain sites I’m scheduled to visit, such as the South Pole, threaten to surpass the worst that my hometown will encounter in the dead of winter.
Animals,, Humans & Society,, Earth & Environment 5:58pm, August 1, 2012
A British-Australian research team has just found coral trout living on the south side of the Great Barrier Reef sporting dark skin raised, scablike, brown-black growths. Although the authors believe they’ve stumbled onto an epidemic of melanoma — a type of skin cancer — other experts have their doubts. Strong ones.
Humans & Society 12:12am, July 26, 2012
I read with sadness this week that Weekly Reader is about to disappear. As much as I’ll miss the idea of the venerable Weekly Reader living on, I also have to admit to a bit of a love/hate relationship with it. This conflict developed shortly after I joined the staff here. As soon as I identified my affiliation, people frequently asked: “Science News — hmmm: Isn’t that the Weekly Reader of science?”
Technology,, Humans & Society,, Nutrition,, Earth & Environment 5:51pm, July 17, 2012
From now on, U.S. manufacturers may no longer produce polycarbonate baby bottles and sippy cups (for toddlers) if the clear plastic had been manufactured from bisphenol A, a hormone-mimicking compound. Long-awaited, the announcement is anything but a bold gesture. The Obama administration decided to lock this barn door after the cow had died.
Humans & Society,, Earth & Environment,, Chemistry,, Body & Brain 6:29pm, July 16, 2012
A new study finds that children who have their cavities filled with a white composite resin known as bis-GMA appear to develop small but quantifiable drops in psychosocial function. To put it simply: Treated kids can become more moody, aggressive and generally less well adjusted.
Humans & Society,, Ecology,, Other 4:57pm, July 5, 2012
Ecologist Kate Langwig of Boston University and her colleagues want Eastern bats to listen up: No more cuddling — at least during hibernation. Just keep those wings to yourselves.
Humans & Society,, Earth & Environment,, Body & Brain 12:15pm, June 26, 2012
As reported this week, breathing elevated ozone levels can mess with the cardiovascular system, potentially putting vulnerable populations — such as the elderly and persons with diabetes or heart disease — at heightened risk of heart attack, stroke and sudden death from arrhythmias. Is this really new? Turns out it is.
Humans & Society,, Earth & Environment 11:38am, June 22, 2012
One token — but highly visible — gesture toward sustainability at the UN's 2012 Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio was a request for all attendees to shrink their paper footprints. Apparently, most complied.
Humans & Society,, Chemistry,, Earth & Environment 2:07pm, June 20, 2012
A chemical cousin of bisphenol A, a hormone mimic, has turned up on banknotes from around the world in addition to tainting 14 other types of papery products. Owing to the near ubiquity of BPS in paper, human exposure is likely also “ubiquitous,” conclude the study's authors. Oh, and a second new study shows that BPS behaves like an estrogen.