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Articles filed under Science

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  • Will traffic deaths rise as states legalize pot? Sep 1, 2014 4:11 PM
    As states liberalize their marijuana laws, public officials and safety advocates worry that more drivers high on pot will lead to a big increase in traffic deaths. Researchers, though, are divided on the question. Studies of marijuana’s effects show that the drug can slow decision-making, decrease peripheral vision and impede multitasking, all of which are critical driving skills. But unlike with alcohol, drivers high on pot tend to be aware that they are impaired and try to compensate.

     
  • Naperville family helps show that germs travel, and that’s OK Aug 29, 2014 6:02 AM
    Sorry, clean freaks. No matter how well you scrub your home, it’s covered in bacteria from your own body. And if you pack up and move, new research shows, you’ll rapidly transfer your unique microbial fingerprint to the doorknobs, countertops and floors in your new house, too. In fact, researchers who studied seven families in Illinois, Washington and California could easily match up who lived where using their microscopic roommates, almost like CSI for germs.

     
  • New Ebola victims don’t follow profile Aug 22, 2014 5:46 PM
    Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said the two new cases were quarantined two days ago while being tested. They had previously been under surveillance, but their movements were not restricted. Once they showed signs of the disease, they were brought in.

     
  • Dinosaur footprints set for display in Utah Aug 22, 2014 1:45 PM
    Paleontologists believe the tracks were made over several days in what was a shallow lake. They likely became covered by sediment that filled them up quickly enough to preserve them but gently enough not to scour them out.

     
  • Elgin High students join global movement to save trees Aug 15, 2014 12:49 PM
    Elgin High School students will join a global movement to educate people about the importance of saving trees and biodiversity on Aug. 23. Students will conduct ecological educational activities from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., including burning brush piles and dead ash trees and cleaning up the trail that runs along the roughly 40 acres of natural areas adjacent to the school. They also will tie red forestry tape on trees throughout the school property to raise awareness about their ecological impact.

     
  • Mom, son find wooly mammoth tusks 22 years apart Aug 14, 2014 4:15 PM
    On Sunday, Andrew Harrelson, who now lives in Nome, was fishing with his fiancee and two children in the river. He had caught just one coho salmon in two hours so he decided to look for tusks.They arrived at the bend where his mother had found the tusk. Almost immediately, Harrelson saw the base of another tusk, covered by a stump.

     
  • Study questions need for most people to cut salt Aug 13, 2014 7:13 PM
    A large international study questions the conventional wisdom that most people should cut back on salt, suggesting that the amount most folks consume is OK for heart health — and too little may be as bad as too much. The findings came under immediate attack by other scientists.

     
  • ‘Street view’ goes undersea to map reefs, wonders Aug 13, 2014 10:27 AM
    It’s easy to go online and get a 360-degree, ground-level view of almost any street in the United States and throughout the world. Soon, scientists hope people will be able to do the same with coral reefs and other underwater wonders. Some of the rotating and panoramic images will be available online as early as this week, including a selection on Google Maps.

     
  • Images: Supermoon around the world Aug 11, 2014 2:27 PM
    This weekend, the world got to see the superest of all supermoons. The phenomenon will happen three times this year, with Sunday night's sky show the second. The first one occurred on July 12 and the third will take place on Sept. 9. A supermoon is when the moon is its absolute closest to the Earth while also being full.

     
  • Was Ebola reaction too slow? Aug 9, 2014 2:15 PM
    Ghanaian authorities are carrying out tests on the body of a man from Burkina Faso who died near the border between the two West African countries after showing symptoms of Ebola, Accra-based Citi FM reported today, without saying when the man died. Canadian medics are also testing a patient in Ontario who has flu-like symptoms after recently traveling to Africa, health officials said.

     
  • Biggest, brightest supermoon coming Sunday Aug 8, 2014 4:17 PM
    Lunar events should be especially exciting to urbanites. “Normally, when cool stuff is happening in the night sky, we miss it because of the light pollution,” Shawn Domagal-Goldman, research space scientist at NASA Goddard, said. “But there’s no such thing as too much light pollution to see the moon. All you need is nighttime and a clear sky. If you live in a city and want to share in the awe of the cosmos, this is the astronomical event for you.”

     
  • Comet-chasing craft reaches destination after 10-year pursuit Aug 5, 2014 5:25 PM
    The Rosetta mission is the first attempt to orbit and land a probe on a comet. ESA’s first deep-space mission, Giotto, was sent to investigate Halley’s Comet in 1986. The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration has also launched two missions to study comets in the past 20 years.

     
  • 5 things to know about Ebola outbreak Aug 2, 2014 6:48 PM
    The virus was first discovered nearly four decades ago in Congo in a village near the Ebola River. Since then there have been sporadic outbreaks.Five things to know about Ebola and how it is spread:

     
  • Gigantic magnet moved to permanent home at Fermilab Jul 30, 2014 6:48 PM
    The gigantic Muon g-2 electromagnet, which traveled from the East Coast to Fermilab in June 2013, moved into its new building in Batavia on Wednesday. “It's fantastic. The whole crew has been working on this for a very long time and this is the exclamation point,” said Aria Soha, Fermilab installation manager.

     
  • Heads up! Supermoon coming Saturday Jul 11, 2014 5:30 PM
    The full moon on Saturday will appear to be unusually big. In fact, it will be a “supermoon.” That’s the nickname for full moons that happen when our celestial neighbor is relatively close to Earth. That distance varies because the moon follows an elliptical orbit. When it’s close and full, it appears bigger and brighter than normal, although in fact the difference can be hard to detect. If you see Saturday’s moon close to the horizon it may seem huge, but that’s just an illusion caused by its position in the sky. Two other full moons this summer, on Aug. 10 and Sept. 9, are also supermoons. It’s not all that unusual to have a supermoon. There were three in a row last year.

     
  • Forgotten vials of smallpox found in storage room Jul 8, 2014 2:28 PM
    A government scientist cleaning out an old storage room at a research center near Washington made a startling discovery last week — decades-old vials of smallpox packed away and forgotten in a cardboard box. The six glass vials were intact and sealed, and scientists have yet to establish whether the virus is dead or alive, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

     
  • Why we don't see lightning bugs in the suburbs Jul 8, 2014 8:30 AM
    Fireworks, legal and otherwise, lit up our skies for days. But one light is missing, and suburbanites probably share some of the blame. Spring floods, chemicals on yards and outdoor lighting make it tough for lightning bugs to show their stuff. “Chemicals put on the ground kill the lightning bug larvae living in the ground, and also kill the grubs and a lot of the things the lightning bugs eat,” says Jim Louderman of the Field Museum.

     
  • NASA launches satellite to study carbon dioxide in atmosphere Jul 2, 2014 10:20 AM
    A rocket carrying a NASA satellite lit up the pre-dawn skies Wednesday on a mission to track atmospheric carbon dioxide, the chief culprit behind global warming. The Delta 2 rocket blasted off from California at 2:56 a.m. and released the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 satellite in low-Earth orbit 56 minutes later, bringing relief to mission officials who lost a similar spacecraft five years ago.

     
  • Bigfoot hair samples mostly from bears, wolves Jul 2, 2014 8:45 AM
    DNA testing is taking a bite out of the Bigfoot legend. After scientists analyzed more than 30 hair samples reportedly left behind by Bigfoot and similar mythical beasts like the Himalayan Yeti, they found all of them came from more mundane creatures like bears, wolves, cows and raccoons.

     
  • Scientists withdraw claim about making stem cells Jul 2, 2014 10:12 AM
    Scientists who reported that they’d found a startlingly simple way to make stem cells withdrew that claim Wednesday, admitting to “extensive” errors in the research. In two papers published in January in the journal Nature, the researchers said that they’d been able to transform ordinary mouse cells into versatile stem cells by exposing them to a mildly acidic environment.

     
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