Category Archives: STEM News

If (Virtual) Reality Feels Almost Right, It’s Exactly Wrong

How adding touch to VR can lead to an “uncanny valley” of sensations—and what we can do about it

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Industrial Steel Method from 1968; Industrial Candy in 1868

Innovation and discovery as chronicled in Scientific American

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How Seashells Take Shape

Mathematical modeling reveals the mechanical forces that guide the development of mollusk spirals, spines and ribs

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Should Quantum Anomalies Make Us Rethink Reality?

Inexplicable lab results may be telling us we’re on the cusp of a new scientific paradigm

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NYC Mice Are Packed with Pathogens

Mice trapped in New York City apartment buildings harbored disease-causing bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Your Next Pilot Could Be Drone Software

Would you get on a plane that didn’t have a human pilot in the cockpit? Half of air travelers surveyed in 2017 said they would not, even if the ticket was cheaper. Modern pilots do such a good job that almost any air accident is big news, such as t… Continue reading

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Diamonds in Meteorite May Come from a Lost Planet

Formed at high temperatures and pressures, the gems trace extreme events from the dawn of our solar system

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IKEA-Building Robot Conquers Touchy-Feely Challenge

The Swedish furniture has become something of a benchmark for robotics engineers

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Low-Carbon Investment Is Moving Too Slowly to Rein in Warming, U.N. Warns

Growing recognition of climate change’s economic threat has not stymied fossil fuel investments

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Bold and Aggressive Behavior Means Birds Thrive in Cities

Birds living in urban areas rarely get any peace and must cope with almost constant disturbance from both humans and their pets

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Assam’s Endangered Apes

Northeast India’s hoolock gibbons are at risk from human incursion into their native forests

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Oil- and Gas-Drilling Noise Stresses Birds

Animals that nest near the loud equipment show PTSD-like physiology and have more stunted offspring 

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Evolution Research Could Revolutionize Cancer Therapy

Evolutionary studies indicate that the genetic changes enabling a cancer to develop arise shockingly early within the primary tumor. This discovery points to a promising new approach to therapy

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Should You Eliminate Oil from Your Diet?

Is an oil-free diet healthier? What are the arguments for and against eliminating oil from your diet?

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The Facebook Controversy: Privacy Is Not the Issue

The real danger is that the information and social platforms on the internet are being corrupted in the service of con men, political demagogues and thieves

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Otter Poop Helps Scientists Track Pollution at a Superfund Site

In a contaminated Seattle river, what the mammals leave behind may be a good gauge of cleanup efforts

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Mine Social Media Posts to Predict Flu

Researchers used Twitter searches for nonflu words associated with behavior to predict flu outbreaks two weeks in advance.

 

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No One Knows How Long the U.S. Coastline Is

How long is the U.S. coastline? It’s a straightforward question, and one that’s important for scientists and government agencies alike. The U.S. Geological Survey could give you an answer, too, but I’m going to tell you right now that it’s wrong.

In… Continue reading

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The Unlikely Triumph of Dinosaurs

New fossils and analyses topple the long-standing explanation of how dinosaurs came to rule the earth

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U.S. Environmental Group Wins Millions to Develop Methane-Monitoring Satellite

The Environmental Defense Fund is working with researchers at Harvard University on the probe

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Cars Threaten Climate Goals in Blue States

With few coal plants left to shutter, transportation is the main hurdle to meeting emissions targets

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Our Planet, Ourselves: How Climate Change Results in Emerging Diseases

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Miniature Human Brains Grow for Months When Implanted in Mice Skulls

The lab-grown cerebrums are about the size of a lentil

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How to Reconcile with a Romantic Partner

Study suggests the best strategy depends on gender

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On "Darwinism"

How a great name was turned into a slander

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The Spice of Death: The Science behind Tainted "Synthetic Marijuana"

Experts describe how rat poison linked to a recent bleeding outbreak does its damage

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What the History of Math Can Teach Us About the Future of AI

Doomsayers say it will put us all out of work, but experience suggests otherwise

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Planting Milkweed for Monarchs? Make Sure It’s Native

Non-native milkweed species planted in the southern U.S. could harm monarch butterflies as temperatures rise. Jason G. Goldman reports.

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India Joins the Worldwide March for Science

Scientists across 50 cities took to the streets against funding cuts and government leaders’ anti-science rhetoric

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Over 100 New Hair Color Genes Help Untangle A Confusing Trait

It’s easy to tell what color someone’s hair is, but figuring out the genetics behind how it got that way is anything but simple.

A new study from a team of international researchers analyzing 300,000 people of European descent finds more than 100… Continue reading

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