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The solar-powered bike-car thingy we've all been waiting for

The solar-powered bike-car thingy we've all been waiting for

Okay, sure -- you could buy a Smart car, and it costs $13,000 just to drive it home, plus no matter how cute it is it's still burning gas and if you want to go to a gig with your guitar and your girlfriend, one of them is going to be uncomfortable.

December 17, 2012 — Scott Huler
NASA Probes to Crash into Lunar Mountain Monday Afternoon

NASA Probes to Crash into Lunar Mountain Monday Afternoon

Topographic map of the planned GRAIL crash site. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MIT/GSFC The slope of an unnamed mountain near the moon’s north pole will be the final destination for NASA’s twin GRAIL spacecraft, which are scheduled to crash into the lunar surface at high speed today.

December 17, 2012 — John Matson
What is metadata? A Christmas themed exploration.

What is metadata? A Christmas themed exploration.

When I talk to most scientists and mention the word "metadata" they look at me as if I've grown a second head. Despite the fact that these folks regularly use and create metadata (not to be confused with megadata or "big data" which is a whole other subject), many have not heard of the term.Broadly speaking, metadata is simply a structured description of something else.

December 17, 2012 — Bonnie Swoger
Two SciAm bloggers make the 30-under-30 Forbes annual list.

Two SciAm bloggers make the 30-under-30 Forbes annual list.

For the second year in a row, Forbes magazine picks young and up-and-coming stars in various areas of life - their, now already well established and reputable 30 Under 30 list of "Innovators, Disruptors And Brightest Stars Of 2012".I am very proud to report that two Scientific American bloggers are included in the list this year.In the category of Energy, one of the chosen innovators is Melissa Lott, from Plugged In, our energy and infrastructure group blog.And in the Science category, we are represented by Christina Agapakis of the Oscillator blog, focusing on synthetic biology.What a great finish for an already fantastic year for our blog network.

STAFFDecember 17, 2012 — Bora Zivkovic
Monday Music Video: Biotech Support in Song

Monday Music Video: Biotech Support in Song

During the time I taught laboratory courses here at the University of Illinois in cell and molecular biology (After nearly 20 years of that, I've moved to online teaching to give myself more flexibility for science outreach), I would often tell the students, particularly the ones who were considering going into research, that the best sources of information on lab techniques, supplies, and equipment would be the technical materials literature and tech support from product suppliers.

December 17, 2012 — Joanne Manaster
Kids Lead Crowd-Funded Scientific Mission to Nicaragua: Science Education Is the Tide That Lifts All Boats

Kids Lead Crowd-Funded Scientific Mission to Nicaragua: Science Education Is the Tide That Lifts All Boats

From left to right: Haley, Enzo, Emma. Enzo, Haley and Emma are ordinary kids working on an extraordinary mission. They are joining up with a team of Special Forces medics and elite, global surgeons to deliver medical aid to the Rama Indians of Nicaragua in the spring of 2013.In partnership with HumaniTV, the journey will be beamed to tens of thousands of kids around the globe by satellite as the three middle school students trek through the jungles of Central America performing research on sustainable agriculture and seeing first hand how science and innovation improves peoples’ lives.

December 17, 2012 — Pete Monfre
The dopamine side(s) of depression

The dopamine side(s) of depression

Depression is a disease with a difficult set of symptoms. Not only are the symptoms difficult to describe (how do you really describe anhedonia, before you know the word for it?), symptoms of depression manifest in different ways for different people.

December 17, 2012 — Scicurious

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