Science

5:52pm

Tue January 22, 2013
Environment

In Second Inaugural, Obama Makes Climate A Priority

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 8:48 pm

"We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations," President Obama said Monday during his second inaugural address.
John Moore Getty Images

President Obama pulled out a surprise in his inaugural address on Monday. After barely mentioning climate change in his campaign, he put it on his short list of priorities for his second term.

"We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations," he said. Today the White House had scant detail on what the president plans to do.

Read more

4:30pm

Tue January 22, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Toward A New View of Law and Society: Complexity And Power In The Legal System

The United States Supreme Court: a temple to complexity and self-reinforcing feedback loops?
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Contrary to its aim of promoting justice and equality before the law, in practice the American legal system increasingly favors moneyed and politically influential groups. The capture of Congress by campaign donors and lobbyists, accelerated by the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United, is one prominent example, but this power dynamic is ubiquitous in political and legal institutions. This favoritism for the powerful can be best understood as deeply intertwined with, and even an inevitable result of, increasing complexity in legal institutions.

Read more

2:12pm

Tue January 22, 2013
Science

Explorers Reflect On 125 Years Of National Geographic

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 2:18 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Back in 1999, I went along with Robert Ballard on a radio expedition to the Black Sea, where he hoped to find evidence that what's now a vast inland ocean was once a small freshwater lake. A controversial theory holds that thousands of years ago, the waters of the Mediterranean Sea suddenly burst through in a flood that may have inspired the story of Noah.

Read more

1:11pm

Tue January 22, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Music, Multivitamins And Other Modern Intelligence Myths

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 6:36 pm

Teacher Denise Severing leads a math lesson at a Head Start school in Woodbourne, New York.
John Moore Getty Images

Playing Mozart to young children will make them smarter, right?

Probably not. When it comes to media hype and intuitions about intelligence and early childhood, some skepticism is in order. A paper published just this month by John Protzko, Joshua Aronson and Clancy Blair at NYU reviews dozens of studies on a topic likely to be of interest to parents, educators, and policy-makers alike: what, if anything, one can do in the first five years of life to raise a child's intelligence.

Read more

11:45am

Tue January 22, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Nature Has A Formula That Tells Us When It's Time To Die

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 10:19 pm

Courtesy of Yunfun Tan

Editor's Note: Robert has added a postscript to this post. Scroll down or click here to read it.


We wax, we wane. It's the dance of life.

Every living thing is a pulse. We quicken, then we fade. There is a deep beauty in this, but deeper down, inside every plant, every leaf, inside every living thing (us included) sits a secret.

Read more

4:07pm

Mon January 21, 2013
Animals

To Catch A Marten: Seeking Clues In Olympic National Forest

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 9:01 am

A group of volunteers is helping biologists see whether there are any martens left in the Olympic National Forest in Washington state.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

It's about 25 degrees on a clear Saturday morning when Gregg Treinish — executive director of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, a nonprofit that puts volunteers to work gathering data for scientists around the world — gathers a small group of outdoor adventurers around him near the Duckabush River in the Olympic National Forest in Washington state.

Read more

5:01pm

Sun January 20, 2013
Environment

Former Anti-GMO Activist Says Science Changed His Mind

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 5:29 pm

Harvest wheat from a field near Wright, Kan. May 10, 2004.
ORLIN WAGNER ASSOCIATED PRESS

For years, British environmental activist Mark Lynas destroyed genetically modified food (GMO) crops in what he calls a successful campaign to force the business of agriculture to be more holistic and ecological in its practices.

His targets were companies like Monsanto and Syngenta — leaders in developing genetically modified crops.

Earlier this month he went in front of the world to reverse his position on GMOs.

Read more

5:54am

Sat January 19, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Miss Piggy's Version Of Global Warming: What About Me?

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 12:14 pm

Click to go to the New Scientist App.
New Scientist

Here's a new, sly (and frankly selfish) way to think about global warming: Instead of worrying about the whole planet and all its oceans, how about asking a more personal question ...

What about me? What about where I live? Or where my grandma lives? Or the North Pole? Or Siberia? What if I could take my cursor, plop it onto any place on Earth and find out what's happened to temperatures right there.

Read more

5:24pm

Fri January 18, 2013
Science

Powerful But Fragile: The Challenge Of Lithium Batteries

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 7:58 pm

A United Airlines 787 Dreamliner arrives at O'Hare international Airport in Chicago in November. Aviation authorities in the U.S. and abroad have grounded the planes because of problems with batteries on board.
Nam Y. Huh AP

Boeing announced late Friday that it is postponing deliveries of its new 787 Dreamliner because of problems with its big batteries. Aviation authorities in the U.S. and abroad grounded the new jetliners after those batteries failed in two planes operated by Japanese airlines, including one battery that burned while the plane was on the ground.

These lithium-ion batteries are new to jetliners. They're powerful and lightweight, and, unfortunately, they're also fragile.

Read more

3:51pm

Fri January 18, 2013
Shots - Health News

A Worm's Ovary Cells Become A Flu Vaccine Machine

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 9:57 am

The fall armyworm, a corn pest, is now also a vaccine factory.
Wikimedia Commons

As the flu season grinds on from news cycle to news cycle, there's some flu news of a different sort. Federal regulators have approved a next-generation type of flu vaccine for the second time in two months.

The two new vaccines are the first fruits of a big government push to hasten and simplify the laborious production of flu vaccines.

Read more

Pages