July 25, 2013 Since the 1930s, Louisiana has steadily been losing land that protects it from hurricanes and other disasters. The government board charged with protecting New Orleans from flooding sued the oil and gas industry Wednesday, arguing they are responsible for a big part of the problem.
July 24, 2013 Biologists have discovered they can track hard-to-see species in streams, ponds and even the ocean by sampling the water for DNA. Scientists say the technique is an important conservation tool: So far, it's been used to track declining giant salamanders and even locate a rare whale.
July 24, 2013 Hippos, it turns out, do a wave. Not a get-drunk, get-crazy, paint yourself wave, but a hippo-to-hippo serial roar that moves up and down river banks in Africa. We thought: Wouldn't it be fun to compare a stadium wave and a hippo wave, and see who does it fastest? Which was a great idea — until we heard about honey bees.
July 23, 2013 The gigantic flower known as the "corpse flower" gives off a pungent odor of rotting flesh. Crowds to the U.S. Botanic Garden missed the nocturnal scent but still ogled at the pistachio-colored bloom.
July 23, 2013 The Mount Charleston blue butterfly is found only in a couple of small patches high in Nevada's Spring Mountains. But the Carpenter 1 fire, which has been raging through the area since July 1, is threatening the land and scientists fear the fire could push the butterflies into extinction.
July 23, 2013 Last year, virologists traced the mysterious illness of two Missouri farmers to a virus never seen before. Now, scientists have found the so-called Heartland virus in ticks. The discovery means the U.S. has another tick-borne illness on its hands — and "another reason to avoid getting bit."
July 23, 2013 Physicians are partly to blame for the increasing popularity of untested treatments, says Dr. Paul Offit. Rather than pushing back against misguided patient demand, he says, doctors have "acted like waiters at a restaurant, simply asking, 'What would you like?' "
July 22, 2013 Dolphins, like humans, are part of complex social networks. And research now indicates that they use their unique whistle sounds to identify and communicate with each other. "Every time a dolphin heard its signature whistle, it called back, sometimes multiple times," one researcher says.
July 22, 2013 Scientists are investigating the microscopic world that lives in and on our bodies. It's becoming clear that these tiny companions play a much more complex and important role in human health than thought. But we don't yet know enough about the microbiome to use it to prevent and treat disease.
July 21, 2013 Fire is a natural part of the western landscape, and a push over the last century to eliminate fires has threatened the habitats that some plants and animals need. In a Montana valley, fire scientists are trying to show that they can actually save wilderness by burning it.
July 20, 2013 Two members of Congress want to preserve artifacts from American lunar missions with a national park on the moon, but there are some international hurdles to jump. Still, Space Policy Institute director Dr. Scott Pace says the bill raises intriguing questions about what the future of human-space interaction will look like.