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  • Science Ticker

    Sky’s brilliant hues may help bodies keep time

    Our circadian clocks may keep time with the help of the sky’s brilliant colors. Nerve cells associated with internal clocks in mice appear to be more sensitive to changes in yellows and blues than to changes in the brightness of their environment, researchers report online April 17 in PLOS Biology...

    04/17/2015 - 15:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    Natural acids in soil could protect rice from toxic nanoparticles

    A dose of dirt could defend rice plants from the damaging effects of toxic nanoparticles.

    Acids naturally found in the organic matter of soil, collectively called humic acid, can protect rice seedlings from the cell damage and stunted root growth caused by copper oxide nanoparticles, researchers report April 13 in...

    04/17/2015 - 14:30 Pollution, Toxicology
  • Feature

    The greatest natural disaster that almost was

    For more on the future of forecasting, see SN's feature "Weather forecasting is getting a high-speed makeover."

    View the video

    More advanced warnings of incoming weather systems sound like a great idea, but researchers are learning that...

    04/17/2015 - 13:36 Climate, Psychology
  • Feature

    Weather forecasting is getting a high-speed makeover

    In late January, a massive snowstorm drifted toward New York City. Meteorologists warned that a historic blizzard could soon cripple the Big Apple, potentially burying the city under 60 centimeters of snow overnight. Governor Andrew Cuomo took drastic action, declaring a state of emergency for several counties and shutting down the city that never sleeps. For the first time in its 110-year...

    04/17/2015 - 13:35 Climate
  • News

    Being watched can boost productivity

    The mere presence of someone else can make the brain sharpen its focus. In the company of a friend, monkeys became more productive at a simple job, researchers report April 8 in Cerebral Cortex. This diligence was accompanied by heightened activity in brain regions that focus attention....

    04/17/2015 - 13:00 Neuroscience, Psychology
  • Science Stats

    Onshore hurricanes in a slump

    No major hurricanes have slammed into the coast of the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. The gap in these hurricanes making landfall is the longest in recorded history and is incredibly rare, researchers report.

    Many hurricanes in recent years have reached Category 3 or above while out to sea, but...

    04/17/2015 - 12:36 Climate, Oceans
  • Science Ticker

    Low levels of lead linked to lower test scores in children

    Small doses of lead may have big impacts on reading and math scores, scientists report April 7 in Environmental Health.

    Researchers looked at third grade test scores and levels of lead in blood samples from 58,650 students in Chicago public schools. As little as 2...

    04/17/2015 - 12:00 Toxicology
  • News in Brief

    A look back in time reveals Milky Way’s evolution

    A compilation of over 2,000 galaxies gives insights into the history of the Milky Way. By looking at progressively more distant galaxies, astronomers have gazed back in time to create a flip-book documenting how our galaxy has changed over most of the universe’s 13.8-billion-year history.

    By the time the universe was about 3 billion years old, galaxies like the Milky Way were already...

    04/17/2015 - 11:14 Astronomy
  • Culture Beaker

    Unbiased computer confirms media bias

    Hillary Clinton’s announcement last weekend that she is officially running for president set pundits spinning on both sides of the aisle. Released via a video on Clinton’s campaign website, the announcement featured only 92 words from the candidate, which were variously quoted by media outlets of all stripes. Consider this...

    04/17/2015 - 10:00 Science & Society, Computing, Language
  • Screentime

    Apple’s ResearchKit wants your health data

    With its hugely popular iPhone and new software called ResearchKit, Apple thinks it may have solved a major research problem: how to recruit enough people to make associations between lifestyle and health. But with at least one of the apps associated with ResearchKit, contributing data is a lot of work.

    ResearchKit offers five health studies, each with a free app. I gave the...

    04/17/2015 - 08:00 Health