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  • Feature

    Five years on, Deepwater Horizon oil spill's impact lingers

    In a steamy Louisiana marsh, crickets do their best impersonation of a canary in a coal mine.

    Afloat in orange cages on the coastal wetland, the featherless chirpers warn researchers of toxic fumes rising from oil. Oozing oil is a recurring yet elusive problem on the marsh in Barataria Bay, just south of New Orleans. One day, a patch of the wetland is green and lush, the next it’s...

    04/03/2015 - 12:00 Pollution, Oceans, Ecosystems
  • News in Brief

    Fast-spinning young Earth pulled the moon into a yo-yo orbit

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    The Earth and moon’s celestial dance was a lot wilder during the pair’s youth.

    By simulating the early moon’s orbit, researchers have reconstructed what the moon’s phases would have looked like during the solar system’s early years. The result, presented online March 10 at arXiv.org, reveals a moon...

    03/18/2015 - 11:05 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    How pigeons bob and weave through obstacles

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    To dodge obstacles, pigeons have to know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. By altering their wing posture, the birds can successfully navigate tight spots, researchers report March 2 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences.

    Harvard University...

    03/03/2015 - 15:52 Animals, Biophysics
  • Context

    Bell’s math showed that quantum weirdness rang true

    First of two parts

    There’s just enough time left in 2014 to sneak in one more scientific anniversary, and it just might be the most noteworthy of them all. Fifty years ago last month, John Stewart Bell transformed forever the human race’s grasp on the mystery of quantum physics. He proved a...

    12/29/2014 - 08:00 Quantum Physics
  • Scicurious

    Compassionate colleagues can help labs restart after disaster

    Scientists spend a lot of time planning. Planning the next set of experiments, the next paper, the next funding application. An hour on a coveted piece of equipment can require several months of legwork. Mice or other animals for experiments have to be bred years in advance — foresight that takes planning.

    It’s one thing to plan for experiments you’d like to do. Preparing for scenarios...

    12/04/2014 - 15:30 Science & Society
  • Science Ticker

    Breakfast in the classroom boosts school attendance

    Serving breakfast in the classroom can boost elementary school students' attendance, and more students eat breakfast at school when the meal is served in the classroom rather than in the cafeteria, researchers report November 24 in JAMA Pediatrics. The study did not find any differences in reading and math abilities...

    11/24/2014 - 16:00 Human Development, Science & Society
  • Growth Curve

    There’s no need to panic about enterovirus

    The news these days is awash in viruses. The tragedy of the Ebola outbreak has seized headlines, as it should, but there’s another virus lurking beneath the fold, one that has some parents and schools worried. This mysterious enterovirus has been linked to severe respiratory...

    10/22/2014 - 09:00 Health, Microbes
  • News

    Plastic may take unexpected routes to marine garbage patches

    Math may help scientists figure out who is responsible for massive tracts of trash in the oceans — and the culprits may not be the obvious suspects.

    Using mathematical simulations of ocean currents, researchers at the University of New South Wales in Sydney show that plastic garbage may take circuitous cruises before joining patches of floating debris in distant oceans....

    09/05/2014 - 08:30 Oceans
  • Feature

    Seeing past the jellyfish sting

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    Robots that hunt down and exterminate jellyfish: Good or bad idea? Discuss.

    A 2013 video from robotics designers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology shows three jelly-killer prototypes gliding as a metallic fleet over gently rippling water. An...

    08/22/2014 - 14:33 Animals, Oceans
  • Letters to the Editor

    Feedback

    Cannabis highs and lows

    Marijuana can tweak the brain’s normal functions, and young people may be particularly vulnerable. Laura Sanders delved into the science behind pot’s neurological effects in “High times” (...

    07/11/2014 - 15:30 Neuroscience