The Earth’s magnetic field has been declining about 5 percent every 100 years since at least 1840, and possibly even earlier. The dip in strength has spurred worries of an imminent “flip,” a reversal of magnetic polarity that could be catastrophic to our modern technological networks.
But a study released Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences brings some good news. A reversal is not likely in the near future, say Europe ...read more
“This has been my dream for almost 30 years,” says Banerdt.
He was in graduate school in the 1970s when NASA’s Viking landers attempted to collect seismic data from Mars, and was even relying on that data to reveal the thickness of Mars’s crust. Unfortunately, Viking’s seismic results weren’t usable—the seismometer wasn’t placed on the surface of the planet, which rendered its data too noisy.
Since then, Banerdt put in more than a ...read more
The mandible of a victim of the Hiroshima bombing. (Credit: Credit: Sergio Mascarenhas (IFSC-USP))
Before dropping the first nuclear bomb ever used in combat, American scientists studied Japan looking for a target that could maximize damage. Hiroshima’s flat, open landscape caught their eye – it offered little topography that could slow the blast. Then weapons engineers dialed in the bomb’s settings – they wouldn’t need much pressure to level the city’s that ...read more
A photo of Thwaites taken during a reconnaissance flight. (Credit: U.S. National Science Foundation)
An elite team gathered in the United Kingdom on Monday to plot their plan of attack in a daring effort to hold off a global catastrophe. No, it isn’t the latest Avengers flick. This group, roughly 100 strong, consists of some of the world’s top polar scientists. And their quarry is an absolutely massive chunk of ice. They’re calling it the Thwaites Invasion.
Of all the glacier ...read more
I’ve been thinking lately about the question of what leads scientists to choose a discipline. Why does someone end up as a chemist rather than a biologist? A geneticist as opposed to a cognitive neuroscientist?
We might hope that people choose their discipline based on an understanding of what doing research in each discipline involves, but I don’t think this often happens. I know it didn’t happen in my case. Here, then, is how I became a neuroscientist.
As far back as I can r ...read more
Researchers from the University of Sydney had to get creative to see how a toad lungworm alters its host’s behavior. Photo Credit: Patt Finnerty
Parasites are nature’s master puppeteers. Jewel wasps can make cockroaches into docile, edible nannies for their young with just a sting, for example. Some nematodes convince the insects they infect to commit watery suicide because their larvae are aquatic. It’s even thought that Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that ...read more
Platysaurus attenboroughi. (Credit: M. Whiting)
There’s a concept in economics that I’ve always been a bit fascinated by called a Veblen good. The basic idea is: A product or service for which demand goes up the more expensive it gets. It runs totally counter to the normal precepts of economics, but there’s a logic to it.
For some things, works of fine art, say, or luxury cars, it’s not the physical object itself that’s desired, but what it represents. Like N ...read more
Parents may feel guilty when they use television to keep their kids quiet, or give in to a demand for cookies. But most of us are doing a better job than these octopus mothers. Scientists found them clustered on the sea floor, trying to grow their young in a warm bath that will certainly kill babies and moms alike.
The mothers were doomed to begin with. After mating, most female octopuses choose a spot to glue down a batch of eggs. Then they park themselves on top of those e ...read more
My passion, and one of the driving forces of my life, is to help businesses grow and become the sustaining force of the new economy. We innovate relentlessly to ensure that our customers stay ahead of the pack and continue to build their businesses, even in tough economies.