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Dr. Sten Odenwald

BIO

'Captain, There Be Planets Here!'

Dr. Sten Odenwald | November 21, 2014 | Science
About 450 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Taurus, a dense, dark, interstellar cloud has slowly started to reveal its secrets. The addition of new high-resolution data like that for the star HL Tau is at long last allowing astronomers to see the hidden details of planet and disk formation and, from this, create the next-generation physics-based models for how planets form.
World Science Festival

BIO

This Week in Science: Cheating Bankers, November's Freeze, and the Microbiology of Kissing

World Science Festival | November 21, 2014 | Science
Children adopted from China may not remember the language of their birth country, but their brains still respond unconsciously to Chinese more than a decade later.
Wray Herbert

BIO

Hard to Think Straight: Processing Prejudice

Wray Herbert | November 21, 2014 | Science
It seems that when we perceive and process other people with ease, we judge them favorably. When we have difficulty -- for whatever reason -- we judge them negatively.
Quora

BIO

How Does Training Yourself to Be Ambidextrous Affect Your Brain?

Quora | November 21, 2014 | Science
This is an interesting question and there are conflicting theories on whether training ourselves to be ambidextrous has any real benefit. Some researchers even believe it can ultimately cause us harm.
Dan Dumbacher

NASA Is Building a Sustainable 'Highway' for Unprecedented Deep Space Exploration

Dan Dumbacher | November 20, 2014 | Science
In early December, NASA will take an important step into the future with the first flight test of the Orion spacecraft -- the first vehicle in history capable of taking humans to multiple destinations in deep space.
Mario Livio

BIO

The Five-Pointed Star as a Symbol

Mario Livio | November 20, 2014 | Arts
Our understanding of the processes that make real stars shine has not taken anything away from the attraction of the five-pointed star.
Chris Carberry

BIO

Do We Have What It Takes to Explore Space?

Chris Carberry | November 20, 2014 | Science
The recent accidents at Virgin Galactic and Orbital Sciences have stimulated an important discussion not only for space exploration, but also for our national economic future: What level of risk are we willing to accept in order to advance technology and exploration?
Katherine Harmon Courage

BIO

Scientists Spy on Sex Lives of Octopuses

Katherine Harmon Courage | November 19, 2014 | Science
Finding a human mate is difficult enough. We at least, however, have bars and online dating sites. For the octopus, things can be a little more challenging.
Michelle Scalise Sugiyama

BIO

Women and Warfare in Human Evolution

Michelle Scalise Sugiyama | November 19, 2014 | Science
Forager war narratives document an aspect of human experience that has been overlooked in the study of human evolution: the costs that warfare imposed on women. Many of these problems remain with us to this day. Thus, understanding how these problems shaped our past may help us address them in the present.
Wray Herbert

BIO

How Long Will You Live? Ask Your Friends.

Wray Herbert | November 19, 2014 | Science
Character traits are better prognosticators than either intelligence or socioeconomic status, not just for heart attacks but in general for poor health and early death. That's why one psychological scientist turned to friends instead.
Eliot Schrefer

BIO

Resourceful Teens Will Always Find Books To Read

Eliot Schrefer | November 19, 2014 | Books
Calling a book "young adult" is only important in that it can help get a book to the right reader. After that it's a useless abstraction and should be discarded.
Savannah Reich

Before Cousteau

Savannah Reich | November 18, 2014 | Green
The ocean was still a great unknown in the years between the world wars, and some scientists speculated that the bottom was a "dead zone" where the pressure and darkness made life impossible. It was in this atmosphere of total uncertainty that William Beebe and Otis Barton built a hollow steel ball called the Bathysphere.
Anthony D. Barnosky

BIO

Preventing the Sixth Mass Extinction Requires Dealing With Climate Change

Anthony D. Barnosky | November 19, 2014 | Green
Allowing the climate change we're now causing to continue would virtually guarantee that human beings will be the first species in the planet's history bring on a mass extinction of life on Earth.
Eugene Ramos

Sir Isaac Newton and the Inadvertent Feminist

Eugene Ramos | November 21, 2014 | Science
When I wrote Newton's Laws of Emotion, I didn't set out to create Sophia, Sir Isaac Newton's romantic interest in the film, as a role model for girls. But now that I have, I dearly hope that one day if this movie ever makes it to the big screen, a young girl will point at Sophia and say, "I want to be like her."
David J. Eicher

BIO

Beyond a Comet, Pluto Looms

David J. Eicher | November 18, 2014 | Science
On December 6 the New Horizons spacecraft, en route to Pluto and its system of moons since 2006, will come out of hibernation mode. This marks the first step in setting up for the flyby of Pluto and its moons that will occur on July 14, 2015, giving us our first-ever thorough look at what many consider to be the last great frontier of the Solar System.
Phuoc Le, MD

Ebola Fundamentally Alters the Doctor-Patient Relationship

Phuoc Le, MD | November 19, 2014 | World
I arrived in Liberia two weeks ago, and have yet to touch another human being. For months health care workers have been practicing a "no touch" policy on medical provision.
Arianna Huffington

BIO

From Hypnos to the Heavenly Bed: A Brief History of Sleep

Arianna Huffington | November 18, 2014 | Healthy Living
Though the need for sleep has been a constant throughout human history, how we feel about it has gone through dramatic changes over the years. We're now in the process of renewing our estranged relationship, especially as science, in the last two decades or so, has validated much of the ancient wisdom about the importance of sleep. Now that we have the means to get, relative to most of human history, the most unprecedentedly blissful sleep ever, we should allow ourselves to enjoy it. We live in a time in which we're plugged in and hyperconnected, often from the moment we wake up until the instant we drift off. Let's savor and safeguard sleep, not just for its performance benefits but for the special way it allows us to connect with ourselves. During the daytime technology allows us to travel across distance and space, but during the nighttime our dreams allow us to travel across time, spanning and connecting different parts of ourselves, allowing our senses of intuition and wisdom to flourish.
Peter Turchi

How Puzzles Help My Writing

Peter Turchi | November 18, 2014 | Books
An unwritten story isn't quite a puzzle, not at first. There's no picture of the whole, and there are no clear rules to tell me how to finish it. So it's a slow process of trial and error, coupled with bursts of inspiration and invention.
Brynn Tannehill

BIO

Myths About Transition Regrets

Brynn Tannehill | November 18, 2014 | Gay Voices
Recently there has been a spate of blog posts raising the specter of transgender people regretting transitioning. They cite their two favorite studies, without actually looking at what the actual studies said, and drag out some old anecdotes. Let's deconstruct the arguments being trotted out one by one.
Mark Boslough

BIO

NPR Finally Stops Referring to Global Warming Deniers as "Skeptics"

Mark Boslough | November 17, 2014 | Science
What a difference eight years makes. Thank you, NPR, for using the correct word this time. Please make it your policy from now on.
All posts from 11.21.2014 < 11.20.2014