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A bridge at the end of a rainbow

A bridge at the end of a rainbow


Click to play play_blip_movie_1077186();   Our Science Talk podcast host and man-about-town Steve Mirsky caught this lovely semi-circle rainbow with his pocket camera earlier this month.

July 11, 2008 — Christie Nicholson
Who's afraid? Not these brain cells

Who's afraid? Not these brain cells

Rutgers University researchers have found brain cells responsible for helping people overcome fear of things they once found scary. The finding, published in Nature , could pave the way for these so-called intercalated cells in the amygdala, a brain region that processes fear, to become drug targets for treating phobias (such as fear of heights and closed spaces) as well as post-traumatic stress disorder in soldiers and others.

July 11, 2008 — Nikhil Swaminathan
Space shuttle: 10 flights to go before retirement

Space shuttle: 10 flights to go before retirement

NASA has set target launch dates for the final eight space shuttle flights before the program is mothballed in 2010. That makes a total of 10 flights between now and retirement: one mission in October to upgrade and repair the Hubble Space Telescope, followed by nine more to finish assembly of the International Space Station (ISS), starting in November with a mission to repair faulty rotary joints in the station's movable solar panels.

July 11, 2008 — JR Minkel
Dark energy permeates the universe--and now even the dictionary

Dark energy permeates the universe--and now even the dictionary

It took 10 years, but Merriam-Webster has finally recognized "dark energy," adding the term—used to describe the perplexing force that is causing galaxies to accelerate away from one another—to some 100 other new dictionary entries this year.

July 11, 2008 — JR Minkel
Killer hot peppers? Jalapeños join tomatoes as salmonella suspect

Killer hot peppers? Jalapeños join tomatoes as salmonella suspect

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials are now investigating whether jalapeño peppers (as well as closely related serrano peppers) may be linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak first reported in April.

July 11, 2008 — Nikhil Swaminathan
Apple's latest line: New 3G iPhone hits the streets

Apple's latest line: New 3G iPhone hits the streets

The wait is over. Apple's new iPhone 3G goes on sale today, promising to download information twice as fast as its predecessor, featuring a built-in global-positioning system (GPS) and running hundreds of new software programs, including one from the Associated Press that uses the GPS to determine the iPhone owner's location and automatically send him or her local news articles.

July 11, 2008 — Larry Greenemeier
Implant for children promises to straighten young spines

Implant for children promises to straighten young spines

Scientists in Spain and France have developed a new implant designed to help children with scoliosis, abnormal curvature of the spine. Developed at NADAR Computerized Medical Systems in Langreo, Spain, the implant uses a hydraulic piston to apply a force between two points along the spine—gradually straightening the excess bend, according to New Scientist .

July 11, 2008 — Larry Greenemeier
Who's happy? You are

Who's happy? You are

Believe it or not, the world is becoming a happier place, at least according to the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research's 2005 to 2007 World Values Survey.

July 7, 2008 — Larry Greenemeier
Making Beautiful Music: Why the Stradivarius Violin is Worth Millions

Making Beautiful Music: Why the Stradivarius Violin is Worth Millions

The wood, of course. Using x-ray images taken from multiple different angles, radiologist Berend Stoel of Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands proved that the spruce and maple wood used in five violins made either by Antonio Stradivari or Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù—the rival master luthiers of Cremona—had fewer variations in their density than that in seven contemporary violins.

July 5, 2008 — David Biello

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