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Space shuttle <i>Discovery</i> reaches orbit successfully

Space shuttle Discovery reaches orbit successfully

Space shuttle Discovery reached orbit 200 miles above earth tonight at 7:51 local time, after taking off from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida at 7:43:44.

March 15, 2009 — Ivan Oransky
A record day, for data and destruction

A record day, for data and destruction

Editor's Note: University of Southern California geobiologist Katrina Edwards is taking part in a three-week drilling project at the Atlantic's North Pond—a sediment-filled valley on the ocean floor—designed to locate and study what she calls the “intraterrestrials”: the myriad microbial life-forms living inside Earth's crust.

March 15, 2009 — Katrina Edwards
Obama names FDA chief, announces new food safety panel

Obama names FDA chief, announces new food safety panel

President Barack Obama today tapped former New York City Public Health Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, 54, to head the embattled U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and announced creation of a new panel to examine and update food safety laws in the wake of an outbreak of salmonella that sickened hundreds.  Obama announced the moves during his weekly radio address in which he blamed a lack of food inspections and antiquated laws and regs for creating a "demoralized" FDA as well as conditions ripe for a string of food-borne infections over the past few years, including the recent salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter and paste churned out at a contaminated Georgia plant.

March 14, 2009 — Lisa Stein
Happy 3/14, also known as pi day

Happy 3/14, also known as pi day

Hot on the heels of square root day, a loosely conceived mathematical celebration that fell on March 3 (3/3/09), comes today's pi day. The present "holiday" celebrates the yearly agreement between the calendar (3/14) and the first three digits of pi (3.14...), the ratio of circumference to diameter for a circle.

March 14, 2009 — John Matson
More coring: Drill and probe, drill and probe...

More coring: Drill and probe, drill and probe...

Editor's Note: University of Southern California geobiologist Katrina Edwards is taking part in a three-week drilling project at the Atlantic's North Pond—a sediment-filled valley on the ocean floor—designed to locate and study what she calls the “intraterrestrials”: the myriad microbial life-forms living inside Earth's crust.

March 13, 2009 — Katrina Edwards
The Intel finalists, in their own words [Video]

The Intel finalists, in their own words [Video]

If you missed our coverage of the 2009 Intel Science Talent Search finalists and winners earlier this week—or even if you didn't—below you'll find a package of whiz kid profiles.

March 13, 2009 — Ivan Oransky
Benoit Mandelbrot and the wildness of financial markets

Benoit Mandelbrot and the wildness of financial markets

In a lecture at Columbia University this week, famed fractal pioneer Benoit Mandelbrot once again inveighed against traditional economic theories, returning at a time of financial malaise to many of the points he raised in a 1999 Scientific American feature.

March 13, 2009 — John Matson
Berners-Lee returns to CERN to reminisce on the Web's past and focus on its future

Berners-Lee returns to CERN to reminisce on the Web's past and focus on its future

Computer scientists, engineers and journalists converged on the CERN particle physics lab in the suburbs of Geneva, Switzerland, today to pay homage to a piece of paper—several pieces of paper, actually—that together form Tim Berners-Lee's March 1989 proposal that would come to be the blueprint for the World Wide Web.

March 13, 2009 — Larry Greenemeier

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Beyond XX and XY

Biology. Identity. Equality.