Sprawling Northwest Wildfire Captur...

Sprawling Northwest Wildfire Captured by Drone Cam

A wildfire is raging in central Washington, and a new video captured by a drone features aerial views of the damage.
Southwest Groundwater Disappearing ...

Southwest Groundwater Disappearing at 'Shocking' Rate

The Colorado River Basin's underground water supplies are shrinking faster than they're being replenished.
Costa Concordia Refloating: Step by...

Costa Concordia Refloating: Step by Step

Watch step by step photos of the refloating of the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner.
Costa Concordia Speeds Toward Genoa...

Costa Concordia Speeds Toward Genoa: Live at the Scene

The Costa Concordia is finally on its way to Genoa.
Massive Ring of Fire Burns in Pacif...

Massive Ring of Fire Burns in Pacific Northwest

About a million acres of the Pacific Northwest are burning right now. Continue reading ?
Is Climate Change Ruining Wine Cork...

Is Climate Change Ruining Wine Corks?

Some experts are worried about wine cork quality, which has been mysteriously in decline for almost 20 years.

Yahoo Science

Bayer says Nexavar fails in breast ...

Bayer says Nexavar fails in breast cancer study

The logo of Germany's largest drugmaker Bayer is pictured in LeverkusenFRANKFURT (Reuters) - German drugmaker Bayer said a Phase III trial of cancer drug Nexavar in patients with advanced breast cancer did not meet its primary endpoint of delaying the progression of the disease. The study, called Resilience, evaluated Nexavar in combination with chemotherapeutic agent capecitabine, in women with HER2-negative breast cancer. Oral drug Nexavar, which Bayer is developing jointly with Amgen, is approved for use against certain types of liver, kidney and thyroid cancer. Study details are expected to be presented at an upcoming scientific conference. ...

Evidence suggests babies in womb st...

Evidence suggests babies in womb start learning earlier than thought: study

"It really pushed the envelope" in terms of how early babies begin to learn, lead researcher Charlene Krueger, associate professor at the University of Florida's College of Nursing, said on Thursday. Krueger had the women repeat three times out loud a set 15-second nursery rhyme, and do it twice a day for six weeks. The fetuses? heart rates were monitored at 32, 33 and 34 weeks as they listened to a recording of a female stranger recite the rhyme. By the 34th week, Krueger said, the heart rates of the tested fetuses showed an overall slight decline while listening to the recording, compared with a control group of fetuses whose heart rates slightly accelerated while listening to a recording of a new nursery rhyme.
Scientists to excavate Wyoming cave...

Scientists to excavate Wyoming cave with trove of Ice Age fossils

Scientists will begin excavation early next week of an ancient Wyoming sinkhole containing a rare bounty of fossil remains of prehistoric animals, such as mammoths and dire wolves, preserved in unusually good condition, researchers said on Thursday.    The two-week dig, set to begin next Monday under the direction of Des Moines University paleontologist Julie Meachen, marks the first exploration of Natural Trap Cave in north-central Wyoming since its initial discovery in the 1970s.
Researchers practice living on Mars...

Researchers practice living on Mars - without leaving Earth

For the most part, expedition leader Casey Stedman and his five crewmates have stayed inside their 1,000-square foot (93-square meter) solar-powered dome, venturing out only for simulated spacewalks and doing so only when fully attired in mock spacesuits. "I haven?t seen a tree, smelled the rain, heard a bird, or felt wind on my skin in four months,? Stedman wrote in a blog on Instagram. Stedman is a U.S. Air Force Reserve officer, graduate student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide. ?We are simulating a long-duration mission on Mars, with a focus on crew psychology in isolation,? the crew said during an online interview with Reddit on Sunday.
Keryx drug improves phosphorus, iro...

Keryx drug improves phosphorus, iron in kidney patients: trial

(Reuters) - A pivotal trial of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc's experimental drug Zerenex showed that it improved levels of serum phosphorus and iron in patients on kidney dialysis, according to results published on Thursday. The trial involved 441 patients, according to the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, which published the results. Over the four-week efficacy assessment period, mean serum phosphorus for Zerenex patients dropped by 2.2 milligrams per deciliter compared with placebo patients, the trial showed. Most patients with kidney disease that requires dialysis need chronic treatment with phosphate-binding agents to lower and maintain serum phosphorus at acceptable levels.
Tonga May Have Been a Vast Seafarin...

Tonga May Have Been a Vast Seafaring Empire

Tonga May Have Been a Vast Seafaring EmpireThe seafaring empire of Tonga in the South Pacific Ocean once spanned more than a thousand miles, serving as the hub through which distant settlements exchanged artifacts and ideas, researchers say. Beginning about 800 years ago, a powerful chiefdom arose in Tonga, unique in Oceania ? that is, the islands of the South Pacific ? in how it successfully united an entire archipelago of islands. "How much voyaging and interaction occurred in the prehistoric Pacific has been debated for centuries," said lead study author Geoffrey Clark, an archaeologist at the Australian National University in Canberra. To learn more about the extent of Tonga's empire, scientists chemically analyzed nearly 200 stone tools excavated from the centers of its leaders, especially artifacts from the royal tombs on Tongatapu, the main island of Tonga.

Bose sues Beats over headphone pate...

Bose sues Beats over headphone patents

Audio technology veteran Bose Corporation on Friday sued Beats Electronics over patented technology for canceling noise in earphones.
US Congress decriminalizes cellphon...

US Congress decriminalizes cellphone unlocking

US consumers will be allowed to unlock their cellphones and move them to a new carrier under a measure adopted Friday to fix a perceived glitch in copyright law.
Scalping can raise ticket prices

Scalping can raise ticket prices

Scalping gets a bad rap. For years, artists and concert promoters have stigmatized ticket resale as a practice that unfairly hurts their own sales and forces fans to pay exorbitant prices for tickets to sold-out concerts. But is that always true?
Tropical Storm Genevieve forms in E...

Tropical Storm Genevieve forms in Eastern Pacific

The seventh tropical depression of the Eastern Pacific Ocean formed and quickly ramped up to a tropical storm named "Genevieve." NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured an infrared image of the newborn storm being trailed by two other areas of developing low pressure to its east.
Wikipedia blocks 'disruptive' edits...

Wikipedia blocks 'disruptive' edits from US Congress

Wikipedia has blocked editing rights from some computers at the US House of Representatives in response to "disruptive" revisions of the online encyclopedia.
Climate change increases risk of cr...

Climate change increases risk of crop slowdown in next 20 years

The world faces a small but substantially increased risk over the next two decades of a major slowdown in the growth of global crop yields because of climate change, new research finds.


Patterns in Nature?s Networks

Patterns in Nature?s Networks

Science shows it's a small world after all?and nature's networks follow a similar pattern.
Vaccines?Calling the Shots

Vaccines?Calling the Shots

Examine the science behind vaccinations, the return of preventable diseases, and the risks of opting out.
Knotty Thrills

Knotty Thrills

Three physicists untie a 150-year-old tangle of a puzzle.
Sculpting a Young Artist

Sculpting a Young Artist

A city-wide competition shaped the career of the architect behind Florence's famous dome.
Autopsying a Roman Catacomb

Autopsying a Roman Catacomb

Did a lethal plague kill thousands in ancient Rome? Centuries-old DNA may hold the answer.
A Clever Colditz Escape

A Clever Colditz Escape

A chance discover during a game of rugby led Dutch POWs to an ingenious WWII jailbreak.

Scientific American

250-Year-Old Eyewitness Accounts of...

250-Year-Old Eyewitness Accounts of Icier Arctic Attest to Loss of Sea Ice

Centuries-old ships’ logs reveal clues to Arctic warming -- Read more on
Heparin Does Not Reduce Pregnancy C...

Heparin Does Not Reduce Pregnancy Complications, and May Create Some

A commonly used blood thinner does not appear to lower the risk of blood clots or miscarriage during pregnancy -- Read more on
Hit by Climate Change, Dwindling An...

Hit by Climate Change, Dwindling Antarctic Seal Population Grows More Diverse

As sea waters in the South Atlantic warm, the amount of krill available for seals drops, leading to a smaller yet more genetically varied population -- Read more on
Transistor Successor Set to Bring o...

Transistor Successor Set to Bring on "The Machine" Age Soon

A successor to an essential part in today’s computers may arrive in just a few years -- Read more on
Neal F. Lane: “Investments in...

Neal F. Lane: “Investments in Basic Research Are Just That: Investments

Written testimony for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation hearing "The Federal Research Portfolio: Capitalizing on Investments in R&D" held on July 17, 2014 -- Read more on
3 Projects Prove Privacy Is Not Dea...

3 Projects Prove Privacy Is Not Dead

Web and mobile phone users willingly share personal data in exchange for free stuff, but not everyone is ready to throw in the towel on privacy -- Read more on


'Epigenetic' gene tweaks seem to tr...

'Epigenetic' gene tweaks seem to trigger cancer

We now have direct evidence that environmentally driven changes to DNA can trigger tumours. The good news is that these changes are, in theory, reversible
Festival shows the promises and per...

Festival shows the promises and perils of open data

Governments and big businesses want information to be free, but how will it work? A Berlin festival last week cast a friendly but critical eye over the idea
Bloodsuckers fed on dinosaurs 130 m...

Bloodsuckers fed on dinosaurs 130 million years ago

Insect fossils reveal that bugs have been feeding on blood since the early Cretaceous
Don't scrap Europe's chief scientif...

Don't scrap Europe's chief scientific adviser

Groups opposed to genetically modified crops want the European Commission to drop its chief science adviser. Bad idea, says science advocate Síle Lane
Urban growth: bio-bricks offer a wh...

Urban growth: bio-bricks offer a whiff of the future

The latest addition to the New York skyline is more than a smelly oddity: bricks made from corn stalks and mushrooms could be used to build disaster relief shelters
The super-abundant virus controllin...

The super-abundant virus controlling your gut bacteria

A newly discovered virus could lurk in the guts of almost three-quarters of people around the world, possibly influencing how our gut bacteria behave

NY Science

Dot Earth Blog: New Approach to Bei...

Dot Earth Blog: New Approach to Being There: ?Fan-bots? Will Cheer Korean Baseball Team

Cheer on your baseball team through a ?fan-bot? set in the stands as you watch and tweet on your phone.
Audubon Seeks a More Bird-Friendly ...

Audubon Seeks a More Bird-Friendly Design for Vikings? Stadium

The Audubon Society said thousands of birds might die if the design of the new stadium does not include bird-safe glass, but the building authority says it does not have the money.
Dot Earth Blog: The New Oil Patch: ...

Dot Earth Blog: The New Oil Patch: Rail Lines in Albany and Elsewhere

The oil boom in the West is creating traffic jams of oil trains in New York?s Hudson Valley.
Observatory: New Find Hints at More...

Observatory: New Find Hints at More Feathered Dinosaurs

A species with feathers was discovered in Russia. It is the first find of a feathered dinosaur not of the theropod suborder.
Nuclear Plants Should Focus on Risk...

Nuclear Plants Should Focus on Risks Posed by External Events, Study Says

The nuclear power industry is not as prepared for those external events, according to a National Academy of Sciences study ordered by Congress after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan in 2011.
Economic Scene: A Dearth in Innovat...

Economic Scene: A Dearth in Innovation for Key Drugs

While researchers pursue high-cost remedies for rare ailments, development of broadly useful drugs like antibiotics is lagging.

Science Daily

New brain pathways for understandin...

New brain pathways for understanding type 2 diabetes and obesity uncovered

Researchers have identified neural pathways that increase understanding of how the brain regulates body weight, energy expenditure, and blood glucose levels ? a discovery that can lead to new therapies for treating Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Scalping can raise ticket prices

Scalping can raise ticket prices

A new study finds that resale markets like Craigslist can add value to tickets sold by concert venues and Ticketmaster.
New EMS system dramatically improve...

New EMS system dramatically improves survival from cardiac arrest

A new emergency medicine system that sent patients to designated cardiac receiving centers dramatically increased the survival rate of victims of sudden cardiac arrest in Arizona, according to a study. Under the study, 31 hospitals, serving about 80 percent of the state's population, were designated as cardiac receiving centers between December 2007 and November 2010. Approximately 55 emergency medicine service agencies also participated in the study.
Designer potatoes on the menu to bo...

Designer potatoes on the menu to boost consumption

A decline in overall potato consumption has breeders working on ?designer? spuds that meet the time constraints and unique tastes of a younger generation.
Slow walking speed, memory complain...

Slow walking speed, memory complaints can predict dementia

A study involving nearly 27,000 older adults on five continents found that nearly 1 in 10 met criteria for pre-dementia based on a simple test that measures how fast people walk and whether they have cognitive complaints. People who tested positive for pre-dementia were twice as likely as others to develop dementia within 12 years.
Anti-inflammatory drug can prevent ...

Anti-inflammatory drug can prevent neuron loss in Parkinson's model

An experimental anti-inflammatory drug can protect vulnerable neurons and reduce motor deficits in a rat model of Parkinson's disease, a study has shown. The findings demonstrate that the drug, called XPro1595, can reach the brain at sufficient levels and have beneficial effects when administered by subcutaneous injection, like an insulin shot. Previous studies of XPro1595 in animals tested more invasive modes of delivery, such as direct injection into the brain.

Eureka Alert

Scalping can raise ticket prices

Scalping can raise ticket prices

(USC Marshall School of Business) A new study by Victor Bennett, assistant professor of management and organization at the USC Marshall School of Business, along with colleagues at New York University and the Harvard Business School, finds that resale markets like Craigslist can add value to tickets sold by concert venues and Ticketmaster.
UT Arlington geophysicist awarded f...

UT Arlington geophysicist awarded federal funds to study rock dynamics

(University of Texas at Arlington) W. Ashley Griffith, an assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, said the new research could give the Army information on how to address hardened and deeply buried targets, but the results could also easily be applied to improving civil engineering methods. The new grant also relates to Griffith's ongoing research using the latest technology to explore the science of earthquakes and a phenomenon in rocks known as 'rate-strengthening.'
ASA launches national Perioperative...

ASA launches national Perioperative Surgical Home learning collaborative

(American Society of Anesthesiologists) The American Society of Anesthesiologists® (ASA®) today announced the launch of its ASA Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH) Learning Collaborative, a national initiative designed to improve the patient experience before, during and after surgery. More than 40 leading health care organizations from across the country will participate in the collaborative, which will convene for the first time at the ASA's PSH Learning Collaborative Launch, July 25-26, in Schaumburg, Ill.
University of Houston researcher pu...

University of Houston researcher publishes textbook on tissue engineering

(University of Houston) Ravi Birla, associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Houston, has published his first book, 'Introduction to Tissue Engineering: Applications and Challenges.' The book offers a comprehensive guide to entering the field of artificial organ development.
New licensing agreement could impro...

New licensing agreement could improve treatment options for children living with HIV

(Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation) The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation applauds the new licensing agreement between the Medicines Patent Pool and Gilead Sciences, Inc. to improve access to tenofovir alafenamide fumarate, a promising new HIV medication. The agreement was announced during the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia. While tenofovir alafenamide fumarate is still in Phase III clinical trials, early data suggests it could be a key ingredient in the next generation of first-line fixed-dose treatment options for children living with HIV.
Is Europe putting cancer research a...

Is Europe putting cancer research at risk?

(European Society for Medical Oncology) The European Society for Medical Oncology has expressed concern that the proposed EU General Data Protection Regulation could make cancer research impossible and add a significant burden to both doctors and cancer patients.


Fri 25 July 2014 - Daily round-up o...

Fri 25 July 2014 - Daily round-up of the world's weird news

Police investigate creepy doorstep dolls, doctors remove 232 teeth from boy's mouth, Jesus takes the wheel and runs over motorcyclist
Wed 23 July 2014 - Daily round-up o...

Wed 23 July 2014 - Daily round-up of the world's weird news

George Harrison memorial tree killed by beetles, Cornwall struck by Cornwall-shaped lightning, worshipper plucks out eyes during mass, New Age guru's racist rant
Mon 21 July 2014 - Daily round-up o...

Mon 21 July 2014 - Daily round-up of the world's weird news

Jeans designed by lions and tigers, body mistaken for mannequin, "Intersex" fish found in Delaware River, Russians attack Marvel's Avengers for "inciting violence and cruelty"
Fri 18 July 2014 - Daily round-up o...

Fri 18 July 2014 - Daily round-up of the world's weird news

Siberia's mystery crater, world's oldest cat, electron-eating bacteria, thieves steal railway, man stabs watermelon "in passive-aggressive manner"
Tue 15 July 2014 - Daily round-up o...

Tue 15 July 2014 - Daily round-up of the world's weird news

Year's first crop circles, world's oldest ham, 67 giant snails seized at airport, wife stabs husband with squirrel and health benefits of smelly farts
Fri 11 July 2014 - Daily round-up o...

Fri 11 July 2014 - Daily round-up of the world's weird news

Call-up for 14,000 dead men, shortbread thieves scuppered, petanque death threats, incredibly nice pilot buys pizzas for planeload of stranded passengers


The Most Embarrassing Moments in th...

The Most Embarrassing Moments in the History of Science

What? Scientists get things wrong? We know. It?s shocking to hear, but science isn?t always an exact science. Mistakes do happen -- and they often lead to great scientific discoveries. So, grab your safety glasses and see if you can identify the most embarrassing scientific moments ever.
10 Completely False ?Facts? Everyon...

10 Completely False ?Facts? Everyone Knows

The blood in your veins is blue. Glass is a slow-moving liquid. If you touch a baby bird, its mother will abandon it. Not so fast ?- if you learned any of those "facts" in school, what you learned was wrong.
Flight Pictures

Flight Pictures

Flight pictures show photos from aviation history. Take a look at pictures of the most important aircraft in history.
How the Electoral College Works

How the Electoral College Works

The Electoral College is not an Ivy League school. Rather, it's a process for selecting the next U.S. president that actually carries more weight than the popular vote. Why is it there and should it be continued?
What is a Nor'easter?

What is a Nor'easter?

Nor'easters typically affect the east coast of the United States during the winter season. What exactly are Nor'easters, though, and how do they form. Find out the answer to this question in this article from HowStuffWorks.


Woman starts speaking in past-life ...

Woman starts speaking in past-life language

A woman in India suddenly started speaking in a form of Bengali that was used over 150 years ago. In a baffling case from the 1970s, reincarnation res...
Less than 10% of our DNA has functi...

Less than 10% of our DNA has functional role

Scientists now believe that over 90% of our DNA may be little more than 'biological baggage.' There is a common myth that we only use 10% of our brain...
San Clemente mystery dolls case sol...

San Clemente mystery dolls case solved

Police officers had been called in to investigate after strange dolls started appearing on doorsteps. Residents were left baffled and concerned when t...
Tyrannosaurus rex may have hunted i...

Tyrannosaurus rex may have hunted in packs

New fossil evidence unearthed in Canada suggests that the meat-eating behemoth may not have hunted alone. If the sight of one Tyrannosaurus rex chargi...
Crowdsourcing the hunt for alien ar...

Crowdsourcing the hunt for alien artifacts

A future initiative could enable thousands to scan images of the moon for signs of anomalous objects. The plan, which is being championed by SETI rese...
Boy has 232 teeth removed during su...

Boy has 232 teeth removed during surgery

A rare medical condition saw a 17-year-old develop large numbers of teeth around a benign tumor. The parents of Aashiq Gawai became concerned four mon...


Kickstart A Sci-Fi Theater Festival

Kickstart A Sci-Fi Theater Festival

Sci-Fest poster: Image of robot hand holding robot head
Alas, Poor Yorickbot
Sci-Fest hopes to bring original science fiction one-act plays to the Los Angeles stage.
Courtesy David Dean Bottrell

Science fiction is defined by pushing boundaries--of inner and outer space, as well as time and imagination?which is what makes it great for the theater, according to actor David Dean Bottrell. ?Stage is such a unique medium,? he states in email, ?because the audience is a participant in the proceedings.?

Bottrell aims to bring several fantastic stories to a real-time audience this spring in Los Angeles, at a festival of science fiction one-act plays called Sci-Fest.

Hundreds of supporters have pledged $72,895 (at this writing) toward Sci-Fest's ultimate goal of raising $80,000 on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.

By professional theatrical standards it's a modest budget, with most of the money allocated to renting a theater and creating the sets, lighting, special effects, and costumes. ?To our knowledge, a sci-fi short play festival has never been done before,? states Bottrell. ?It just seemed like a challenge worth taking.?

In response to online calls for entries, the fest received over 400 submissions from playwrights around the world, according to Bottrell. The final line-up includes seven original scripts, plus an adaptation of Ursula K. Le Guin's short fiction ?The Wife's Story,? and a revival of Ray Bradbury's ?Kaleidoscope,? about a routine mission gone very wrong for seven astronauts stranded in space. Bottrell notes that Bradbury got there about 50 years before 2013's Oscar-nominated ?Gravity.?

According to Sci-Fest's online materials, over a dozen actors with credits from science fiction and horror TV shows will appear in the productions. L. Scott Caldwell, a Tony-award winning actor best known to genre fans as Rose from ?Lost,? will take the lead in the Le Guin play. Others include Julie McNiven, who played Anna in ?Supernatural?; and Armin Shimerman, who played Quark in ?Star Trek: Deep Space Nine? and Principal Snyder in ?Buffy the Vampire Slayer.? So will Dean Haglund, an actor best known as conspiracy theory enthusiast Langly in "The X-Files,? who is also listed on the fest's advisory board, along with genre icons like Nichelle Nichols and Wil Wheaton, and Jason Weisberger, the publisher of mega-blog BoingBoing.

Science fiction on stage isn't actually such a crazy undertaking: TV and movie classics like ?The Twilight Zone,? ?The X-Files,? and ?Rosemary's Baby,? grab and hold our attention (sometimes over decades of re-viewing) thanks to their big ideas and great characters, realized via good writing, directing, and acting, and less because of flashy special effects. So do recent cult science fiction film hits like ?Pi,? ?Primer,? and ?Moon.?

More pragmatically, with thousands of people turning out for the annual ComicCon geekfests around the country, including many in the costumes of their favorite science fiction, fantasy, horror, anime, and video game characters, it's possible that Sci-Fest is catching a wave. ?We think the growth potential for this festival is huge,? says Bottrell. ?We hope that this is the first of many Sci-Fests to come.?

The fest's Kickstarter campaign ends this Friday, February 28.

Busted: International Narwhal Tusk ...

Busted: International Narwhal Tusk Smuggling Ring

Wikimedia Commons, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Narwhals are just a bit safer today. A multiyear investigation has resulted in arrests connected with illegal transporting of the whale tusks across international borders. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration?s Office of Law Enforcement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Environment Canada worked together to bring down the smuggling ring.

The male narwhal's iconic tusk, which is a canine tooth that extends from the left side of the upper jaw and through the lip, makes the species a target of ivory hunters. On the black market, narwhal tusks can be worth thousands of dollars each, depending on size and quality. The narwhal population is near threatened status due to the whales' inability to respond quickly to changing environments and continued hunting. 

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, dealer Gregory Logan of Alberta, Canada, sold more than 400 narwhal tusks to buyers across the U.S. between 2003 and 2010. He has active arrest warrants in the United States in connection with the case, which has so far seen the arrests of three people accused of illegal trafficking of tusks from Canada to the United States. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, it is illegal to transport, purchase, sell, or export (or offer to do so) any marine mammal or marine mammal product, unless the intention is public display, scientific research, or enhancing the survival of a species.

[NOAA Fisheries

Rising Home Prices Linked To More B...

Rising Home Prices Linked To More Babies

Gregoryj77 via Wikimedia Commons

As housing prices rise, non-owners (e.g. renters) tend to have fewer kids. A new study found that for every $10,000 rise in house prices, the fertility rate of non-owners subsequently drops by 2.4 percent on average, in urban areas throughout the U.S. (Now I have an excuse the next time my parents make insinuations about "grandkids.")

Perhaps unexpectedly, though, the opposite was seen with homeowners, whose fertility goes up with home prices. For every $10,000 increase in housing prices from 1997 to 2006, owners' fertility rates rose on average 5 percent. This is partially explained by the rising equity of the home; though home equity is basically illiquid, one can extract equity from it via loans, like a second mortgage, to help pay for raising a child, the authors write.

The study suggests that "house prices are a relevant factor in a couple's decision to have a baby," which is relatively intuitive, but doesn't appear to have been shown this clearly before. While much more research has examined the link between employment rate and fertility, this research shows there is an even stronger correlation between housing prices and fertility. 

"Rising home values have a negative impact on [non-owner's] birth rates because they represent, on average, the largest component of the cost of raising a child: larger than food, child care, or education," writes Laurent Belsie at the National Bureau of Economic Research. The study was published this month in the Journal of Public Economics. 

The Strange Beauty Of Bioluminescen...

The Strange Beauty Of Bioluminescent Fish

Lantern-mouth Angler
Henry Compton

David McKee, a retired biology professor from Texas A&M University, never got the chance to talk to Henry Compton about his art. Compton, an eccentric marine biologist and local fishing pier manager, passed away the week the two men were supposed to meet. After Compton's death, two cardboard boxes of his belongings ended up in the garage of his sister-in-law, Helen Compton, where they sat for about six months until she gave McKee a call?Helen had organized the unsuccessful meeting, and knew of McKee's interest in Compton's art. 

Those cardboard boxes contained paintings, slides, and texts about bioluminescent fish, which became the focus of McKee's new book, Fire in the Sea. 

"My first impression was 'wow,'" McKee says. "I was already familiar with Compton, and I was thinking, 'here we go again.'" 

The book will be published February 26, 2014.
Fire in the Sea, published by Texas A&M University Press

In his earlier years, Compton worked for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, where he went on some of the first Gulf of Mexico cruises to collect deep sea life from Texas waters. From there, Compton would photograph the specimens, and then paint them into life-like environments. He wrote taxonomical descriptions as well as fanciful and strange narratives to accompany each painting.

"Back in the 1960s, we knew very little about what was in the Gulf of Mexico down at that depth, about a mile below the surface," McKee says. "In addition to the mythical types of stories he tells about the fish, there's the science story, about early deep sea research that was going on."

These paintings and texts eventually ended up in the two boxes that made their way to McKee. Though Compton was a self-taught artist, and perhaps never realized his own artistic talent as such, McKee saw his careful preservation and organization of the art and texts as a clue that he hoped one day to publish the collection.

"I feel like I've given birth, here," Mckee says. "Hank Compton was a borderline genius, and a termendous artist." 

The book, which will be released on Wednesday, includes 59 of these paintings as well as the taxonomy, narratives, and background on the deep sea environment and Compton himself. You can see a sample of these here

Nighttime Smartphone Use Can Sap Ne...

Nighttime Smartphone Use Can Sap Next Day's Energy

Charidy / YouTube

Using your smartphone at night might not be the smartest plan. A pair of studies found that people who used the devices after 9 p.m. were more tired and less engaged at work the next day, even when compared to people who looked at other light-emitting screens like TVs and tablets. People who used their phones got less sleep, in part because becoming re-engaged in work used up time that could have been spent sleeping and also made it more difficult to fall asleep, the studies noted. 

The two studies are published in the May issue of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. They surveyed people from a variety of professions, as noted by Futurity

For the first study, the researchers had 82 upper-level managers complete multiple surveys every day for two weeks. The second study surveyed 161 employees daily in a variety of occupations, including nursing, manufacturing, accounting, and dentistry.

In both cases, those who used smartphones reported feeling less focused and motivated the next day. The results further the "ego-depletion theory" that people have finite levels of self-control to draw from. "The benefit of smartphone use may? be offset by the inability of employees to fully recover from work activities while away from the office,? the scientists wrote. 

There are some ways to minimize problems created by too little sleep, according to the study: "Recent research suggests that the negative effects of insufficient sleep may be mitigated by the strategic use of naps, stimulants (e.g., caffeine), reshuffling important tasks to other people, scheduling breaks, and working in teams."  

Or, just don't look at your phone late at night. Although that's easier said than done.

For more about the latest advances in sleep science and how to get better zzz's, check out Popular Science's March 2014 issue on sleep. 

Scientists Make Largest Quark, Solv...

Scientists Make Largest Quark, Solving A 20-Year Mystery

Fermilab, Reidar Hahn

Top quarks are the heaviest of subatomic particles, and are prime components of all matter--everything from mayonnaise to your big toe. But while they are in virtually everything, they are impossible to isolate from matter under ordinary circumstances. To study them, you need to "make" them by running particles into each other at ultra-high speeds, billions or trillions of times. 

After working at it for nearly 20 years, scientists at the Tevatron particle accelerator at Fermilab have discovered the last as-yet-unproven way of making this quark--and it only took 500 trillion particle collisions to do it. "It's a very rare process... and it's very exciting" to finally witness it, Fermilab physicist Dmitri Denisov told Popular Science.

Under the Standard Model, the theory by which these particles are understood, there should be three ways of producing quarks. The first two had been shown in 1995 and 2008. In the first instance, top quarks were produced by strong nuclear force, by slamming a proton and anti-proton into each other. But in the 2008, and now the 2014 discovery, top quarks were produced in a rare event, via weak nuclear force. The finding helps reinforce the Standard Model, which predicts that quarks can be made by exploiting both types of forces, Denisov said. "It's important that all forces in nature, strong and weak, equally produce the top quark." 

"My prediction is that at some point, knowing how to make this particle will also be useful for something 'next step,' " like perhaps energy production, Denisov speculated. 

The actual particle collisions that made the quark took place prior to Tevatron's closure in 2011, but were only uncovered and announced in a statement today (Feb. 24) after years of analyzing massive amounts of data produced by the accelerator.



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