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Ocean turning to acid at lightning speed

Increased carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is making the Pacific coast acidic far more rapidly than previously believed, potentially wreaking havoc for creatures living in it that are unable to tolerate the swiftly changing environment.  

Ecologists at the University of Chicago tracked the acidity of the Pacific off an island close to Washington state over the course of eight years...

November 24, 2008 — Susannah F. Locke

A shoveling scientific community

Editor's Note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the third of her updates on the effort as part of Scientific American.com's In-depth Report on "The Future of the Poles." McMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA--The stereotype of a scientist is a solitary figure in a white lab coat manipulating chemicals alone late in the night.  Supporting this lone crusader for science are legions of others who work to make the laboratory function...

November 24, 2008 — Robin Bell

Troubled waters: striped bass moms pass on harmful pollutants to babies

The striped bass population in San Francisco Bay has been plummeting since the 1970s and now scientists know why: fish moms are passing down damaging pollutants in the water to their young, according to a new study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ...

November 24, 2008 — Susannah F. Locke

Dead heat: This cemetery's otherworldly energy is solar

Maybe they're trying to bring the dead back to life.

A Spanish town alarmed about climate change has installed solar panels on its mausoleums, turning "a place of perpetual rest into one buzzing with renewable energy," the Associated Press reports with mirth...

November 24, 2008 — Jordan Lite

Obama cell phone snoopers canned

Verizon Wireless has fired employees who peeked at President-elect Barack Obama’s cell phone records, according to published reports.

The staffers were sacked on Friday, an unidentified source told CNN, adding, "we now consider this matter closed.”

It’s unknown how many employees were axed, or exactly what information they accessed, but the source says there's no way they listened to voice mails or read any text messages that Obama sent or received...

November 24, 2008 — Jordan Lite

New computer model gives particle physics another thumbs-up

The Standard Model of particle physics, that old workhorse of a theory, has dodged another bullet. The model lays out the properties of all known elementary particles and describes three of the four fundamental forces that govern nature (gravity is left out—finding a home for it is one of the most pressing problems in physics)...

November 21, 2008 — John Matson

Obama's cell phone hacked, privacy issues murky

Verizon Wireless today apologized to President-elect Barack Obama after discovering that employees had snooped into his cell phone records in the latest example of a VIP’s private information being accessed by nosy staffers...

November 21, 2008 — Jordan Lite

A flight to a continent dressed in white

Editor's Note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the second of her updates on the effort as part of Scientific American.com 's In-Depth Report on "The Future of the Poles." CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND—The flight from the land of green to the land of white may be within our grasp today.  Everything seems to be working.  The van showed up at the allocated time.  The check in process went quickly...

November 21, 2008 — Robin Bell

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