First of two partsThere’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 theorem...
12/29/2014 - 08:00
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 you hope...
12/04/2014 - 15:30
Science & Society
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 based...
11/24/2014 - 16:00
Human Development, Science & Society
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
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
View the slideshowRobots 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
Letters to the Editor
Cannabis highs and lowsMarijuana 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” (SN: 6/14/14,p. 16). ...
07/11/2014 - 15:30
Letters to the Editor
Debates on black hole deathsScientists disagree about what would happen to a hypothetical astronaut who floats past a black hole’s point of no return —whether the unlucky traveler would be flash-fried or stretched into oblivion. Andrew Grant chronicled the event horizon debate in “The mysterious boundary” (...
06/27/2014 - 15:30
Astronomy, Animals, Paleontology
News in Brief
Predators can really mess up a lizard’s mojo.Male brown anoles, Anolis sagrei, tone down the swaggering head bob that says “come hither” to females and “get lost” to other males when threatening foes come along, reports biologist David Steinberg of Duke University and colleagues May 19 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Steinberg’s team measured the height of...
05/19/2014 - 15:04
Sucking out groundwater could be moving and shaking California.As humans drain aquifers in the state’s Central Valley, the land — free of water weight — flexes upward, lifting the surrounding mountain ranges and possibly triggering tiny earthquakes, researchers suggest May 14 in Nature.It’s the first time scientists have linked the...
05/14/2014 - 13:43