Remember mad cow disease? In the 1980s, cattle in the U.K. had begun contracting a fatal brain ailment triggered by an infectious protein called a prion.
I was struck today by the juxtaposition of two recent articles here at ScientificAmerican.com. In “Thin Body of Evidence,” John Horgan expresses his skepticism about journalist Gary Taubes’s claims that carbohydrates, not fat, are the cause of obesity, heart disease and other health problems faced by many Americans...
Maybe you've seen the ads—on a billboard, on the subway, on the side of an RV. Maybe you've encountered the believers in person. However you found out, there's a good chance you've heard claims about something big happening Saturday, May 21...
Snakes aren’t just lizards without any legs. But a curious group of long, legless lizards look suspiciously like snakes themselves.
Also known as "worm lizards" (aka amphisbaenians), these small serpentine reptiles have evolved a limb-free body plan and strong heads that are handy for their burrowing lifestyle...
The search for alien civilizations is returning to its roots. In the latest chapter of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, researchers are using the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to check out some of the distant worlds being discovered in droves by NASA's Kepler spacecraft...
Inhaling cigarette smoke or smoggy air is clearly not great for your health. And exposure to various kinds of smoke has been associated with cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis and cataracts...
Editor's Note: This post was intially published May 12 on the World Science Festival's Web site .My dad took a peculiar pleasure in fitting the maximum amount of stuff into the smallest possible space...
Take a look at this map depicting the U.S. at night. What should be immediately obvious is that there are a lot of bright lights exactly where the richest people live: the East Coast megalopolis from Boston through Washington, D.C., Midwestern burgs such as Chicago, Southern cities such as Atlanta and the West Coast conurbation that goes by the name Los Angeles...
Editor's Note: The following blog post first appeared May 15 on the World Science Festival's Web site
Underscoring the importance of encryption in our increasingly data-driven digital lives, this year's World Science Festival features its first-ever session on cryptography, entitled "Keeping Secrets: Cryptography in a Connected World." During this discussion expect a well-rounded panel—including mathematician and computer scientist Brian Snow, scientist/journalist Simon Singh, cryptoanalyst Orr Dunkelman and cryptography researcher Tal Rabin—to break down cryptography, addressing its strengths and weaknesses as well as its impact on security and privacy...
Editor's note: Updated at 12:15 P.M. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER—The space shuttle Endeavour took off on its final flight Monday morning at 8:56 A.M.
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