If you've ever checked the ingredient list on a PowerBar or a high-protein smoothie, you probably have stumbled across these words: "Whey protein concentrate." You'll find it in a growing number of prepared foods.
This mysterious ingredient is derived from one of the oldest of human foods — milk. But capturing it requires huge factories that look more like oil refineries than farms.
A scientist enters a hardwood forest in Tennessee. He doesn't collect soil, map the distribution of tree types or statistically sample the behavior of animals who live there.
Instead, he settles down in a patch of ground, one tiny bit of the forest he visits over and over. He watches, listens and takes notes. Eventually, he writes a book about what he learned. It's called The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch In Nature.
The same brain system that controls our muscles also helps us remember music, scientists say.
When we listen to a new musical phrase, it is the brain's motor system — not areas involved in hearing — that helps us remember what we've heard, researchers reported at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans last month.
Environmental officials in Canada are investigating what some have called a "rogue climate change experiment." Over the summer, a native village on the coast of British Columbia dumped more than 100 tons of iron sulfate into the ocean. The idea was to cause a bloom of plankton, which would then capture greenhouse gases.
That's the theory, anyway. The reality is a bit more complicated.
Now that the election is over and we have a winner, we can move on to consider questions that are of concern to any presidency. In fact, the question I'd like to consider today goes to the very core of scientific research and the way it functions in modern democracies, fomenting intellectual and technological innovation.
Are scientists who receive funds from the government free to create?
You know Carl Linnaeus, right? The great Swedish naturalist who categorized plants and animals in the 1750s? He was a singular figure in botany. But when he got a headache, he stopped being singular. He doubled, from one Carl to two.
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 1:14 pm
What a difference $46 million in TV ad spending can make.
At least that was the consensus in the wee hours of the morning at the Yes on Proposition 37 party, held at a performance art space in San Francisco's Mission District, even before the final votes were tallied.
Outspent many times over, "we couldn't get up on the air," organizer Stacy Malkan told The Salt when it appeared the measure was going down. "You need a certain saturation to have an impact."
While New York City and other places along the Northeast coast are still recovering from Superstorm Sandy, they're also looking ahead to how they can prevent flooding in the future, when sea level rise will make the problem worse. They may be able to take some lessons from coastal Norfolk, Va., which is far ahead of most cities when it comes to flood protection.