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Looking at lightning's nuts and bolts with X-rays

Researchers say that x-rays may help them predict where lightning will strike by allowing them to view what happens inside bolts as they move. University of Florida and Florida Institute of Technology engineers report in the online edition of Geophysical Research Letters that lightning zaps to the ground in 30- to 160-foot (nine- to 49-meter) stages—emitting x-rays after completing each "step." Understanding how a bolt travels, they say, is crucial in determining where it will strike.

July 17, 2008 — Larry Greenemeier

Happy anniversary, B-2 Stealth Bomber

Nineteen years ago today, the U.S. Air Force flew a B-2 Spirit bomber—better known as the Stealth Bomber—for the first time. The flight came at a cost of billions of dollars, as the sophisticated technology that allows the bomber to evade radar detection required far more development than the Air Force had budgeted.

July 17, 2008 — Ivan Oransky

Bioethicist drops suit against Albany Medical College

Ousted head of the Alden March Bioethics Institute (AMBI) Glenn McGee has agreed to drop his lawsuit against Albany Medical College for allegedly refusing to acknowledge his severance package, following his dismissal two months ago.

July 16, 2008 — Christie Nicholson

Radiohead launches new camera-less video

The Oxfordshire band known for taking digital risks has done it again. 

Last October Radiohead released their album In Rainbows as a digital download with a pay-whatever-you-want price tag.

July 15, 2008 — Christie Nicholson

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

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

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