Skip navigation.

Science News

The answer you entered to the math problem is incorrect.

Americans underestimate risks of driving on summer holidays and rural roads

Scientific American Online - Fri, 2010-07-02 17:00

Each year, Independence Day arrives with an array of festivities that make us vulnerable to a number of potential hazards: bug bites, burns from backyard grills, food poisoning from cookouts, and injuries from fireworks . But driving? The thought of possibly getting in a car accident at this time of year probably doesn't even cross your mind. If you're like most Americans, you don't get white-knuckled behind the wheel until faced with a drive in wintry whiteout conditions.

In fact, a recent survey of more than 1,200 U.S. drivers conducted by the University of Minnesota's Center for Excellence in Rural Safety (CERS) showed that 83 percent think winter is "the most dangerous season to be driving on rural roadways." By contrast, only 8 percent of survey takers chose summer as the most dangerous driving period.

Categories: Science News

Special Report: Should BP nuke its leaking well?

Scientific American Online - Fri, 2010-07-02 16:22

By Nastassia Astrasheuskaya, Ben Judah, Alina Selyukh

MOSCOW/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - His face wracked by age and his voice rasping after decades of chain-smoking coarse tobacco, the former long-time Russian Minister of nuclear energy and veteran Soviet physicist Viktor Mikhailov knows just how to fix BP's oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

Categories: Science News

"Science wants this": A portrait of crew life on an expedition to study Humboldt squid

Scientific American Online - Fri, 2010-07-02 15:30

Editor's Note: Julie Huang is an undergraduate geophysics major at the University of Chicago. She is working as a summer intern with the Stramski lab at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif., and is currently onboard the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System research vessel New Horizon . This is her first experience at sea on a research vessel. She interviewed the scientists and crew onboard for this entry, which is a follow-on to the blog posts of marine biologist William Gilly , who wrote several entries about his recent expedition to study Humboldt squid on the New Horizon in the Gulf of California.

I wake up at six-thirty in the morning to the smell of frying bacon. I would venture to say that a lot of people probably wouldn't want to be up at this time of day, but I happily get up to brush my teeth with great anticipation. One would hardly expect it, but one of the best things about this cruise is the food. There are two cooks on board, and they are amazing. What I find particularly impressive is that everything is made from scratch. Nearly every meal has a theme; breakfast this morning was Mexican. They had small tortillas, large tortillas, eggs scrambled with strips of green and red bell peppers, mixed with ground beef, and topped with a melted layer of two types of cheese. They also had quesadillas and regular scrambled eggs, for those of us who don't eat meat, myself included--and of course salsa. There is always fresh fruit available at breakfast too, like papaya, mango, grapefruit halves, cantaloupe, honeydew, bananas and pineapple. At lunch one finds crisp fresh salad with romaine lettuce, tomato slices, cucumber, onions, and olives, pickle spears, feta cheese, and jalapeno peppers on the side, not to mention three types of dressing. And there are other "regular" items, like flour-dusted dinner rolls (with whipped butter available for spreading if one is so inclined) and sweet corn on the cob. I'm sure there are items I'm forgetting too, like the cottage cheese at breakfast.

Categories: Science News

Ostriches Offer Clues to Dinosaur Motion

Scientific American Online - Fri, 2010-07-02 15:23

Sometimes it seems there’s only so much we can learn about dinosaurs. We can’t know what their coloration looked like, we can’t watch them interact with each other. We can only extrapolate from their remains. But now scientists say we can discern a hint of dinosaur movement – from ostriches.

The giant, flightless birds still have feathered forelimbs that scientists assumed were now solely used for display and temperature regulation. But researchers from Germany and Belgium carefully observed hand-raised ostriches, and modeled their movement in the surrounding air streams. They found that far from being useless in movement, the leftover wings help ostriches break quickly, turn, and zig-zag. The scientists [Nina Schaller et al.] presented their findings at the Society for Experimental Biology’s annual conference in Prague.

Categories: Science News

MIND Reviews: The Emperor's New Drugs

Scientific American Online - Fri, 2010-07-02 14:00

The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth by Irving Kirsch. Basic Books, 2010

Categories: Science News

Readers Respond on "Reform or Re-Reform?"

Scientific American Online - Fri, 2010-07-02 13:00

Reform or Re-reform? In “ Numbers War ” [News Scan], Linda Baker’s treatment of our inquiry-based Discovering Mathematics series is filled with errors and naive claims. For instance, there was no “three-year pilot” of our texts, contrary to what Baker reported. The article repeats many unfounded criticisms of reform in mathematics education. For one, Baker describes the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) document as a volley in the war, although it is actually an effort to bring coherence and conceptual clarity to the most important topics in high school mathematics. She claims that NCTM reform “reshaped a generation of instruction,” when, in fact, few students have had a real opportunity to try a fully committed inquiry-based curriculum as envisioned by the NCTM.

Categories: Science News

New U.S. commander pushes faltering Afghan war effort

Reuters - Fri, 2010-07-02 12:40
KABUL (Reuters) - The United States' top field commander arrived in Afghanistan on Friday to take charge of the faltering war, pledging to tackle the nine-year-old Taliban insurgency with a strategy he successfully pioneered in Iraq.

Categories: Science News

Hair-strands record travels

Science A GoGo - Fri, 2010-07-02 11:10
Scientists can now identify the geographic locations you have visited by measuring the chemical traces in your hair strands left by the food and beverages you consume...
Categories: Science News

Fence-mending on agenda for Obama-Netanyahu talks

Reuters - Fri, 2010-07-02 10:07
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is looking forward to a warmer White House welcome from President Barack Obama next week after their relationship hit a lowpoint over Jewish settlement policy.

Categories: Science News

Australia strikes compromise tax deal with miners

Reuters - Fri, 2010-07-02 06:46
CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australia ended a damaging dispute with global miners on Friday by dumping its planned "super profits" tax for a lower resources rent tax backed by big miners, clearing a major hurdle to calling an early election.

Categories: Science News

Oil invades more wetlands as surf pounds Gulf coast

Scientific American Online - Fri, 2010-07-02 05:29

By Kristen Hays

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Tropical storm Alex slowed oil spill clean-up and containment work in the Gulf of Mexico and drove more petroleum into fragile Gulf wetlands and beaches on Thursday, with any permanent fix to BP Plc's ruptured deep-sea well still several weeks away.

Categories: Science News

Weak private hiring in June shows tepid U.S. recovery

Reuters - Fri, 2010-07-02 05:22
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. private payrolls rose only modestly in June and overall employment fell for the first time this year as thousands of temporary census jobs ended, indicating the economic recovery is failing to pick up steam.

Categories: Science News

Chronic fatigue findings were held back

Scientific American Online - Fri, 2010-07-02 05:14

By Heidi Ledford

A key study on chronic fatigue syndrome was delayed from publication after officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Ga., learned of a conflicting report published by other government agencies.

The paper, which was published online July 2 by the journal Retrovirology, finds no evidence of a controversial link between the xenotropic murine leukaemia virus (XMRV) and chronic fatigue syndrome. [More]

Categories: Science News

House approves money for Afghan surge

Reuters - Fri, 2010-07-02 03:37
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The House of Representatives approved funds on Thursday to pay for President Barack Obama's Afghanistan troop increase but also voted to signal growing unhappiness with the war among his fellow Democrats.

Categories: Science News

Hillary Clinton tells Ukraine door to NATO open

Reuters - Fri, 2010-07-02 02:24
KIEV (Reuters) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Ukraine on Friday that the door to joining NATO remained open even though its new leadership has abandoned alliance membership as a long-term goal.

Categories: Science News

Toyota recalling 270,000 cars that may stall

Reuters - Fri, 2010-07-02 00:51
DETROIT (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp said on Friday it would recall 270,000 of its luxury Lexus models and Toyota Crown sedans for the chance that faulty valve springs may cause engine stalling.

Categories: Science News

Four supervisors charged in 2006 Massey mine fire

Reuters - Fri, 2010-07-02 00:34
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Prosecutors charged four mine supervisors on Thursday in a case stemming from a 2006 fire at a coal mine run by a unit of Massey Energy, the owner of a West Virginia mine where an April explosion killed 29 miners.

Categories: Science News

Gulf oil cleanup resumes, new drilling rules awaited

Reuters - Fri, 2010-07-02 00:27
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Washington was preparing a revised offshore oil drilling moratorium and cleanup efforts in the Gulf of Mexico returned to normal on Friday after hurricane Alex passed through the region without doing major damage.

Categories: Science News

Obama says new U.S. sanctions on Iran toughest ever

Reuters - Fri, 2010-07-02 00:06
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama signed into law on Thursday far-reaching new sanctions on Iran that aim to squeeze the Islamic Republic's fuel imports and deepen its international isolation.

Categories: Science News

Tapping the crowd for technologies

Scientific American Online - Thu, 2010-07-01 23:56

By Amanda Mascarelli

With efforts to cap, contain and disperse the Deepwater Horizon spill failing to keep pace with the continuing gush of oil, a technical fix is desperately needed. [More]

Categories: Science News
Syndicate content