Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Screen time: Conclusions about the effects of digital media are often incomplete, irrelevant or...

There’s a lot of talk about digital media. Increasing screen time has created worries about media’s impacts on democracy, addiction, depression, relationships, learning, health,...

Meet the narwhal, ‘unicorn of the sea’

Narwhals are often called the unicorns of the sea. The long tusk of the male narwhal sets these whales apart, but it’s not the...

Microwaving sewage waste may make it safe to use as fertilizer on crops

My team has discovered another use for microwave ovens that will surprise you. Biosolids – primarily dead bacteria – from sewage plants are usually dumped...

Being copycats might be key to being human

Chimpanzees, human beings’ closest animal relatives, share up to 98% of our genes. Their human-like hands and facial expressions can send uncanny shivers of...

Why are there seven days in a week?

Curious Kids is a series for children of all ages. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to...

Cyberspace is the next front in Iran-US conflict – and private companies may bear...

Iran and other nations have waged a stealth cyberwar against the United States for at least the past decade, largely targeting not the government...

3D printing of body parts is coming fast – but regulations are not ready

In the last few years, the use of 3D printing has exploded in medicine. Engineers and medical professionals now routinely 3D print prosthetic hands...

Rotting feral pig carcasses teach scientists what happens when tons of animals die all...

The unprecedented wildfire raging across Australia is not only destroying human lives, but has killed hundreds of millions of animals – perhaps billions before...

Monkeys smashing nuts with stones hint at how human tool use evolved

Human beings used to be defined as “the tool-maker” species. But the uniqueness of this description was challenged in the 1960s when Dr. Jane...

An Earth-sized planet found in the habitable zone of a nearby star

A few months ago a group of NASA exoplanet astronomers, who are in the business of discovering planets around other stars, called me into...

A new way to identify a rare type of earthquake in time to issue...

Just a few times in a century, somewhere on the globe, a rare “tsunami earthquake” occurs. These are mysterious because, while they’re just medium-sized...

Archaeological discoveries are happening faster than ever before, helping refine the human story

In 1924, a 3-year-old child’s skull found in South Africa forever changed how people think about human origins. The Taung Child, our first encounter with...

Hangovers happen as your body tries to protect itself from alcohol’s toxic effects

Debaucherous evening last night? You’re probably dealing with veisalgia right now. More commonly known as a hangover, this unpleasant phenomenon has been dogging humanity since...

A real-life deluminator for spotting exoplanets by reflected starlight

Perhaps you remember the opening scene of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” that took place on Privet Drive. A bearded man pulled a...

Here’s how you can be nudged to eat healthier, recycle and make better decisions...

Every day, you make important choices – about whether to feast on fries or take a brisk walk, whether to spend or save your...

Tracking your heart rate? 5 questions answered about what that number really means

The rise of wearable fitness trackers has increased the number of people monitoring their heart rate, both throughout the day and during exercise. Whether you’re...

My team uses crossbows and drones to collect bacteria from whales – and the...

As we drew closer to the massive humpback whale, I became painfully aware how small our inflatable motorboat actually was. I also realized I’d...

7 science-based strategies to boost your willpower and succeed with your New Year’s resolutions

It’s that time of year when people make their New Year’s resolutions – indeed, 93% of people set them, according to the American Psychological...

Feeling sick is an emotion meant to help you get better faster

You know what it’s like to be sick. You feel fatigued, maybe a little depressed, less hungry than usual, more easily nauseated and perhaps...

How can we make sure that algorithms are fair?

Using machines to augment human activity is nothing new. Egyptian hieroglyphs show the use of horse-drawn carriages even before 300 B.C. Ancient Indian literature...

Planetary confusion — why astronomers keep changing what it means to be a planet

As an astronomer, the question I hear the most is why isn’t Pluto a planet anymore? More than 10 years ago, astronomers famously voted...

Butterfly lovers become citizen scientists by logging sightings on eButterfly

The Abstract features interesting research and the people behind it.Kathleen Prudic is an entomologist who studies pollinators. We caught up with her recently to...

Margaret Morse Nice thought like a song sparrow and changed how scientists understand animal...

The invader, puffed out into the shape of a ball, fluttered one wing straight up in the air. He sang constantly and softly, incomplete...

Supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy may have a friend

Do supermassive black holes have friends? The nature of galaxy formation suggests that the answer is yes, and in fact, pairs of supermassive black...

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