They’ve appeared on television and in magazines — Katy Perry, Johnny Depp and other celebrities vaping electronic cigarettes. The high-tech gadgets, marketed as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes, seem to be available everywhere, from Internet suppliers and specialty vaping shops to 24-hour convenience marts.
E-cigarettes have become the fashionable new electronic toy....
The Science Life
If the moon is up, there’s a good chance Joseph Taylor is on his ham radio, using a homemade antenna in his backyard to bounce signals off the moon’s pockmarked face. It’s a skill Taylor began cultivating in 2003, shortly before he retired from Princeton University, where he used radio waves to probe the secrets of pulsars, the spinning, magnetized neutron stars that emit bursts of radiation...
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At the beginning of June, my travel companion and I were lost somewhere in the bowels of the Seoul subway in South Korea. As we puzzled over a map we could barely read, a kind young woman, a surgical mask covering her nose and mouth, stopped and offered to help us find our way. As she led us to our next train, she looked at me seriously. “You should get one of these,” she said, gesturing to...
Warren Chan helped invent a research field and then watched it nearly die.
The chemist and biomedical engineer at the University of Toronto specializes in quantum dots, tiny semiconductor particles that glow in a rainbow of colors when zapped with a laser. Fifteen years ago, quantum dots were all the rage....
Roll over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news: Scientists have for the first time identified key characteristics of music worldwide. The findings lay the groundwork for deciphering why people everywhere sing, play instruments and find melodies so compelling.
No musical features, not even simple scales composed of distinct pitches, are absolute universals that occur in all song...
Male and female mice use different kinds of cells to respond to pain, a new study shows. The results suggest that if a similar thing happens in people, pain treatments ought to be tailored to men or women.
Scientists knew that after an injury, cells called microglia in the spinal cord spring into action, a process that’s been linked...
Reviews & Previews
Faith vs. Fact
It’s increasingly popular to view science and religion as complementary ways of knowing about ourselves and the universe. But that idea doesn’t have a...
Part interactive field guide, part map, a new app compiles millions of records on species ranges worldwide. By pinpointing your location, the Map of Life app lets you explore plants and critters you might see nearby. Or tap around the globe to see what might be blooming in Singapore, for example. Click on a species name to reveal its range map (one...
Reviews & Previews
The Science of TV's the Big Bang Theory
ECW Press, $17.95
Math, science, history — science writer Dave Zobel unravels the mysteries in The Science of TV’s the Big Bang Theory.