Reporting in Science, two teams of scientists say they were unable to replicate the results of a 2010 study claiming to have found 'alien life' on Earth--a bacterium that could build its DNA using arsenic. Science journalist Carl Zimmer talks about how the controversy played out online, and how science corrects itself.
Reporting in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, researchers write that extreme heat waves, such as the one last year in Texas, are 20 times more likely today than they were in the 1960s. NOAA climatologist Tom Peterson discusses what future climate change may bring.
California lawmakers gave the green light to the first phase of construction of high-speed rail in the state. Does this mean that America is on track for faster, sleeker trains? What potential speed bumps still lie ahead? Railroad engineer Christopher Barkan discusses the costs, benefits and state of the technology.
What makes some types of cancer resistant to drugs? Reporting in Nature, researchers write that cancer cells may be dodging treatment with help from seemingly innocent bystanders. Cancer researcher Todd Golub discusses how a tumor's microenvironment may affect its behavior.
Researchers have found a fridge-free way to store vaccines and antibiotics. Biomedical engineer David Kaplan, senior author of the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, discusses how heat-sensitive drugs wrapped in silk stay effective for months at high temperatures.
Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:00 am
Credit what if? from xkcd
Here's a question: What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent of the speed of light?
The answer is: Don't.
Not that anyone's going to pitch a ball that fast, but if they do, you definitely don't want to be the batter. Or the pitcher. Or in the stands watching. Or anywhere near the ball field. But, trust me, you very definitely want to see what happens.
Some of the most interesting discoveries in archaeology come from sifting through ancient garbage dumps. Scientists working in Oregon have found one that has yielded what they say are the oldest human remains in the Americas and a puzzle about the earliest American tools.
Early Americans used Oregon's Paisley Caves for, among other things, a toilet. Little did they know that scientists would be picking through what they left behind.
The United States is in the midst of a natural gas boom — about 200,000 gas wells have been drilled in the past decade. The boom has been fueled by the use of hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — which involves pumping a mixture of water and chemicals into the ground to get access to the gas.
Walk into any tech company or university math department, and you'll likely see a gender disparity: Fewer women than men seem to go into fields involving science, engineering, technology and mathematics.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. When dusk fell in New York City tonight, the setting sun lined up perfectly with the street grid of Manhattan. This phenomenon happens only four times a year, two nights in May and two in July. It's been dubbed Manhattanhenge, and it draws photographers from across the metropolitan area and beyond. NPR's Joel Rose went to 42nd Street in the heart of Manhattan to capture the spirit of the moment.