Science

1:31pm

Wed October 17, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

One Step Closer To The Quantum Future

Serge Haroche
Patrick Kovarik AFP/Getty Images

This year's Nobel Prize for physics was given to Serge Haroche of Collège de France and Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France, and to David Wineland from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Both have pioneered methods to manipulate quantum systems, that is, entities living in the world of atoms, electrons and other particles.

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11:20am

Wed October 17, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Tough Old Lizard To Face Grave Romantic Troubles, Say Scientists

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 11:44 am

Courtesy of Piotr Naskrecki

Oh, dear.

First off, this lizard? It's not really a lizard. It's an almost vanished species, a reptile like no other.

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10:38am

Tue October 16, 2012
Shots - Health News

Teenage Brains Are Malleable And Vulnerable, Researchers Say

Brain scans are showing researchers why it's important to treat problems like depression in teens.
iStockphoto.com

Adolescent brains have gotten a bad rap, according to neuroscientists.

It's true that teenage brains can be impulsive, scientists reported at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans. But adolescent brains are also vulnerable, dynamic and highly responsive to positive feedback, they say.

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1:13pm

Mon October 15, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Energy Perception And Policy Reality

Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

As the election nears, energy policy remains a regular topic on the campaign trail. Controversial subjects like arctic drilling and hydraulic fracturing continue making headlines as the political class debate our nation's changing energy mix. But let's not deceive ourselves, or the public at large, about a president's real role and reach.

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8:43am

Mon October 15, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Be Nice To The Moon. Stop Writing On It

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 12:09 pm

Kathy Lynch via Panoramio

Dot

Dash

Dot

Dash

This is the moon as Morse code.

Beautiful, yes, but not right. The moon isn't a dot. It's too elegant, too pale, too ghostly to be a bit of "information." It's got moods, changes, and on certain nights it's got a man on it, with eyes and a mouth, and yet some people treat the moon as if it's something you can write on.

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8:22am

Mon October 15, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Which Fundamental Questions Are Most Fundamental?

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:52 am

Which fundamental questions in physics get your imagination soaring most? Is it the structure of matter? The nature of Space and Time? The possibility of life in space?

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3:29am

Mon October 15, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Spray Lights Up The Chemical That Causes Poison Ivy Rash

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 2:17 pm

Urushiol, the chemical in poison ivy, is also harvested from the Japanese lacquer tree to coat lacquerware. Here, a rash caused by lacquerware that likely was not properly cured.
Kenji Kabashima

You'd think that someone who is a science correspondent and is as allergic to poison ivy as I am would have heard of urushiol, but no. I didn't recognize the word when I saw it a week or so ago. Now, thanks to my new beat (Joe's Big Idea), I'm allowed to dig a little deeper into stories, and what I learned about urushiol is pretty amazing.

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3:28am

Mon October 15, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Doctors Strike Mutating Bacteria In Teen Acne Battle

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:59 am

A tiny bacteriophage virus can cripple the bacteria that cause troublesome acne on teens' skin.
Charles Bowman University of Pittsburgh

Acne, the scourge of many an adolescent life, is getting harder to treat, but 80 percent of teenagers have some form of it.

Conventional treatment includes topical and oral antibiotics. Studies are now finding the bacteria that cause acne are increasingly resistant to antibiotic treatment. Alternatively, there are effective laser treatments. But these are costly and typically not covered by insurance.

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8:33am

Sun October 14, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Weekend Special: When Cities, People and Highways Glow Like Stars

Justin Wilkinson NASA via TheChive

In this video, we are flying over the Earth, looking down and seeing what astronauts see when it's nighttime, when lightning storms flash like June bugs, when cities look like galaxies, when you can see where people are. It's quietly astonishing.

This montage of space footage was assembled and narrated by NASA scientist Justin Wilkinson. There's another one, which takes us around the Earth in daytime.

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6:45am

Sun October 14, 2012
Science

A Human-Powered Helicopter: Straight Up Difficult

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:00 am

Kyle Glusenkamp pilots Gamera, a human-powered helicopter.
Maggie Starbard NPR

"I grew up wanting to fly," says Graham Bowen-Davies. "I guess I just settled for being an engineer."

He's standing on an indoor track in southern Maryland, watching a giant helicopter take flight. At the end of each of its four spindly arms — arms he helped design and build — a giant rotor churns the air. In the cockpit sits the engine: a 0.7-horsepower, 135-pound graduate student named Kyle Gluesenkamp.

Gluesenkamp is pedaling like crazy to keep the rotors spinning and the craft aloft.

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