Newly released maps reveal that U.S. air quality has markedly improved over the last decade. The evidence comes from measurements of nitrogen dioxide (NO2 ), a pollutant emitted by vehicles and coal power plants. Yet as the United States cleans up, rapidly industrializing cities in Asia, the Middle East and Africa are spewing more and more of the yellow-brown gas.
NO2 may not have the...
Overall, people in the United States cite too many responsibilities, work and money as leading causes of stress. But health concerns, one’s own or a family member’s, are also stressful. Sixty percent of people who described themselves as in “poor health condition” also reported “a great deal of stress,” according to a survey of more than 2,500 adults.
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The Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark MatterKatherine FreesePrinceton Univ., $29.95
If the components of the universe were poured into a “cosmic cocktail,” scientists could easily predict how the drink would look and taste, yet they would have no idea what’s in it. Such is the state of cosmology today: While scientists can confidently explain the universe’s history and structure,...
The Science Life
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A mathematician once posed a deceptively simple question. Can a single 2-D conveyor belt be stretched around a set of wheels such that the belt is taut and touches every wheel without crossing itself?
MIT computer scientist Erik Demaine pondered the problem. For just a few wheels, the solution is easy: Arrange four into a square, wrap the belt around the outside, and...
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Some of the most potent medicine doesn’t come in a paper cup or a little pill. Instead, it pours from a cheap set of headphones. As chronicled in Alive Inside, music has the power to awaken long-dormant memories and emotions in people suffering from Alzheimer’s and other disorders.
In the documentary, filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett follows the work of social worker Dan Cohen as he...