Author Archives: Christopher Intagliata

Biometric Identifies You in a Heartbeat

Like fingerprints and facial recognition, the shape and beat of your heart can be used to verify your identity. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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When We Fly to Mars, Microbes Will, Too

The microbes that live in and on our bodies will colonize a human-manned spacecraft to Mars—but will the spacecraft’s microbiome be safe? Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Tsunami Sent Species on a Transoceanic Trip

The 2011 east Japan tsunami swept huge amounts of wreckage out to sea—and Japanese species hitchhiked across the Pacific on the debris. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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This Frog Can’t Hear Its Own Calls

The frogs’ calls are too high-pitched for the frog to detect, which may be an artifact of evolution. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Building a Better Mirror for Telescopes

More reflective telescope mirrors allow astronomers to capture more photons—and do more science. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Warming Puts Squeeze on Ancient Trees

As temperatures rise, the tree line moves upslope. But ancient bristlecone pines are losing that upslope race to faster-colonizing neighbors. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Rising CO2 Pushes Plants to Drink Sparingly

As carbon dioxide levels rise, plants are sipping water more efficiently—which could come in handy in a drier future. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Windows Vex Bats’ Echolocating Abilities

Smooth vertical surfaces like windows reflect sound waves away from bats—meaning bats can’t "see" windows and similar obstacles with echolocation. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Wetlands Could Save Cities–and Money, Too

Using insurance industry models, researchers determined that wetlands prevented some $625 million in damages due to Hurricane Sandy. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Rabbit Relatives Reel from Climate Change

Pikas, a hampster-size rabbit relative, have disappeared from a 64-square-mile plot in the northern Sierra Nevada—and climate change is a likely culprit. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Winking Star 6 Centuries Ago Explained

A star that appeared and then vanished in A.D. 1437 was an explosion in a binary star system—which now reveals clues about the life cycle of certain stars. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Climate Change Might Shrink Fish

Warmer water boosts fishes’ demand for oxygen—and their bodies may shrink in response. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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A Fruitful Experiment in Land Conservation

In 1998 an orange juice maker dumped 12,000 tons of orange peels on degraded pastureland in Costa Rica—transforming it into vine-rich jungle. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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No Bull: Lizards Flee When They See Red

Western fence lizards are more spooked by red and gray shirts than they are by blue ones—perhaps because the males have blue bellies themselves. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Celebrities Tweet Like Bots

Celebrity Twitter accounts look a lot like Twitter bots: They tweet regularly, follow relatively few people, and upload a lot of content. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

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Cold Snap Shapes Lizard Survivors

An epic bout of cold weather quickly altered a population of lizards—an example of natural selection in action. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Mediterranean Diet Works–for Upper Crust

Italians who stuck closely to the heart-healthy diet had fewer heart attacks and strokes—but only if they were well-off and/or college educated. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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This Caterpillar Whistles While It Irks

The North American walnut sphinx caterpillar produces a whistle that sounds just like a songbird’s alarm call–and the whistle seems to startle birds. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Bacteria Can Be Resistant to Brand-New Antibiotics

Exposure to existing antibiotics can imbue infectious bacteria with resistance that also kicks in against new drugs related to the originals. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Teaching Computers to Enjoy the View

Researchers in the U.K. trained computers to rate photos of parks and cities for what humans consider to be their scenic beauty. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Flying through a Corpse’s Clues

Forensic entomologists can chemically analyze fly eggs from a corpse, which might speed up detective work. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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This Cell Phone Needs No Battery

An experimental cell phone works by absorbing and reflecting radio waves—meaning it’s incredibly energy efficient and needs no battery. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Bacteria Might Share the Blame for Eczema

In patients with severe eczema, Staphylococcus aureus strains dominated the skin microbe population—suggesting that certain types of bacteria could worsen eczema flares. Christopher Intagliata…

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Heat Will Hit America’s Poorest Worst

Economists calculate that each degree Celsius of warming will dock the U.S. economy by 1.2 percent–and increase the divide between rich and poor. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

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Rainbow Photons Pack More Computing Power

Quantum bits, aka qubits, can simultaneously encode 0 and 1. But multicolored photons could enable even more states to exist at the same time, ramping up computing power. Christopher Intagliata…

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Moths Inspire Better Smartphone Screens

Researchers designed an antireflective coating for smartphone screens, with inspiration from the bumpy eyes of moths. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Keep Rolling Luggage Upright with Physics

A team of physicists has revealed why rolling suitcases start rocking from wheel to wheel—and how to avoid that frustrating phenomenon. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Engineers Build Bendy Batteries for Wearables

Researchers built silver–zinc batteries that can bend and stretch—meaning they could be more elegantly integrated into future wearable devices. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

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Rising Temps Lower Polar Bear Mercury Intake

As polar bears are forced onto land, they’re feeding on animals with less mercury—reducing their levels of the toxic pollutant. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Some Hotel Bed Bug Sightings May Be Bogus

Only a third of travelers could correctly identify a bed bug—suggesting that some bug sightings in online reviews could be cases of mistaken identity. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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