How does a great gray owl do that? Now we know.
January 31, 2013 Owls can turn their heads 270 degrees without injuring themselves. That's more than twice as far around as humans can safely handle. Nifty adaptations in owls' vertebrae and blood vessels make it possible.
January 30, 2013 Just under the iced-over surface of a Canadian lake, white pancake-shaped bubbles stack up in towers. They may look pretty, but they pack an explosive and deadly punch.
January 28, 2013 Nathaniel, a young Berkeley biologist, met a beautiful yeast who promised opportunity and adventure, but once they got together, Nathaniel was clumsy, the yeast not what he'd hoped, and their romance? Well, it didn't work out. It's now a song. Sung by Nathaniel. The yeast, lacking vocal chords, is silent.
January 26, 2013 This is the tale of one man's slobbering, very unpretty pet cat, his brave sister, his homicidal yet generous uncle, and what happened one winter night when he was a boy.
January 25, 2013 In the story The Little Prince, a boy from a tiny planet lands on Earth. The boy is tall, the planet small, and you worry he might fall off. In real life, real Earthlings once had a hint of this experience. It was 1972, and you can go there with them.
January 24, 2013 In New Zealand, where they do things differently, middle schoolers are taught statistics, probability and experimental science in an odd way. They explore frustrating supermarket lines, ungraspable tape, foot seeking thumbtacks and carpet soiling toast.
January 22, 2013 What if I told you that there's a mathematical formula buried deep in living things that tells us — all of us, dandelions, gorillas, sea grasses, elm trees, buttercups — when it's time to die. Scientists think there is such rule. It has to do with size.
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January 19, 2013 Here's a new way to think about global warming. An interactive map plots how temperatures have changed in any region on the planet since the early 1950s.
January 18, 2013 Data scientist Edward Tufte (dubbed the "Galileo of graphics" by BusinessWeek) pioneered the field of data visualization. Tufte discusses what he calls "forever knowledge," and his latest projects: sculpting Richard Feynman's diagrams, and helping people "see without words."
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January 18, 2013 As part of a research initiative on how to harness off-grid energy for low-power electronics, a pair of U.K.-based designers created a lamp that uses gravity to generate light. Martin Riddiford, co-inventor of the GravityLight, talks about plans for the innovative project.
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January 18, 2013 A big boxing match usually features two guys, thick with muscle, who know how to bob, weave and use their fists. This bout has two fighters who can't make fists because they don't have hands. What they have are necks. Long necks.
January 16, 2013 If you are up in space looking down on America west of the Mississippi, one of the brightest patches of light at night is on the Great Plains in North Dakota. It's not a city, not a town, not a military installation. What is it?
In this illustration, new viruses emerge from an infected human throat cell. When you get the flu, viruses turn your cells into tiny virus factories that help spread the disease.
January 12, 2013 It's hard, during flu season, to avoid inhaling a virus or two (or three, or 10,000), but that doesn't mean they're going to take you over. You have an army of defenders in you, ready to take them on.
January 11, 2013 Why do your fingers get pruney after a long water bath? Only a handful of researchers (ever) have looked into the finger-wrinkling experience. Reporting in the journal Biology Letters, researchers make the case for finger wrinkles as treads — wet wrinkled fingers seem to grip better than wet smooth ones.
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January 11, 2013 The oldest rock in the world isn't even a rock. It's a teeny grain, a zircon, found inside a bigger rock. But what it's telling us is huge. It's rewriting the early history of the planet.
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