Each winter, a team of scientists sets out on a search for those rare shooting stars that make it to the ground instead of burning up in the sky. There aren't many better places to look for these space rocks than Antarctica, often in areas where no human has set foot before.
Scientists and growers are in a bitter fight against citrus greening, a disease that has devastated Florida's orange and grapefruit crops. They fear that unless scientists find a cure for greening soon, it's just a matter of time before economic realities and the disease force growers out of business.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to take the gray wolf off the endangered species list. The wolf had been extirpated from the West and had dwindled most other places in the U.S. The great canine has rebounded since it was reintroduced to the northern Rockies in the 1990s and is continuing to spread into the Pacific Northwest. But biologists warn that if these wolves loses federal protection, they will not be able to return to some places, such as Colorado, where the ecosystem sorely needs them.
Anyone who has waited endlessly at a red light at an empty four-way intersection knows traffic signals are not the most efficient way to keep traffic flowing. Computer scientists have figured out a way to utilize the space in intersections far more efficiently. The problem is the solution will have to wait for a day when cars can drive themselves.
Over the past year, a roaring debate has erupted among physicists about what exactly would happen if you fell into a black hole. Would it be "spaghettification," or a quantum firestorm and oblivion where space ceases to exist? The answer has big implications for fundamental physics.
A Russian ship carrying an Australian scientific expedition has been trapped since Monday. But a Chinese icebreaker is expected to free it from the ice. Other ships are also on the way. The 74 people aboard the MV Akademik Shokalskiy plan to then continue their expedition.
Scientists hope to solve mysteries of the human brain by studying much simpler neural networks — like the brain circuits of fruit flies and mice. Already such research is turning up clues to why many people with autism are easily overwhelmed by bright lights and loud sound.
An experimental technique called optogenetics is starting to change the way researchers look at the brain. The tool allows them to switch entire brain circuits on and off using light, and may help figure out what's going wrong in brain ailments from epilepsy to depression.
People tend to hate to lose stuff they already own. This trait, known as the endowment effect, is likely handed down to us by evolution, since it is visible cross-culturally as well as in non-human primates. However, new research suggests certain cultures place a brake on this evolutionary trait, whereas capitalistic societies put it on steroids.
Japan already relies on a system that helps prevent industrial accidents and train derailments by sending warnings as much as a minute before the ground starts shaking. That much time could save lives after a major earthquake in California, but seismologists say the U.S. network still has big gaps.
Forty-two of the 49 panda cubs born in captivity in 2013 have survived — a record number that says a lot about how far captive breeding programs have come. But while captive pandas are faring well, panda researchers warn that much more needs to be done to protect the wild population.
Astronauts went on a space walk to fix a broken cooling system aboard the International Space Station on Tuesday. A pump that sends coolant through the system broke earlier this month. It's a critical element and it had to be repaired for the space station to resume normal operations.
The use of marijuana for PTSD has gained national attention in the past few years as thousands of traumatized veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan have asked the federal government to give them access to the drug. Marijuana's active ingredient has been shown to calm the brain's fear circuits. Of course, there are drawbacks and side effects to contend with.