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  • News

    Monitoring online groups offers insight into ISIS attacks

    Social media supporters of the Islamic State, or ISIS, form online groups that may provide clues crucial to predicting when terrorist attacks will take place, a new analysis finds.

    These virtual communities drive ISIS activity on a Facebook-like site called VKontakte, say physicist Neil Johnson of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., and colleagues. VKontakte, a social...

    06/16/2016 - 14:21 Networks, Computing
  • Feature

    Deep network

    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...

    10/04/2013 - 15:00 Earth, Technology
  • Science & the Public

    Airports’ leaden fallout may taint some kids

    People who live near airports serving small planes are exposed to lead from aviation fuel. A new study now links an airport’s proximity to slightly elevated blood-lead levels in children from area homes.

    Small planes (known in the trade as general aviation) tend to run on gasoline, most of which contains lead as an octane booster. These aircraft — used as taxis, personal aircraft and...

    07/14/2011 - 16:55 Technology, Humans & Society, Earth & Environment
  • 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

    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
  • 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

    That's One Weird Tooth

    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...

    03/21/2006 - 14:43 Animals
  • Feature

    Science News of the Year 2005

    Science News of Yesteryear

    Anthropology & Archaeology

    Astronomy

    Behavior

    Biomedicine

    Botany & Zoology

    Cell & Molecular Biology

    Chemistry

    ...
    12/20/2005 - 03:53 Humans & Society
  • 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

    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