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Updated: 32 min 15 sec ago

Miniaturized Nuclear Power Plant? U.S. Reviewing Proposed Design

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 2:05pm

A company has submitted a design for what it describes as a "modular" nuclear power plant — a radical departure from other nuclear plants. Each module would be small enough to fit on a flat-bed truck.

(Image credit: NuScale )

Is There A Limit To How Many Friends We Can Have?

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 7:46am

Anthropologist Robin Dunbar believes the evolutionary structure of social networks limits us to 150 meaningful relationships at a time — even with the rise of social media.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Robin Dunbar)

What Happens When Hackers Hijack Our Smart Devices?

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 7:46am

Computer scientist Avi Rubin says all our smart devices — cars, phones, even fitness trackers — can be hacked. He warns that our network of connected technology puts us at risk for cyberattacks.

(Image credit: Chris Suspect/TED)

Can We Improve Our Transportation Network Using...Biology?

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 7:46am

Wanis Kabbaj wants traffic to flow smoothly and efficiently, like the blood in our veins. He says driverless cars may be the solution to today's highway gridlock.

(Image credit: Video still courtesy TED)

How Do Trees Collaborate?

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 7:46am

Ecologist Suzanne Simard shares how she discovered that trees use underground fungi networks to communicate and share resources, uprooting the idea that nature constantly competes for survival.

(Image credit: Courtesy Suzanne Simard)

Marijuana's Health Effects? Top Scientists Weigh In

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 4:50pm

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine sorted through 10,000 studies to determine the good and bad health effects of marijuana. Tight drug restrictions impede research, they say.

(Image credit: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

As Rains Soak California, Farmers Test How To Store Water Underground

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 2:01pm

After years of drought, California is getting drenched with rains. Some scientists and farmers are testing a way to capture that water by filling the state's depleted groundwater aquifers.

(Image credit: Joe Proudman/Joe Proudman / Courtesy of UC Davis)

Scientists Have Twisted Molecules Into The Tightest Knot Ever

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 1:06pm

This new knot has eight crossings, far more than previous molecular knots. The "rope" is very short — just 192 atoms long, or 500 times smaller than a red blood cell.

(Image credit: Stuart Jantzen/Biocinematics.com/Science)

New Gene-Editing Techniques Hold the Promise Of Altering The Fundamentals Of Life

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 12:28pm

New Yorker writer Michael Specter discusses emerging biotechnologies that will make it possible to remove disease and change the characteristics of life by rewriting the genetic code in cells.

Flipping A Switch In The Brain Turns Lab Rodents Into Killer Mice

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 11:14am

When scientists activate hunting circuits in the brains of genetically modified mice, the animals attack insects and even bottle caps as prey. It gives clues to the evolution of hunting in humans.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Ivan de Araujo/Cell Press)

Menopause Mystery: Why Do Female Killer Whales Experience The Change Of Life?

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 11:02am

Killer whales are one of only three species known to have menopause. Researchers are looking at the conflict and cooperation between older and younger female whales to understand why.

(Image credit: Mark Malleson/Center for Whale Research/AP)

The Curious Case Of The Hyolith, An Ancient 'Ice Cream Cone' That's Found A Home

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 5:00am

The creature, which roamed ocean floors over 500 million years ago, went years without a definitive scientific classification. Now, researchers think the oddball finally has a group to call its own.

(Image credit: Danielle Dufault/(C) Royal Ontario Museum)

Obesity-Linked Diagnoses On The Rise Among Kids And Teens

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 4:00am

A new analysis of U.S. health insurance claims is worrisome, pediatricians say: More and more young people are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

(Image credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

Gas Taxes May Go Up Around The Country As States Seek To Plug Budget Holes

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 4:00am

This year could see a wave of state tax hikes on gasoline and diesel. Oklahoma is one of about a dozen states seriously considering increases.

(Image credit: Sue Ogrocki/AP)

California Nail Salons Start To Invest In Worker Safety

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 3:35am

A statewide collaborative of nail salons now has 120 members; all have made ventilation upgrades and switched from toxic products to safer ones. Will clients be willing to pay extra to help workers?

(Image credit: Jenny Gold/Kaiser Health News)

We Asked People What They Know About Obamacare. See If You Know The Answers.

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 1:55am

A new NPR/Ipsos poll shows many Americans don't know details about the Affordable Care Act. And only 1-in-7 favor repealing the law altogether without a replacement.

(Image credit: Alyson Hurt and Katie Park/NPR)

New 'Skywalker' Ape Species Will Need Jedi Powers To Survive

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 4:55pm

Scientists named a new species of gibbon ape after Star Wars rebel character Luke Skywalker. Like similar species that live in China and Myanmar, the so-called skywalker hoolock gibbon is endangered.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Peng-Fei Fan)

Powerful Storms Make Dent In California's Historic Drought

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 3:29pm

A week of powerful storms on the West Coast is helping to put a dent in California's historic drought, yet state officials are warning they are by no means a drought buster.

Fitness Trackers Aim To Improve The Health And Happiness of Zoo Elephants

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 3:52am

OK, so they're not using Fitbits. But zoos across America are using software to minutely track the activity, behavior and physiology of captive elephants, and using that data to improve zoo life.

(Image credit: Courtesy of the Fresno Chaffee Zoo)

52 Million-Year-Old Tomatillo Fossils Rewrite Veggie History

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 4:52pm

Potatoes, tomatoes and bell peppers belong to the nightshade family. Newly discovered fossils in Patagonia suggest that family started much earlier than believed, perhaps when dinosaurs roamed.

(Image credit: Peter Wilf, Penn State University)

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