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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

Chase terrorists the green way: 24 TV series going carbon neutral

Actor Kiefer Sutherland is fighting imaginary terrorists the green way. Producers of 24 , the FOX drama that chronicles Sutherland's Agent Jack Bauer as he races to capture crooks over a nail-biting 24-hour period, are buying carbon offsets to compensate for the global warming emissions they're releasing with every car crash and explosion...

March 3, 2009 — Jordan Lite

Can the science of biogeography find Osama bin Laden?

Osama bin Laden, the FBI's most wanted terrorist, has proved an extremely elusive quarry. Could biology and geography help crack the case—and net the man with a $25-million bounty on his head for plotting numerous terrorist strikes?...

March 2, 2009 — John Matson

Are greener gadgets even possible?

The urge to buy the latest gadget and to reform environmental misbehavior may be the twin pillars of 21st century American youth culture, but can the two ever be reconciled?

March 2, 2009 — David Biello

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