The Save Darfur Cause on Facebook had all the makings of a slam dunk cyber success. More than a million people joined the social media site’s digital movement a few years ago to save the people of Sudan’s Darfur region from mass slaughter.
There was a hitch in Facebook’s humanitarian giddy-up, though: The vast majority of people who enlisted in the Save Darfur Cause recruited no one...
Gas bubbles effervesce from a mound of muck on the seafloor in a deep submarine canyon off the west coast of Canada. Microbes beneath the sediment belch the bubbles after feasting on the ancient remains of algae, sea critters and their poop: a primordial stew that’s been simmering since long before humans walked the Earth.
This gassy oasis attracts an odd collection of critters. Worms...
Games such as chess have long been mastered by thinking machines. But weightier intellectual feats, such as deducing the laws of nature, have remained the domain of living, breathing brainiacs — until now.
A new computer program called Eureqa comes up with fundamental mathematical laws, the great equations of textbooks and history, from scratch. Feed Eureqa a mess of raw...
What Martin Nweeia noticed first when he encountered narwhals, he says, was the sound. In May 2000, as spring was just reaching Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, a famed local hunter took Nweeia out on the ice searching the open water for those tusk-bearing, high-Arctic whales. "I was sitting on a bucket out on the ice doing polar bear watch," he says. At that time of year, daylight lasts...
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Last May, tissues from the carcass of a North American cow turned up positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy–the ailment responsible for mad cow disease. Within hours, the Canadian government traced the animal to the Alberta farm where it had been raised for its 8 years of life. In short order, other members of its herd were quarantined.
What made this...