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Oct. 31, 2014

Ebola Vaccines Fast-Tracked As Outbreak Slows

Jon Cohen, a staff writer covering the outbreak for Science magazine, says that despite the vaccines’ success in monkeys, their efficacy in humans is far from guaranteed.

ebola, vaccine, jon cohen

Oct. 31, 2014

Could This 3-D Printer Print Itself?

This week, HP announced its new 3-D printer, which it claims can print materials strong enough to lift up a car—and do it 10 times faster than anything on the market today.

3d printing, 3d printer, arik hesseldahl, hp

Oct. 31, 2014

Scientists Sniff Smelly Comet

The Rosetta spacecraft has detected the scent of a comet...and it stinks.

comet, odor, space, european space agency, rosetta, rosina, ammonia, sulphur dioxide, methane, kathrin altwegg, 67p/c-g

Oct. 31, 2014

Countering Memory Loss With Cocoa Compounds

Researchers try to counteract age-related memory decline with cocoa flavanols.

dentate gyrus, memory, cocoa, flavanol, scott small, neuroscience

Oct. 31, 2014

Creature Double Feature

Witness two tales that will make your skin crawl and your mind reel with fear and curiosity.

zombies, leeches, bloodsuckers, vampires, halloween

Oct. 31, 2014

Doctors ‘Unwrap’ a 3,000-Year-Old Mummy

Radiologists use CT scans to piece together the life, and death, of Egyptian mummies.

mummy, mummies, scary, egyptian, egypt, egyptian mummies, washington university

Oct. 31, 2014

A Haunted House Turned Scientists’ Lab

Scientists turn Pittsburgh’s ScareHouse into a real-world lab to discover why some brains thrive on fear.

fear, scary, scarehouse, haunted house, spooky, halloween

Oct. 31, 2014

Behind the Monster Music: Why Some Tunes Scare Us

Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin and Sound Opinions co-host Jim DeRogatis discuss the neuroscience of spooky songs.

scary, halloween, sounds, creepy music, scary music, horror film, sound effects

Oct. 24, 2014

Nerve Transplant Allows Paralyzed Man to Move Legs Again

The pioneering treatment uses cells from the nasal cavity and strips of nerve from the ankle to repair a spinal injury.

spinal cord, spine, spinal injury, paralysis, olfactory, darek fidyka, geoffrey raisman

Oct. 24, 2014

Fossil Find Pushes Back Neanderthal-Human Mixing

Researchers say a leg bone discovered in a Siberian river bank belongs to a man who lived some 45,000 years ago.

neanderthal, human, evolution, DNA, Svante Paabo, genetics

Oct. 24, 2014

Meet ‘The Innovators’ Who Made the Digital Revolution

Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators shows how the digital revolution was a team effort.

walter isaacson, innovators, innovation, tech, digital revolution, computer science, engineering

Oct. 24, 2014

Hand Sanitizer May Increase BPA Absorption

Hand sanitizer and similar products could increase the amount of BPA absorbed by the skin.

Oct. 24, 2014

You Observed...Everything

The Science Club meets to discuss your observations of the world around you, from spider habitats to lunar eclipses.

science club, observeeverything, #observeeverything

Oct. 24, 2014

Making a Meal From a Mouthful of Seawater

A manta ray can filter 240 gallons of seawater per minute.

manta ray, devil ray, filter feeder

Oct. 17, 2014

Rooting Out the Plant Microbiome

Scientists are uncovering the importance of the plant microbiome for fighting off pathogens and increasing crop yields.

plants, plant microbiome, bacteria

Oct. 17, 2014

More Than Cornflakes

John Harvey Kellogg and his brother, W.K., are known today for their most famous discovery—corn flakes—but invented many other health foods along the way.

kellogg, kellogg brothers, w.k. kellogg, john harvey kellogg, cereal, almond butter, peanut butter, artificial coffee, corn flakes

Oct. 17, 2014

Environmental Detectives Use Genetic Tools to Track Invasives

A recently developed technique called "environmental DNA" allows invasive species trackers to get a time-sensitive fingerprint of which species are living where—including underwater.

invasive species, environmental DNA, asian carp

Oct. 17, 2014

The 'First' Battle of Gas Versus Electric

As plug-in electric vehicles struggle to carve out a slice of today's auto market, it's worth remembering the first such battle—at the turn of the 1900s.

studebaker, gas, electric, vehicles, electric car, gas guzzler

Oct. 17, 2014

Forensic Entomologists Hunt Down Insects to Help Catch Criminals

To help piece together a crime scene, forensic entomologists examine the insects found in the area.

forensic entomology, crime scene, insects

Oct. 17, 2014

Is Your ‘Priceless’ Painting a Fake? Better Ask a Scientist

Techniques from physics and chemistry can help scientists and art historians sniff out art forgeries.

Oct. 10, 2014

Taking the Temperature of Rising Seas

Researchers are trying to better understand ocean water temperatures, which is an important factor in rising sea levels.

ocean, climate change, sea, antarctic, global warming, gregory johnson, oceanography, noaa

Oct. 10, 2014

Atul Gawande: On Being Mortal

In his book Being Mortal, surgeon Atul Gawande argues that more medicine may not be better medicine in end-of-life care.

atul gawande, death, mortality, end-of-life, medicine, doctor

Oct. 10, 2014

How to Make Quark Soup

Brookhaven National Laboratory cooks up tiny ephemeral batches of quark-gluon soup that are said to be the most "perfect" fluid ever discovered.

big bang, brookhaven national laboratory, quark, atoms, gluon, particle collider, paul sorensen, physics

Oct. 10, 2014

The Race to Contain, Rather Than Cure, Ebola

With production of experimental treatments slow-going, rapid diagnostic testing could be the best bet for containing the ongoing Ebola outbreak.

ebola, rapid diagnostic test

Oct. 10, 2014

How Did the Violin Get Its Shape?

From its role in biological systems to cultural products, “shape is information that can tell us a story,” says biologist Dan Chitwood.

violin, viola, cello, wood, evolution, music

Oct. 10, 2014

Your Home, Your Bacteria

The surfaces in a home reflect the distinct blend of bacteria that inhabit the people that live there.

climate change, ocean, temperature

Oct. 10, 2014

Is MSG Bad for Your Health?

Four decades of scientific studies suggest the food additive MSG may not deserve its toxic reputation.

msg, monosodium glutamate, food additive

Oct. 03, 2014

Do Chimps Have Culture?

Researchers say a real-world case of “monkey see, monkey do” might model the origins of human culture.

chimpanzees, chimps, culture, tools, tool use

Oct. 03, 2014

Mining the Internet for Clues to Chinese Censorship

Protests continue in Hong Kong, but only glimpses of the activity make it into mainland China due to censorship.

censorship, china, social media

Oct. 03, 2014

Dance and Physics Collide in ‘Quantum’

Choreographer Gilles Jobin took inspiration from the movements of physics for his piece Quantum.

quantum, physics, particles, gilles jobin

Oct. 03, 2014

A Whiff of What’s to Come: What Sense of Smell Says About Health

Older adults’ sense of smell might be a strong indicator of their risk of mortality within a five-year span.

smell, scent, death, jayant pinto

Oct. 03, 2014

Community Labs Practice Do-It-Yourself Biology

In DIY biology labs across the country, citizen scientists take the tools of synthetic biology into their own hands.

diy, do it yourself, laboratories, community lab, genspace, biocurious, bugss, biology, hacker

Oct. 03, 2014

Catching a Glimpse of an Eclipse

This month, North America will be under the skies of a full lunar eclipse on October 8 and a partial solar eclipse on October 23.

lunar eclipse, solar eclipse, space, dean regas, eric teske, astronomy

Sep. 26, 2014

MAVEN Maneuvers Into Mars’s Orbit

MAVEN makes into Mars’ orbit in time to meet a comet and begin unraveling mysteries of the Martian atmosphere.

mars, maven

Sep. 26, 2014

‘Internal Medicine’ Gives a Resident’s Eye View of the Hospital

A writer-doctor’s stories reveal the hospital through the eyes of a resident.

resident, internal medicine

Sep. 26, 2014

Sprouting a Forest in the City

Foresters are piecing together the complicated ecosystem of the urban forest.

ecosystem, forest, planting trees

Sep. 26, 2014

Plant Emissions: How Do Trees Interact With Pollution?

Certain tree species can add to pollution if they’re planted in certain locations.

trees, planting trees, emissions

Sep. 26, 2014

Water on Earth Is a Million Years Older Than the Sun

The cloud of gas and dust that eventually condensed to form the Sun contained "thousands of oceans of water," says astronomer Ted Bergin.

earth, sun, water, origin of water

Sep. 26, 2014

Stories to Make You Think BIG

With his new story about a 20-kilometer-high skyscraper, sci-fi author Neal Stephenson hopes to get engineers thinking big.

Sep. 26, 2014

Science Friday Science Club: Observe Everything

The Science Club embarks on its next project and explores observation.

science club, observation

Sep. 19, 2014

The People's March Against Climate Change

Ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, the People’s Climate March in New York City will bring a public voice to the climate change discussion.

climate march, bill mckibben, peter democal

Sep. 19, 2014

‘Dr.Fill’ Vies for Crossword Solving Supremacy

A computer program named “Dr.Fill” competes against human solvers for crossword puzzle glory.

dr.fill, dr. phil, matt ginsberg, will shortz, crosswords, crossword, crossword constructing, crossword solving

Sep. 19, 2014

Functional Features: The Evolution of the Human Face

Human social interaction may have been the reason faces evolved to be varied and unique.

facial recognition, scent, faces, face, nature communications, michael j. sheehan

Sep. 19, 2014

Shake Your Silk-Maker: The Dance of the Peacock Spider

With their ornately colored bodies, rhythmic pulsations, and booty-shaking dance moves, male peacock spiders attract mates and researchers alike.

peacock spider, madeline girard, display, spiders

Sep. 19, 2014

Artificial Sweeteners Might Sour Your Microbiome

Researchers say artificial sweeteners may alter the microbiome and the body’s ability to control glucose levels.

sweeteners, nature, eran elinav, artificial sweeteners, glucose,

Sep. 19, 2014

Dissecting the Politics and Money Behind Health Care

In The Cost of Cutting, private practice surgeon Paul Ruggieri delves into the shadowy ways money influences health care.

The Cost of Cutting: A Surgeon Reveals the Truth Behind a Multibillion-Dollar Industry, paul ruggieri, health care

Sep. 19, 2014

Food Failures: How to Collect Mushrooms (and Eat Them, Too)

Eugenia Bone, president of the New York Mycological Society, talks about the dos and don'ts of wild mushroom foraging.

eugenia bone, mushrooms, foraging

Sep. 12, 2014

Keeping an Eye on Eruptions Around the World

At least 20 volcanoes are probably erupting as you read these words.

volcanoes, volcanism, Cynthia Ebinger, Elizabeth Cottrell, Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program

Sep. 12, 2014

A Jovian Moon With Earth-Like Tectonics

The icy surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa may undergo processes similar to plate tectonics on Earth.

europa, moon, jovian, plate tectonics, ice

Sep. 12, 2014

Understanding the Urban Ecosystem

Researchers say road salt and dissolving concrete have contributed to increased salinization in urban streams.

Sujay Kaushal, William McDowell, urban ecosystem, urban environment, city, cities

Sep. 12, 2014

Can Conservation Efforts Save the Birds?

A look at the effects of conservation efforts and climate change on bird populations in North America.

birds, gary langham, audubon, ken rosenberg, national audubon society, cornell lab of ornithology, climate change

Sep. 12, 2014

After 40 Years, a Blue Whale Population Bounces Back

Blue whale populations are only a fraction of what they once were globally, but a California population has nearly made a comeback.

blue whales, comeback, california blue whales

Sep. 12, 2014

The Science of ‘Sameness’: Developing Generic Medications

As of 2010, generic drugs comprise almost 80 percent of the American pharmaceutical market, compared to 10 percent in 1960.

sameness, generic medications, generics, Generic: The Unbranding of Modern Medicine, jeremy a. greene

Sep. 05, 2014

Supermassive Dinosaur Would Have ‘Feared Nothing’

Scientists estimate the dinosaur Dreadnoughtus schrani would have weighed as much as a Boeing 737.

Kenneth Lacovara, Dreadnoughtus schrani, dinosaur, dinosaurs, land lizards, thunder lizard, dino, massive, supermassive

Sep. 05, 2014

To Master Test Material, Give Your Brain a Break

Salvador Dalí and Thomas Edison took very brief naps when they were stuck on artistic and scientific problems.

Barbara Oakley, Benedict Carey, how we learn, a mind for numbers, learning, brain, thinking, diffuse learning focused learning

Sep. 05, 2014

The Wilderness Act Turns 50

Fifty years ago this week, legislation set aside over nine million acres of official wilderness.

wilderness act, lyndon johnson, greg aplet

Sep. 05, 2014

From Exotic Garden to Eco-Haven

A former millionaire's estate is becoming an environmental haven and training ground.

duke farms, restoration, new jersey, environment

Sep. 05, 2014

Hello, Stranger, Wanna Share a Cab?

Researchers found that potentially 95 percent of cab rides in New York City could have been shared.

cab sharing, steven strogatz

Sep. 05, 2014

Randall Munroe Asks, ‘What If?’

In his new book What If?, xkcd comic artist Randall Munroe answers his reader’s hypothetical questions with math and science.

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, randall munroe, xkcd, comics, cartoons

Aug. 29, 2014

Experimental Therapy Saves Monkeys From Deadly Dose of Ebola

ZMapp, the cocktail of antibodies used to treat two American aid workers infected with the Ebola virus, spared 18 severely ill monkeys from death.

zmapp, anthony fauci, ebola, outbreak, ebola outbreak, medicine, cure

Aug. 29, 2014

Unraveling the Mysteries of Black Holes

High energy x-rays provide a rare glimpse into the behavior of black holes.

Fiona Harrison, nustar, black hole

Aug. 29, 2014

Electric Bacteria Form Nanowires, Shoot Out Electrons

USC's Moh El-Naggar says engineers hope to harness bacterial energy using fuel cells.

Aug. 29, 2014

Less Flashy Fossils Offer Paleoclimate Clues

Uncharismatic microfauna, such as insects and mollusks, are giving scientists at La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles a glimpse of the city's cool, humid past.

la brea tar pits, mastodons, john harris, mammoth, saber-toothed cat

Aug. 29, 2014

From the Lab to the Silver Screen: The Birth of CGI

Animator Tom Sito explains how scientists and engineers kickstarted Hollywood’s digital animation revolution.

tom sito, digital animation, CGI

Aug. 29, 2014

Science in the Writers’ Room

Hollywood T.V. and film writers explain how they balance scientific accuracy and storytelling.

grey's anatomy, an inconvenient truth, the big bang theory

Aug. 29, 2014

Making Hollywood’s Digital Doubles

Now that Hollywood’s visual effects wizards can create convincing “digital actors,” will we still need the real thing?

avatar, digital actor, digital acting, stephen lang, paul Debevec

Aug. 22, 2014

Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Send Messages to Your Brain?

Researchers discuss how the microbiome might play a role in anxiety, depression, and autism.

microbiome, sarkis mazmanian, jon cryan, brain, depression, anxiety, autism

Aug. 22, 2014

Microbes Thrive in Antarctic Lake Buried Beneath Ice

Microbes have made a home in a lake trapped beneath an 800-meter-thick ice sheet in Antarctica.

Antarctic ice, microbes, jill mikucki, lake whillans

Aug. 22, 2014

The SciFri Book Club Talks ‘Dune’

The SciFri Book Club concludes its discussion of Frank Herbert’s ecological epic, Dune.

dune, frank herbert, Sara Imari Walker, Kim Stanley Robinson

Aug. 22, 2014

Oceans Act As the World's Thermostat

Global temperatures hit a plateau at the turn of the 21st century. Now researchers say they've discovered where that missing heat was hiding: in the oceans.

oceans, climate change, sea level rise

Aug. 22, 2014

Making ‘Masstransiscope’

A filmmaker uses science to transform the New York City subway into a movie theater.

Masstransiscope, film, art, sciarts

Aug. 22, 2014

Neanderthals and Modern Humans Mingled for Millennia

New, more accurate radiocarbon dating suggests the two cultures co-existed in Europe for nearly 5,000 years.

william davies, neanderthals, modern humans

Aug. 22, 2014

‘Evolutionary Misfit’ Finds Its Way Into the Family Tree

Scientists piece together how a 14-legged Cambrian worm is related to modern animals.

Hallucigenia sparsa, cambrian sea, cambria, martin smith

Aug. 22, 2014

Tar Noir

Using paleoforensics, researchers recount the grim details of life and death at the the La Brea Tar Pits.

l.a. tar, paleoforensics, la brea tar pits

Aug. 15, 2014

Close-Up With a Comet

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft is the first probe to orbit a comet.

67P/C-G, comet 67P/C-G, comets, probe, Rosetta spacecraft, esa, solar system

Aug. 15, 2014

Is Healthy Soil the Low-Tech Solution to Climate Change?

In her book The Soil Will Save Us, writer Kristin Ohlson concludes that the low-cost, low-tech solution to climate change may be directly underfoot—in healthy soil.

Kristin Ohlson, the soil will save us, soil, dirt, carbon, climate change, sequestration, nutrients, plants

Aug. 15, 2014

Decoding Secret Communication Between Plants

A new study in Science says that certain parasitic plants spy on their hosts through RNA exchanges.

james westwood, plants, communication, platn communication, molecules, rna

Aug. 15, 2014

App Chat: Being Social Without Leaving a Trace

A growing number of apps allow users to post ephemeral or anonymous messages—and they're catching on quickly with millennials.

ellis hamburger, app chat, snapchat, Secret, Whisper, Yik Yak,

Aug. 15, 2014

Food Failures: Concocting Condiments

Culinary scientist Ali Bouzari dips into the chemistry behind condiments, from hot sauce to mustard.

food failures, condiments, hot sauce, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, mayo

Aug. 15, 2014

Sylvia Earle’s ‘Mission Blue’

Oceanographer Sylvia Earle bears witness to troubling changes in our oceans in the documentary Mission Blue.

mission blue, sylvia earle, oceans, ocean acidification, coral reefs, fisheries

Aug. 15, 2014

Bridging the Rift: Oculus' Answer to Virtual Reality

Technological and design innovations inside the Oculus Rift make virtual reality poised for a mass-market debut.

oculus rift, virtual reality, vr, tron, the matrix, headsets

Aug. 08, 2014

Listening In on Elephant ‘Mating Pandemonium’

In a “mating pandemonium” event, a group of elephants roar after a pair of elephants mate.

elephants, thermal imaging, peter wrege, mating, pandemonium, elephant listening project

Aug. 08, 2014

Behind the Scenes at the City Morgue

Forensic pathologist Judy Melinek’s memoir Working Stiff goes behind the scenes at the New York City morgue.

medical examiner, death, investigation, working stiff, judy melinek, morgue

Aug. 08, 2014

Giving Viruses a License to Kill...Cancer

Scientists transform common viruses like measles and herpes into potential cancer treatments.

cancer, virus, herpes, measles, balveen kaur, stephen russell

Aug. 08, 2014

Can an Experimental Therapy Be Used to Treat Ebola?

A look at the experimental therapy used to treat two Americans who were infected with Ebola.

ebola, virus, west africa, therapy, serum, experimental medicine, heinz feldmann, disease

Aug. 08, 2014

"Lucy" Debunked

A neurobiologist reveals sci-fi thriller Lucy’s neuroscience bloopers.

lucy, movie, film, sci-fi, fiction, neuroscience, brain, neurobiology, r. douglas fields

Aug. 08, 2014

Close Your Eyes and Listen to the Night Sky

If the bright “supermoon” drowns out the Perseid meteor shower this year, why not listen for meteors instead?

supermoon, perseid meteor shower, meteor shower, nicole gugliucci, radio, astronomy

Aug. 08, 2014

Can Science Build a Better Piano?

Scientists have created a 3D acoustical scan of the piano's resonance—and say it could help refine the art of piano-making.

piano, music, instrument, wally boot, agnieszka roginska, music technology, alex case, steinway, bob berger, bill youse

Aug. 08, 2014

Algorithm Turns Everyday Objects Into Microphones

Sound waves trigger tiny vibrations in objects. By studying the vibrations, researchers can recreate the sounds that caused them.

abe davis, sound, sound waves, vibration, high-speed video, visual microphone

Aug. 01, 2014

Ebola Outbreak Continues in West Africa

Ebola specialist Daniel Bausch provides an on-the-ground view of treating the disease in West Africa.

world health organization, ebola, virus, disease, africa, tulane university, daniel bausch

Aug. 01, 2014

How Ultramarathons Affect the Heart, Blood, and Brain

Exercise scientists Tamara Hew-Butler and Greg Whyte talk about how the body changes after dozens of hours in motion.

ultramarathon, running, health, tamara hew-butler, greg whyte, exercise, heart

Aug. 01, 2014

Can Animals Go Mad?

From depressed dogs to anxious gorillas, author Laurel Braitman explores mental illness in animals.

animals, pets, depression, mental health, animal madness, laurel braitman

Aug. 01, 2014

Tapping Into Musical Memory

A new documentary, Alive Inside, exposes the connections between music and memory.

alive inside, oliver sacks, dan cohen, music, memory, play, alzheimer's, dementia

Aug. 01, 2014

Can’t Stop Worrying? Blame It on Your Habenula

The habenula is a pea-sized part of the brain that tracks our expectations of negative events.

habenula, rebecca lawson, worry, dread

Aug. 01, 2014

Will Big Data Answer Big Questions on Health?

Google's latest big idea is called "Baseline Study"—an effort to catalog the DNA of thousands of healthy people, along with their blood, urine, saliva, breath, and tears.

DNA, sam gambhir, jason moore, baseline study, google

Jul. 25, 2014

The SciFri Book Club Introduces Dune

Sci-fi author Kim Stanley Robinson and astrobiologist Sara Imari Walker introduce the SciFri Book Club’s summer selection: Dune.

dune, frank herbert, sci-fi, scifi, Kim Stanley Robinson, Sara Imari Walker

Jul. 25, 2014

New Online Tracking Tool Evades Privacy Settings

A new online tracker is snooping on visitors to over 5,600 popular sites—and it's nearly impossible to block.

cookie, online, tracking, website, julia angwin, propublica, security

Jul. 25, 2014

HIV/AIDS Update

A round-up of the latest HIV/AIDS research news and an update from the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.

truvada, hiv, aids, anthony fauci, antonio urbina, world health organization

Jul. 25, 2014

‘Moth-ers’ Celebrate Less-Loved Lepidopterans

Elena Tartaglia, a co-founder of National Moth Week, gives tips on spotting butterflies' neglected cousins.

moth week, national moth week, butterflies, Elena Tartaglia

Jul. 25, 2014

Oarfish: The Ultimate Fish Tale

Little is known about the monstrously long oarfish, its life cycle, and how it navigates its deep sea environment.

oarfish, sea, ocean, serpent, misty paig-tran

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Behold the 1000 Pound Pumpkin

Visit Robert Sabin's pumpkin patch: he has been growing giant pumpkins--the breed is Atlantic Giant--for over ten years. Does his top pumpkin have the heft to win the Long Island Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off at Hicks Nurseries? We'll find out. What did you think of the video?

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