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The science of smiles

How does your smile rate on a scale of zero to 100? If you worked for Japan's Keihin Electric Express Railway Co., you'd know—on a daily basis.<

July 30, 2009 — Larry Greenemeier

Los Angeles claims a victory in reducing water usage

Stringent water restrictions in Los Angeles, recently enacted in the face of impending shortages, appear to be working. The city's utility reports that June demand dropped by 11 percent from last year's levels to a 32-year low for the month...

July 30, 2009 — John Matson

Colorado power company wants to ratchet up fees on solar freeloaders

As Scientific American’s George Musser knows, installing solar panels on your roof is a lot easier – and cheaper – said than done.  Now, if a Colorado power company has its way, solar aficionados are going to have to start shelling out even more dough to be hooked into the power grid...

July 30, 2009 — Brendan Borrell

A bat that crawls as much as it flies shows ancient lineages

Given fully functional wings, what animal wouldn’t prefer to fly? The lesser short-tailed bat ( Mystacina tuberculata ), as it turns out. The resident of New Zealand proves to be one of only two bats in the world that is just as comfortable scampering on the ground as it is soaring through the sky...

July 30, 2009 — Katherine Harmon

Pregnant women and children first? CDC announces H1N1 vaccine recommendations

Here is who should be first in line this fall when the H1N1 vaccine becomes available, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control announced today: Pregnant women, all children (except those under six months old), teens and young adults up to 24 years old, people with babies under six months old, health care workers and nonelderly adults who have underlying medical conditions...

July 29, 2009 — Katherine Harmon

Komodo dragons? Not in my backyard--Or yours

A plan by the Indonesia Ministry of Forestry to move 10 Komodo dragons ( Varanus komodoensis ) to a breeding facility on Bali has met with protests from two groups of local citizens, neither of which want the lizards moved, but for different reasons.About 2,500 Komodo dragons remain in the wild, according to the ministry, and their numbers are dropping...

July 29, 2009 — John Platt

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