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  • The List

    World’s worst polluted

    A new report lists places around the world that pose the greatest pollution risk to human health. Green Cross Switzerland and the Blacksmith Institute screened more than 3,000 contaminated sites and rated health threats. The top 10 polluted places are listed below in alphabetical order and pictured in a slideshow:

    1.    Agbobloshie (Ghana)

    2.    Chernobyl (Ukraine)

    3.   ...

    12/12/2013 - 10:17 Pollution
  • Mystery Solved

    Ripple effect

    If you want ripples in your icicles, just add salt. This recipe comes from physicists reporting in the October New Journal of Physics. Antony Chen and Stephen Morris of the University of Toronto built a tabletop machine that allowed nearly ice-cold water to drip through a nozzle onto a slowly rotating support, where the water froze.

    Distilled water produced an unrippled, carrot-shaped...

    11/24/2013 - 15:56 Physics
  • Reviews & Previews

    The Accidental Species

    This is not a typical book about human evolution. There’s no chronology of fossil discoveries, no detailed description of hominid species or even an illustration of human family trees. In fact, the book is largely about what we don’t know about human evolution — and what we’ve gotten wrong.

    Gee, an editor at Nature and a former paleontologist, begins by taking a swipe at the...

    11/24/2013 - 14:46 Human Evolution
  • Science Stats

    Drug use on the rise in older set

    The use of illicit drugs has declined slightly over the last decade among teens but is growing more common in people over age 50. New data from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration show that 23.9 million Americans over age 12 had used drugs in the previous month. Marijuana use is most common and rose from 5.8 to 7.3 percent of people over 12 from 2007 to 2012. The...

    11/23/2013 - 10:00 Biomedicine
  • It's Alive

    Fungal fight club

    Battles between mushrooms don’t make a sound, but they’re violent. “Good fighters can kill the less-good ones and take over their territories,” says mycologist Lynne Boddy of Cardiff University in Wales. “There are battles royal going on all the time.”

    Combat between fungal individuals is a bit like war between heaps of spaghetti. The main bodies of fungi are networks of long, thin...

    11/22/2013 - 16:45 Fungi