Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 9:57 pm
Arctic sea ice has melted dramatically this summer, smashing the previous record. The Arctic has warmed dramatically compared with the rest of the planet, and scientists say that's what's driving this loss of ice.
To be sure, ice on the Arctic Ocean always melts in the summer. Historically, about half of it is gone by mid-September. But this year, three-fourths of the ice has melted away, setting a dramatic new benchmark.
Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 2:11 pm
It was the absence of feathers that got conservation biologist Thor Hanson thinking about the significance of them. Hanson was in Kenya studying the feeding habits of vultures, and he noticed the advantages that vultures had relative to other birds because of their bare, featherless heads.
"Having lost their feathers allows [vultures] to remain much cleaner and more free from bacteria and parasites and disease," Hanson tells Fresh Air contributor Dave Davies.
Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 2:52 pm
It didn't go far, but the NASA rover Curiosity has taken its first test drive on Mars.
"This is how I roll," NASA writes (speaking for Curiosity) with a photo it has released showing the rover's first tracks. "Forward 3 meters, 90 [degree] turn, then back. Electric slide, anyone?"
"We have a fully functioning mobility system," NASA engineer Matt Heverly just told reporters. He said Curiosity ended up moving about 4 1/2 meters during today's test. It also did a full revolution going forward, backed up and did another revolution.
An experimental aircraft that designers hoped would hit 3,600 mph in a test flight over the Pacific on Tuesday "suffered a control failure" and failed in its attempt to go hypersonic, The Associated Press writes.
James Holmes, the former neuroscience student accused of killing 12 people and injuring 58 others in the Colorado movie theater massacre, has been formally charged with 24 counts of murder. The case will likely involve questions about Holmes' psychiatric condition and competency to stand trial.
The universe is being pushed apart at a faster and faster rate. And the culprit? Dark energy. Astrophysicist Adam Riess shared the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for that discovery, and now's your chance to ask him about it--or anything else you've been wondering about the cosmos.
A recently released study says that daydreaming may actually be beneficial to high-level brain activity. WAMC’s Melissa Bunning reports.
Contrary to popular belief, our brains are functioning at higher levels when our minds wander. Dr. Jonathan Schooler of the University of California, Santa Barbara, explains…
Schooler, and Kalina Christoff of the University of British Columbia, took functional magnetic resonance images, or fMRI scans, of subjects as they were instructed to press a button when numbers appeared on a screen.