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E.g., 06/30/2015
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  • News in Brief

    Genetic tweak turned plague bacterium deadly

    Two genetic changes turned the plague into a scourge.  

    The ancestor of the plague-causing bacterium Yersinia pestis causes mild stomach disease. Early in its evolution, Y. pestis acquired a single gene from other bacteria that allowed it to cause the deadly lung infections of pneumonic plague, scientists ...

    06/30/2015 - 11:00 Health, Genetics, Evolution
  • Feature

    E-cigarettes proving to be a danger to teens

    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....

    06/30/2015 - 09:00 Health
  • The Science Life

    In retirement, Nobelist takes up moon bouncing

    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...

    06/30/2015 - 07:00 Physics, Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    Leap second helps us with the reality of time

    Not enough time in your day?

    Today, everyone gets an extra second. The Earth’s rotation has slowed down enough to warrant a leap second at the end of June 30. For that second, the official time will be 11:59:60 p.m.

    Leap seconds ...

    06/30/2015 - 06:00 Earth, Technology
  • Scicurious

    No matter the language, disease risk is hard to communicate

    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...

    06/29/2015 - 16:56 Science & Society, Health
  • Feature

    Quantum dots get a second chance to shine

    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....

    06/29/2015 - 16:29 Quantum Physics
  • News

    Music to just about everyone’s ears

    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...

    06/29/2015 - 15:00 Psychology, Anthropology
  • Science Ticker

    Pain may come in his and hers

    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...

    06/29/2015 - 11:59 Neuroscience
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Faith vs. Fact’ takes aim at religion

    Faith vs. Fact
    Jerry Coyne
    Viking, $28.95

    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...

    06/29/2015 - 10:00 Science & Society
  • Screentime

    New app creates a searchable network of species worldwide

    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...

    06/29/2015 - 07:00 Networks, Animals, Plants