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Meet Makemake, the fourth dwarf planet

Meet Makemake, the fourth dwarf planet

Astronomers have upgraded a distant rock discovered in 2005 to the category of dwarf planet, the controversial designation created two years ago by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to deal with planetlike bodies far out in the solar system.

July 21, 2008 — JR Minkel
Journalists + Facebook = Scoops

Journalists + Facebook = Scoops

Should journalists be hanging out on Facebook? I only joined about two months ago, after some prodding from other reporter friends. My answer, though, is an emphatic yes, because I got a story within about 20 minutes of signing up.

July 21, 2008 — Ivan Oransky
NIH official nixes large HIV vaccine trial

NIH official nixes large HIV vaccine trial

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) this week canceled plans for a large clinical trial of an experimental vaccine to combat the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

July 18, 2008 — Nikhil Swaminathan
Hackers convene Last HOPE conference in the Big Apple

Hackers convene Last HOPE conference in the Big Apple

  Computer programmers, researchers and students descended on New York City's Hotel Pennsylvania today for the HOPE conference, a forum for all things related to security, including a healthy dose of sessions devoted to breaking security.

July 18, 2008 — Larry Greenemeier
Italian cyclist cut from Tour de France for doping

Italian cyclist cut from Tour de France for doping

Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco today was pulled from the Tour de France after he tested positive for the banned substance EPO , a hormone that boosts oxygen levels in the blood and, hence, stamina.

July 18, 2008 — Nikhil Swaminathan
A constellation of problems for shuttle's replacement

A constellation of problems for shuttle's replacement

Problems are mounting for the Orion spacecraft that is supposed to replace the retiring space shuttle fleet and carry U.S. astronauts to the moon by 2020. Among the most severe, according to a 117-page internal NASA report posted on Nasawatch.com this week: an $80-million overrun on development of a single motor; a hard-to-open hatch door; and the potential that the stack (craft and Ares 1 rocket) will vibrate itself to pieces during takeoff. Constellation's official launch date for practice flights remains March 2015, but NASA had envisioned a best-case scenario of summer 2013. An agency spokesperson told the Associated Press that in principle a launch could now occur no earlier than August 2014. Some NASA watchers say the setbacks are signs of agency mismanagement, but others say they are par for the course for an attempt to return to the moon in an era of uncertain funding.
Photo credit: Lockheed Martin Corp

July 18, 2008 — JR Minkel
Giant's Electric-Assist Bicycle: A Review

Giant's Electric-Assist Bicycle: A Review

I have a biking nemesis: During my regular rides around the six-mile outer loop of New York’s Central Park, the big hill at the north (uptown) end of the park invariably sucks the very life out of my aging legs.

July 18, 2008 — Steven Ashley
Grunting, humming fish joins ancient chorus

Grunting, humming fish joins ancient chorus

Next time you're at a loud singles bar, thank a fish for inspiration. Here's why: When a male midshipman fish [ above ] eyes a competitor swimming too close, he chases off the interloper with an audible grunt.

July 18, 2008 — JR Minkel
Gore challenge: 100 percent renewable power in 10 years

Gore challenge: 100 percent renewable power in 10 years

Former vice president Al Gore today challenged the U.S. to go from getting more than half its electrical power from greenhouse gas-spewing coal-fired power plants to getting all of it from 100 percent carbon neutral sources in a decade.

July 17, 2008 — David Biello

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