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Your search has returned 848 articles:
  • Feature

    Your phone is like a spy in your pocket

    Consider everything your smartphone has done for you today. Counted your steps? Deposited a check? Transcribed notes? Navigated you somewhere new?

    Smartphones make for such versatile pocket assistants because they’re equipped with a suite of sensors, including some we may never think — or even know — about, sensing, for example, light, humidity, pressure and temperature.

    Because...

    01/23/2018 - 12:00 Computing, Technology
  • Feature

    Being a vampire can be brutal. Here’s how bloodsuckers get by.

    Jennifer Zaspel can’t explain why she stuck her thumb in the vial with the moth. Just an after-dark, out-in-the-woods zing of curiosity.

    She was catching moths on a July night in the Russian Far East and had just eased a Calyptra, with brownish forewings like a dried leaf, into a plastic collecting vial. Of the 17 or so largely tropical Calyptra species, eight were known vampires. Males...

    10/18/2017 - 12:00 Animals, Physiology
  • Feature

    Ticks are here to stay. But scientists are finding ways to outsmart them

    Thanks, Holly Gaff. Soon, anyone straining to tweeze off a mid-back tick can find answers to the obvious question: What if humankind just went after the little bloodsuckers with killer robots?

    Gaff, who calls herself a mathematical eco­epidemiologist, at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., is one of the few people collecting real field data on the efficacy of tick-slaying robots....

    08/09/2017 - 11:00 Animals, Science & Society
  • Feature

    Yes, statins protect hearts. But critics question their expanding use

    Cholesterol is so important to life that practically every human cell makes it. Cells use the compound to keep their membranes porous and springy, and to produce hormones and other vital substances. The body can make all the cholesterol it needs, but Americans tend to have a surplus, thanks in large part to too little exercise and too much meat, cheese and grease. Fifty years ago, researchers...

    05/03/2017 - 07:00 Health, Biomedicine
  • News

    See where Clinton and Trump stand on science

    Hillary Clinton’s “I believe in science” declaration aside, science has not played a starring role in the 2016 presidential election. Far from it. For the most part, the candidates’ science policies have trickled out in dribs and drabs, and in varying degrees of detail — talking points on a website here, a passing comment in response to a spur-of-the-moment question there.

    Yet science...

    09/13/2016 - 12:25 Science & Society
  • 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
  • News

    One bold, misinformed spider slows a colony’s ability to learn

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The wrong-headed notions of an influential individual can make a group sluggish in learning from its mistakes, even among spiders.

    Velvet spiders (Stegodyphus dumicola) with bold behavior but incorrect information were bad influences on their colonies, researchers reported June 11 at the annual conference of the Animal Behavior Society. Spider growth faltered in these...

    06/17/2015 - 11:54 Animals
  • News

    Snakes crawled among Jurassic dinosaurs, new timeline says

    Just call it the Jura-sssss-ic Period. Newly identified fossils suggest that snakes slithered through much of the golden age of the dinosaurs, a finding that pushes back the fossil record for snakes by 70 million years.

    Ancient skulls with features similar to modern snakes tipped paleontologists off to the new timeline, they report January 27 in Nature Communications.

    The fossils...

    01/27/2015 - 11:00 Paleontology, Animals, Evolution
  • News

    Sharks could serve as ocean watchdogs

    CHICAGO — The same gray triangles that peek above ocean waves to terrify beachgoers could prove a boon for climate scientists. By strapping sophisticated sensors to sharks’ otherwise ominous fins, researchers can now collect temperature and other environmental data from the far reaches of the Pacific.

    Maintaining devices that monitor conditions in the ocean is expensive, says marine...

    02/17/2014 - 09:00 Climate, Oceans, Animals
  • Feature

    On the Rebound

    In the summer of 2008, Jan Kirschner led an expedition to the highlands of southeastern Kazakhstan in search of a dandelion. Not just any dandelion: He was hunting kok-saghyz, a flower much like the common roadside weed that flourishes all over the world. But kok-saghyz (pronounced “coke-suh-GEEZ”) grows only in remote valleys of the Tien Shan Mountains.

    ...

    08/09/2013 - 11:00 Technology