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  • Feature

    The Martian Diaries

    04/28/2015 - 13:19 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • News

    Stronger quakes could strike other segments of Nepal fault

    The April 25 earthquake that devastated Nepal, killing thousands, isn’t the end of seismic hazards in the region. The magnitude 7.8 earthquake relieved pent-up stress along just one segment of the tectonic plate boundary between India and the rest of Asia. Even larger quakes could strike to the west and in nearby Bhutan to the east, scientists warn.

    Where and how intensely future...

    04/28/2015 - 12:07 Earth
  • Science Stats

    Just 1 percent of Amazon’s trees hold half of its carbon

    The Amazon rainforest holds more carbon than any other ecosystem, but only a handful of tree species do most of the work of keeping carbon out of the air. Surveying 530 areas throughout the rainforest, researchers found that roughly 1 percent of Amazonian tree species handle half of the forest’s carbon storage.

    The Amazon...

    04/28/2015 - 11:00 Ecology, Climate
  • News

    Hidden water found deep beneath Antarctica desert valley

    The underside of Antarctica’s dry valleys isn’t so dry after all.

    Researchers have discovered extensive saltwater basins more than 100 meters beneath the permafrost, glaciers and frozen lakes that cover one of the McMurdo Dry Valleys. Scientists had previously believed this underground realm was hard, frozen earth. The newly discovered groundwater may have been sealed off for millions of...

    04/28/2015 - 11:00 Earth, Microbes
  • Scicurious

    For the blind, hearing the way forward can be a tradeoff

    There’s a common notion that people who have deficiencies in one sensory area must have enhancements in others: People with hearing loss have better sight, and people who are blind certainly must have better hearing. That idea even shows up in our superhero stories. Mild-mannered lawyer by day, vigilante by night, Marvel’s Daredevil cannot see...

    04/28/2015 - 07:41 Neuroscience
  • The Science Life

    Brain on display

    Studying the human brain requires grandiose thinking, but rarely do actual theatrical skills come into play. In her latest stint as a video star, MIT neuroscientist Nancy Kanwisher does not buzz saw her skull open to give viewers a glimpse of her brain. But she does perhaps the next best thing: She clips off her shoulder-length gray hair and shaves her head on camera.

    Kanwisher’s smooth...

    04/27/2015 - 16:06 Neuroscience, Science & Society
  • Science Ticker

    Woolly mammoth DNA shows toll of low diversity

    Even before woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) went extinct, signs of decline were written in their DNA, researchers report in the May 18 Current Biology.

    The team sequenced genomes from a 44,800-year-old specimen from Siberia and a 4,300-year old specimen from Wrangel Island...

    04/27/2015 - 13:39 Animals, Genetics
  • News

    Warming’s role in extreme weather quantified

    Scientists have long suspected that some surges in extreme weather — from devastating droughts to thrashing superstorms — are caused by global warming. And now scientists have numbers to support that idea.

    About 75 percent of extreme heat spikes and 18 percent of extreme precipitation over land worldwide can be blamed on this largely human-driven climate change, researchers...

    04/27/2015 - 11:00 Climate
  • News

    'Frankenstein' dinosaur was a mash-up of meat eater and plant eater

    Frankensaurus did exist. But don’t worry — the sharp-clawed creature was a vegetarian.

    Bones found in Chile reveal a bizarre new dinosaur that had a hodgepodge of anatomical features. Based on an ancestry that links it to Tyrannosaurus rex, Chilesaurus diegosuarezi should have been a meat eater, but preferred plants instead,...

    04/27/2015 - 11:00 Paleontology
  • Reviews & Previews

    A chemistry card game forges bonds

    The new strategy-based card game Ion makes a game out of chemistry. It challenges players to group positively and negatively charged ions to form compounds. Players pass around ion and noble gas cards to build the compounds and collect sets of noble gases for points.

    New to chemistry? Never fear. The card game relies on basic arithmetic of positive and negative charges to create neutral...

    04/26/2015 - 08:00 Chemistry, Science & Society