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  • Feature

    The long and winding Colorado

    Standing on a mesa high above the town of Rifle, Colo., Andres Aslan is having a hard time staying quiet. The lanky geologist from nearby Colorado Mesa University normally speaks in a low-key professorial drone. But here, looking down at a sprawling river valley blazing with autumnal cottonwoods, his enthusiasm cranks up his volume. “This could be it,” says Aslan, gesticulating wildly. “This...

    01/10/2014 - 14:00 Earth, Planetary Science
  • Feature

    View to a cell

    Imagine if your best knowledge of human anatomy came from viewing the body through binoculars from a mile away. You might make out the shape of a hand, but knuckles and fingernails would elude you. Experiments could tell you there’s a pumping heart inside, but to see that heart with any clarity you would have to fix it in formaldehyde or liquid nitrogen, blast it with electrons and add dyes to...

    05/28/2013 - 16:22 Cells, Biophysics
  • Feature

    Death of a Continent, Birth of an Ocean

    To those who live there, east Africa’s Afar region is “the place the devil plows.” One of the hottest and lowest areas on Earth, it is a landscape of baking desert and barren lava flows. To scientists, though, Afar means something more promising: geology in the raw.

    There, on the edge of Africa, the continent is splitting apart. Pulled inexorably by the...

    06/17/2011 - 10:30 Earth & Environment
  • Feature

    Scientists Get a 2nd Life

    To track down neuroscientist Corey Hart, you could stop by his laboratory, located on the second floor of DrexelUniversity’s medical building in Philadelphia. Or, you could visit the lab of Luciftias Neurocam, located in the virtual world of Second Life.

    Luciftias is Hart’s digital alter ego, or avatar. Like his real-life counterpart, Luciftias tracks the...

    05/09/2008 - 19:26 Computing, Humans & Society
  • Feature

    Biological Moon Shot

    Richard Pyle hasn't gotten a congratulatory crate of free diapers. But he's one of the fathers, in a sense, of the first fish species named in 2008. Quintuplet species even. The journal Zootaxa posted descriptions of five damselfish on Jan. 1 that Pyle and his colleagues at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu found using a specialized mix of gases to push beyond the depth limits of conventional...

    01/29/2008 - 11:13 Other
  • Math Trek

    A Mathemusical Potpourri

    Are you curious about the sound of pi? What sort of tune is the Dow Jones Industrial Average singing today? How does redwood DNA translate into an environmental symphony?

    Music professor Jonathan N. Middleton and a team of students from the mathematics and computer science departments at Eastern Washington University have created a computer program and Web site that allows you to find...

    09/15/2005 - 12:24 Numbers
  • Feature

    Infrasonic Symphony

    "Let me start off with a riddle," says NASA scientist Allan J. Zuckerwar. In his office in Hampton, Va., he rattles off items as dissimilar as rhinoceroses, supersonic aircraft, and hurricanes. "Now, what do they have in common?" The answer, Zuckerwar explains, is that each one generates silent infrasound—long sound waves at a frequency below 20 hertz. People can't hear anything below that...

    01/03/2004 - 14:55 Earth
  • Feature

    Mining the Sky

    The next really big observatory won't sit on a mountaintop or out in the desert. Nor will it fly aboard a spacecraft.

    Astronomers seeking the best views of the heavens have traditionally trekked to such remote outposts as the top of an extinct volcano in Hawaii or a desert in northern Chile. When they have needed to observe, say, one patch of sky over a broad range...

    02/23/2001 - 10:43 Astronomy
  • Feature

    Science News of the Year

    12/21/1996 - 00:00
  • Feature

    Fit for a King

    05/18/1996 - 00:00