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  • News in Brief

    Antarctic ice shelves rapidly melting

    Antarctica’s ice shelves are shrinking at an accelerating rate, one of the longest satellite records of ice thickness reveals. Researchers report online March 26 in Science that several West Antarctic ice shelves are now on pace to disappear completely within 100 years.

    Floating ice shelves mark the...

    03/26/2015 - 14:00 Climate, Earth
  • News

    Air pollution molecules make key immune protein go haywire

    DENVER — With the flip of a cellular switch, reactive molecules in air pollution can turn immune responses in the lungs topsy-turvy. When those reactive molecules fill baby mouse lungs, they can open the door to severe infections as well as...

    03/25/2015 - 10:33 Chemistry, Toxicology, Health
  • Science Ticker

    A vineyard's soil influences the microbiome of a grapevine

    Just as humans have a world of microbes inside them, so do grapevines. These bacteria and fungi may influence the grape’s resilience against drought, susceptibility to pests, the wine-making process and possibly the flavor and feel of the wine itself. For Merlot vines, soil microbes appear occupy prime real estate on the grapes, leaves and flowers of the plant, researchers...

    03/25/2015 - 07:00 Microbiology, Agriculture
  • News in Brief

    Manganese turns honeybees into bumbling foragers

    A heavy metal pollutant muddles honeybee behavior. Just a small dose of manganese boosts certain brain chemicals and makes bees inept foragers, researchers report online March 25 in Biology Letters.

    Scientists knew that the metal is toxic in high amounts. The results show that even low levels...

    03/24/2015 - 20:15 Pollution, Neuroscience, Animals
  • News

    Rain slows whipping hurricane winds

    Heavy downpours put a damper on hurricanes, new research suggests.

    Running simple hurricane simulations, researchers have demonstrated that descending raindrops produce significant friction as they fall along the edges of a hurricane’s eye. This friction slows the powerful winds that drive the storm, lessening the hurricane’s intensity by as much as 30 percent, the researchers...

    03/20/2015 - 16:22 Climate, Oceans
  • Science Stats

    Winter storms 24 times as deadly as estimated

    Jack Frost’s fury is deadlier than a major report implies, new research suggests.

    Yearly winter storm fatalities are tabulated in Storm Data, a report published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But Storm Data doesn’t include deaths indirectly caused by winter storms, such as precipitation-...

    03/20/2015 - 15:24 Climate
  • News in Brief

    Rise of East African Plateau dated by whale fossil

    A 17-million-year-old whale fossil is helping scientists pinpoint when the East African Plateau started to rise. Determining when the uplift happened has implications for understanding human evolution, scientists say.

    Shifts in the Earth’s mantle pushed the East African Plateau upward sometime between 17 million and 13.5 million years ago, researchers...

    03/16/2015 - 15:25 Paleontology, Climate, Evolution
  • News

    Arctic warming bolsters summer heat waves

    Sweltering summertime heat waves are on the rise across the Northern Hemisphere because of atmospheric changes brought on by Arctic warming, new research shows.

    After examining 35 years of weather data, researchers spotted a decline in the strength of summer storms that carry cool, moist air across the northern continents. The sagging of these storms is the result of wind pattern changes...

    03/12/2015 - 14:00 Climate
  • Reviews & Previews

    Cage free isn’t good enough for livestock, ‘The Modern Savage’ argues

    The Modern Savage
    James McWilliams

    03/10/2015 - 10:00 Agriculture
  • News

    Replacement for toxic chemical in plastics, receipts may be just as toxic

    Chemical tweaks aren’t enough to tame a possibly dangerous component of plastics, several new studies suggest. 

    Bisphenol S, or BPS, a common chemical in everyday plastics and papers, has the same toxic, hormone-disrupting effects in cells and animals as its older relative, bisphenol A, or BPA. The findings are the...

    03/09/2015 - 10:00 Toxicology