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E.g., 11/20/2017
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  • cows grazing
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  • Feature

    Getting creative to cut methane from cows

    View the video

    In a pasture outside Edmonton, Canada, you’ll find a few dozen cows doing what cows do: mostly eating. The average animal spends eight-plus hours a day filling its belly, or as is the case with cows, bellies. Along with that enormous appetite, cows are born with the ability to digest almost any plant they can chew, thanks to a multichambered stomach and a helpful army of...

    11/18/2015 - 16:36 Animals, Microbes, Climate
  • Feature

    Software Scientist

    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...

    12/30/2011 - 09:46 Technology
  • Feature

    Breaking it Down

    Suppose there was a fourth little pig. This one was a physicist. Unlike his brother the engineer, who built a house out of tried-and-true bricks, the physicist pig chose a building material by doing calculations based on fundamental principles. He settled on a substance made from silicon and oxygen, an abundant material with high bond strength and the aesthetic bonus of transparency. It was...

    01/29/2010 - 14:02
  • Food for Thought

    Calling All Cows

    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...

    10/01/2003 - 16:55 Agriculture
  • Feature

    Electronic Jetsam

    Twice each day at more than 1,100 sites around the world, scientists simultaneously loft weather balloons to collect data about Earth's atmosphere. During each balloon's ascent, which lasts a couple of hours or so, instruments garner information about air temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed, and wind direction. Meteorologists feed all of these data into their computer...

    01/27/2003 - 13:58 Earth
  • Feature

    Cold Facts of Life

    04/24/1993 - 00:00