December 28, 2012 Thousands of years ago, ancient farmers gained the ability to consume milk as adults without getting an upset stomach. A remarkable mutation let some of them digest lactose sugar. But scientists still puzzle over why that mutation persisted and became prevalent in modern humans.
December 27, 2012 It was the warmest year on record and brought a series of extreme weather events, from wildfires and floods to drought and a devastating derecho. Polls show a big jump this year in the number of people connecting such disasters with climate change.
December 27, 2012 NASA's Curiosity rover turned its camera around and captured a beautiful self-portrait from Gale Crater.
December 27, 2012 Children can easily become kinder and more helpful. And that behavior makes them more positive, more accepting and more popular with other children, a study of Canadian kids finds.
December 27, 2012 There were 138 toothbrush-related patents filed this year in the U.S. Why so many new ideas? "Cleaning the teeth is actually a pretty complex problem, and I think that's why there's been so much invention around it," says the head of Colgate's global toothbrush division.
December 26, 2012 The year saw some disappointments in the development of drugs to treat Alzheimer's. But the setbacks were offset by progress in other areas. The upshot from this year's mixed results, some scientists say, is that treatment for Alzheimer's needs to start long before forgetfulness and muddled thinking are apparent.
December 26, 2012 When food passes its sell-by date, it's swept from the supermarket shelf. But that doesn't mean it's not safe to eat. Taste and smell are usually better indicators of a food's safety. And some items, like canned foods, can even last years or decades after their expiration date.
December 25, 2012 An IBM computer that analyzes flavor molecules and develops recipes is on the way in five years, scientists say. They are hoping to find not only novel and tasty flavor combinations, but ones that will appeal to us without adding to our waistlines.
December 25, 2012 The Keystone pipeline is supposed to carry tar sands oil from Canada to Texas — a route that runs right through David Daniel's land. To try to save his woods from bulldozers, Daniel built tree houses 80 feet in the air and protesters climbed up into them.
December 25, 2012 Looking to film a winter movie scene in warm, sunny weather? Head out to marshes and collect cattails. Squeeze out the seeds, and voila!
December 24, 2012 If you counted every good deed, every smile, every act of charity, then counted every growl, frown, kick and wrong, which would be greater? The good or the bad? Thinkers from John Locke to Martin Luther King, Jr., give insight on the progress of humanity.
December 23, 2012 With the rise of the do-it-yourself movement, more groups are springing up to encourage kids to link crafts and science. Modeled on more traditional Scouting groups, kids and their parents meet up in tool-filled "hacker spaces" to build electronics and get creative.