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Drill, baby, drill: Our first core samples

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 4, 2009 — Katrina Edwards

What's "surprising" about HIV in 50-somethings?

The amount of HIV infection among people over 50 is “surprisingly high,” World Health Organization (WHO) officials say, and despite much speculation about why, there’s little definitive information that might shed light on the trend...

March 3, 2009 — Jordan Lite

New Koobface worm lets hackers play tricks on Facebook, MySpace members

Is there a new generation of the so-called "Koobface" worm that's been plaguing social networking sites?

Apparently so. Rik Ferguson, a researcher with computer security software maker Trend Micro, earlier this week reported on the company's Web site that he had found a new variant of Koobface, which first surfaced in December, after investigating a Facebook message he received that appeared to have come from someone on his friends list and directed him to a spoofed YouTube site...

March 3, 2009 — Larry Greenemeier

What's the best Rx for lower-back pain?

Suffer from inexplicable lower-back pain? Exercise may be the best way to keep it away, according to a new analysis of remedies, including workouts, shoe inserts and support belts. 

"We did an evaluation of high quality studies on the prevention of back problem episodes in adults [and] found that, surprisingly, exercise is the only intervention that works, and other popular interventions don't work," says Stanley Bigos, emeritus professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle, and lead author of the analysis published recently in The Spine Journal ...

March 3, 2009 — Coco Ballantyne

Confirmation of top U.S. science adviser picks on hold

Senate confirmation of two of President Obama's science appointees —John Holdren to lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Jane Lubchenco to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) — is on hold because of political maneuvering on an unrelated issue...

March 3, 2009 — Jordan Lite

How do you build an observatory on the ocean floor?

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 3, 2009 — Katrina Edwards

Square root day, 3/3/09, is upon us

Math lovers and numerologists take note: Today, March 3, 2009, is square root day.

The unofficial holiday comes around but nine times a century, when the numbers of the calendar align so that the month and day are each equal to the square root of the year as expressed in two-digit form...

March 3, 2009 — John Matson

Could the financial crisis mean more danger for elephants?

The number of African elephants ( Loxodonta africana and Loxodonta cyclotis ) poached in Kenya's Tsavo National Park more than doubled last year, from 48 in 2007 to 98 in 2008, according to the Kenya Wildlife Service -- numbers the likes of which have not been seen since the poaching crisis of the 1980s garnered the international support that made a 1989 ban possible...

March 3, 2009 — John Platt

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