Science

2:26pm

Fri July 12, 2013
The Two-Way

5 Stars: A Mosquito's Idea Of A Delicious Human

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 2:48 pm

Many criteria — from blood type to body temperature — can play a role in affecting who attracts mosquitoes.
abadonian iStockphoto.com

If mosquitoes used Yelp, they might look for their next meal by searching nearby for a heavy-breathing human with Type O blood, sporting a red shirt and more than a smattering of skin bacteria. Preferably either pregnant or holding a beer.

That's some of what we take away from a post today on the Surprising Science blog from the Smithsonian.

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12:31pm

Fri July 12, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

The Hardest Thing To Find In The Universe?

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 3:06 am

iStockphoto.com

What is rarer than a shooting star?

Rarer than a diamond?

Rarer than any metal, any mineral, so rare that if you scan the entire earth, all six million billion billion kilos or 13,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds of our planet, you would find only one ounce of it?

What is so rare it has never been seen directly, because if you could get enough of it together, it would self-vaporize from its own radioactive heat?

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12:12pm

Fri July 12, 2013
The Salt

Heavy Rains Send Iowa's Precious Soil Downriver

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 1:33 pm

Soil erosion after five inches or more of rain fell in one hour across portions of Western Iowa in 2013.
USDA Natural Resources Conservation

What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, the Midwest was heading into one of the worst droughts in decades. Now much of the region is soggy.

But the biggest loser from this year's heavy rains? The land itself.

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10:09am

Fri July 12, 2013
Interviews

Desktop Diaries: Jill Tarter

"Someone described my office as an eight-year-old's daydream," says astronomer Jill Tarter, who has been collecting E.T.-themed office ornaments for 30 years. Tarter was the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute's first employee, and the inspiration for the character in Carl Sagan's Contact.

10:09am

Fri July 12, 2013
Space

UK Team Plans ET Search

A group of British academic researchers has announced plans to band together in a search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Alan Penney, the coordinator of the newly-formed UK SETI Research Network, describes the group's strategy for looking for signals from the stars.

10:09am

Fri July 12, 2013
Digital Life

Protecting Your Online Privacy

With the NSA conducting surveillance on our data and Google scanning our email, how can we protect our personal information? Jon Xavier, digital producer at Silicon Valley Business Journal, discusses the services that you can use to make your information more secure and private.

10:09am

Fri July 12, 2013
Energy

Trying to Energize the Push for a Smart Grid

For years, electrical experts have been calling for a "smart grid" that could better sense and adapt to changing conditions, from electrical outages to shifts in power consumption. Massoud Amin, referred to by some as the "father of the smart grid," talks about how and why the country should improve its aging electrical infrastructure.

10:09am

Fri July 12, 2013
Space

Mysterious Radio Bursts, Sent From Deep Space

Reporting in Science, researchers write of discovering four radio bursts from outer space. Physicist Duncan Lorimer, who detected the first such explosion in 2007, discusses what could be causing these radio signals, such as evaporating black holes, an idea proposed by Stephen Hawking in the 1970s.

10:09am

Fri July 12, 2013
Health

Surf's Up for Pathogenic Viruses and Bacteria, Too

A day at the shore can leave beachgoers with more than a sunburn — a gulp of seawater can expose swimmers to disease-causing microbes like norovirus, salmonella, and adenovirus. Marine scientist Rachel Noble and environmental medicine researcher Samuel Dorevitch discuss the risk, and what's being done to limit swimmers' exposure.

10:09am

Fri July 12, 2013
Environment

Tracking Shifting Sands Along the Nation's Coast

As New Yorkers braced themselves for Hurricane Sandy, coastal geologist Cheryl Hapke was out surveying Fire Island, a barrier island off the Long Island coast. Days later, Hapke was back to document the hurricane's effects and found a breach cutting the island in two. Now locals and scientists are debating whether the inlet should be filled in or left as nature intended.

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