Science

Researchers: Regular bedtimes lead to better behaved kids

Struggling with a difficult kid? You might want to take a hard, honest look at how often he or she actually gets to bed on time. | 10/14/13 17:55:04 By - By DEBORAH NETBURN

Nobel prizes show importance of federal research funding for science

The following editorial appeared in the San Jose Mercury News on Friday, Oct. 11: | 10/14/13 08:15:15 By -

Physical features of Einstein's brain befit a genius for the ages

Albert Einstein had a colossal corpus callosum. And when it comes to this particular piece of neural real estate, it's pretty clear that size matters. | 10/13/13 04:00:00 By - By MELISSA HEALY

If scientists are right about galactic diamonds, Saturn may be Earth's best friend

Diamonds are forever, unless you're on Saturn or Jupiter. | 10/12/13 15:23:45 By - By AMINA KHAN

Einstein's brain a wonder of connectedness

Albert Einstein had a colossal corpus callosum. And when it comes to this particular piece of neural real estate, it's pretty clear that size matters. | 10/11/13 15:16:47 By - By MELISSA HEALY

Einstein's brain a wonder of connectedness

Albert Einstein had a colossal corpus callosum. And when it comes to this particular piece of neural real estate, it's pretty clear that size matters. | 10/11/13 08:11:05 By - By MELISSA HEALY

Nobel Prize in chemistry honors 3 for computer modeling research

As a chemistry professor at the University of Southern California, Arieh Warshel says he sometimes finds it difficult to convince his fellow scientists that computers have a place in experimental fields like his own. | 10/11/13 04:00:00 By - By MONTE MORIN

Getting the point: African elephants understand human gestures

African elephants really get the point - the finger point that is. | 10/10/13 19:40:51 By - By MONTE MORIN

Nobel in chemistry spotlights Israel's brain drain

JERUSALEM - The Nobel Prize in chemistry struck a bittersweet chord in Israel, a mix of pride for home-grown achievement and concern for the future of the nation's higher education and scientific research. | 10/10/13 09:04:27 By - By BATSHEVA SOBELMAN

What makes a Nobel laureate?

Are there any predictors that point to who will win a Nobel Prize? Here's George Beadle's (medicine, 1958) response: "Study diligently. Respect DNA. Don't smoke. Don't drink. Avoid women and politics. That's my formula." | 10/10/13 10:02:56 By - By DAVID PRATT

Scientists report finding gene mutations connected to eating disorders

Scientists have discovered two gene mutations that they believe are associated with an increased risk of eating disorders. | 10/10/13 08:14:40 By - By MARY MACVEAN

2 physicists who theorized existence of 'God particle' win Nobel Prize

They call it the "God particle." It holds the key to humanity's presence on Earth - indeed, to the existence of all the matter in the universe. | 10/10/13 04:00:00 By - By ERYN BROWN

Nobel chemistry prize goes to 3 researchers for work using computer models

When he conceived his prestigious prizes in 1895, Alfred Nobel never imagined the need to honor an unknown field called computer science. | 10/09/13 22:14:28 By - By LISA M. KRIEGER

Chemistry on computers? Nobel Prize goes to scientists who led the way

Professors from the University of Southern California, Stanford and Harvard were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday for their pioneering use of computer modeling programs to help predict complex chemical reactions. | 10/09/13 15:14:28 By - By MONTE MORIN

Study: Tropics will be the first region to be hit hard by global warming

Scientists have determined when the climates of numerous locations around the world will shift to a new, hotter normal as a result of higher greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study released Wednesday in the journal Nature. | 10/09/13 15:14:28 By - By NEELA BANERJEE

Migrating birds fly nonstop for more than six months

Talk about a red-eye flight. After attaching electronic monitors to half a dozen Alpine swifts, researchers say they were shocked to discover that migrating birds flew nonstop for 200 days. | 10/09/13 08:04:27 By - By MONTE MORIN

Dipoto and Scioscia confirm they will return to the Angels

Jerry Dipoto and Mike Scioscia have survived with their jobs, despite a summer of speculation that the Angels' $150 million disappointment would cost at least one of them his position. | 10/09/13 00:04:27 By - By JEFF FLETCHER

Greek scholar invented the term asteroid, researcher reveals

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.-It was hardly the greatest mystery in the cosmos, and solving it won't change the course of science. But a Fort Lauderdale astronomer has cracked a 200-year-old puzzle: Who coined the word "asteroid"? | 10/08/13 19:14:28 By - By ROBERT NOLIN

Higgs boson theorists win Nobel Prize in physics

Nearly 50 years after they proposed identical theories on how subatomic particles acquire mass, two European physicists were awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for their conceptual research into the enigmatic Higgs particle. | 10/08/13 14:54:28 By - By MONTE MORIN

The toothpick is almost 2 million years old, study finds

Say what you will about early Pleistocene man, he sure liked to keep his teeth clean - or at least as clean as he could get them with a toothpick. | 10/08/13 08:09:39 By - By MONTE MORIN

Study: Sexual assault not rare among teens

Nearly 1 in 10 young Americans between ages 14 and 21 acknowledges having perpetrated an act of sexual violence at least once, and 4 percent of a nationally representative sample of American kids reported attempting or completing rape, a new study finds. | 10/07/13 18:34:29 By - By MELISSA HEALY

Cancer society, researchers look back on decades’ worth of progress in fight against cancer

Research on the detection, prevention and treatment of cancer has made substantial progress during the 100 years the American Cancer Society has been in existence. In fact, the society’s hope is that it won’t live to see another 100 years. | 10/07/13 00:00:00 By - By Justine McDaniel

Ability to choose wisely declines with age, study suggests

When it comes to making boneheaded choices, teenagers usually win society's award for overall poor decision-making. | 10/06/13 18:04:28 By - By MONTE MORIN

The Wild West world of open-access journals

A hoax science paper written to expose lazy or unscrupulous academic publishers was accepted for publication by a shocking 157 open-access science journals recently. | 10/04/13 08:12:12 By - By MONTE MORIN

Do we make poorer decisions as we age?

When it comes to making boneheaded choices, teenagers usually win society's award for overall poor decision-making. | 10/04/13 08:12:12 By - By MONTE MORIN

Designer baby patent is 'a serious mistake,' critics charge

What's even more repulsive than the idea of using DNA tests to help people create designer babies? Getting a patent for the idea. | 10/04/13 08:07:01 By - By KAREN KAPLAN

Scientists cleared to work on Mars probe during federal shutdown

Planetary scientists were relieved Thursday after NASA's MAVEN mission to Mars was cleared for liftoff. | 10/03/13 22:12:01 By - By AMINA KHAN

NC science museum announces rare find: a new carnivore species

A group of scientists including a researcher at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences announced a rare find on Thursday: the first new carnivore species in 35 years. | 08/15/13 12:48:58 By - Martha Quillin

Duke researchers move towards preventing epilepsy

Duke University scientists have developed a way to prevent epilepsy in mice, a promising step in the quest to find a preventative treatment for the disease in humans. | 06/20/13 12:31:11 By - Daniel Blustein

UTA team’s genome research with reptiles could yield clues to human health

It would come in handy, it’s safe to say, if humans could freeze nearly solid, or go more than a few short minutes without oxygen, and not suffer catastrophic injury. | 06/14/13 11:44:53 By - Patrick M. Walker

CDC warns about drug-resistant ‘superbug;’ care facilities urged to act

Government officials want the nation’s health care providers to step up efforts to halt the spread of a drug-resistant “nightmare bacteria” that attacks the bloodstream and kills up to half of patients who become infected. | 03/05/13 19:09:35 By - By Tony Pugh

NASA scientist shares Mars Curiosity's discoveries at UC Davis

The Mars Curiosity rover mission has proved a smashing technological success for NASA, with 157 days spent by the rover on Mars providing a wealth of "firsts" and key information about the planet, said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars exploration program. | 01/10/13 06:49:57 By - Edward Ortiz

UNC scientists use virus to deliver genetic material to slow kids' illness

Even if the patients hadn’t been as young as 4 months old, the surgery would have been harrowing: six holes bored into the skull, six tiny tubes inserted directly into targeted parts of the brain, then a solution containing hundreds of millions of viruses pumped in. | 01/09/13 07:14:43 By - Jay Price

Scientists excited by meteorite fragment found in California

The meteorite fragments that crashed down in El Dorado County in April contain some of the best-preserved elements from the dawn of the solar system ever recovered, according to a new study. | 12/21/12 07:08:42 By - Matt Weiser

Could nanotechnology pose threat to crops?

Fast-developing know-how makes our khakis resist stains, artificial bones more practical and diesel burn more efficiently. | 11/21/12 07:00:05 By - Scott Canon

Stem cell injections repair damaged heart in University of Miami study

When he was only 43, Peter Harrison had a severe heart attack that left him suffering from the symptoms of a damaged heart: shortness of breath, chest pain and increased risk of another heart attack. An otherwise healthy commercial real estate agent from Key Biscayne, Harrison was in and out of the hospital for 20 years treating his heart condition until last year when doctors at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine injected his heart with stem cells as part of a study. | 11/06/12 06:54:02 By - Anna Edgerton

Mars rover Curiosity checks in from the red planet on Foursquare

The first use of social media from another planet owes its origin not to a human, but to NASA's $2.5 billion Mars Curiosity rover. | 10/09/12 06:48:33 By - Edward Ortiz

Malaria is found in Alaska birds

A new study reports that a form of malaria, generally considered a tropical disease, is being contracted by birds as far north as Fairbanks. | 09/24/12 06:53:10 By - Mike Dunham

Tiny telescope implant in eye helps treat macular degeneration

UC Davis Eye Center surgeons on Tuesday unveiled a new, bionic tool for treating macular degeneration: a miniature telescope, smaller than a pea, that is implanted directly into the eye. | 09/12/12 06:55:19 By - Cynthia H. Craft

Duke study pinpoints breast milk benefit

It’s widely known that human milk makes for healthier infants than formula, but not all of the reasons are clear. Duke University Medical Center researchers may have just found one: Human milk promotes the growth of “biofilms” of beneficial bacteria that line the intestinal tract of healthy babies, helping digestion and the development of the immune system and acting as a barrier to bad germs. | 08/28/12 07:26:13 By - Jay Price

California institute launching trial of cord blood stem cells in autistic children

The Sutter Neuroscience Institute in Sacramento plans to launch groundbreaking research today to discover whether infusing umbilical cord stem cells into the bloodstreams of autistic children will help them overcome debilitating characteristics of the condition. | 08/21/12 14:10:05 By - Cynthia H. Craft

6-ton feathered dinosaurs once flocked in Alaskan Denali region

Therizinosaurs weighed six tons, had a giraffe-length neck, claws like scimitars -- and feathers. Alaska once had a lot of them, said paleontologist Anthony Fiorillo. | 08/21/12 11:54:02 By - Mike Dunham

Study: Fathers can affect baby's health at birth

It’s long been known that the behavior and environment of the mother during pregnancy can affect a newborn’s health.

But new research suggests that a father’s behavior is important, too. | 08/08/12 07:24:11 By - Kerstin Nordstrom

California's Aerojet plays key role in Mars rover's mission

The thunderous applause Sunday night from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena echoed in the halls of Rancho Cordova's Aerojet, which provided key propulsion components for the super-complex rover landing on the surface of Mars. | 08/07/12 06:50:11 By - Mark Glover

NASA aims for Mars rover landing in early August

In the early morning hours of Aug. 6, NASA and space enthusiasts across the world will be able to monitor the Mars landing of the most advanced robot ever to be sent to another world. | 07/16/12 18:36:40 By - By Alex Kane Rudansky

Texas researcher says Higgs boson 'a wonderful confirmation of our current understanding of the universe'

For 17 years, UT Arlington physics researcher Kaushik De has envisioned the day when his work to prove the existence of the Higgs boson would pay off with a discovery. | 07/05/12 07:33:04 By - Patrick M. Walker

Study: Eating disorders found among older women

Fashion magazines show thin young models. An after-school special shows a teen girl suffering with bulimia. We perceive eating disorders as diseases of the young. | 07/05/12 07:21:59 By - Kerstin Nordstrom

Duke engineers improve camera resolution

Have you ever been in the nosebleed section at a basketball game and tried to take a picture of the action? Zoom in on your cellphone and you’ll find that the players are indistinguishable squares, or pixels, that make up any digital image. Soon this may no longer be a problem. | 06/26/12 13:18:23 By - Kerstin Nordstrom

SpaceX prepares to launch on Florida's new Space Coast

Tourists began booking rooms weeks ago, finalizing plans to see what is more than a routine rocket launch from Cape Canaveral. The next chapter in U.S. space exploration should begin in about a week when California-based Space Exploration Technologies — SpaceX for short — expects to become the first private company to send a rocket to the International Space Station. | 05/07/12 06:58:45 By - Tia Mitchell

In hunt for meteorites, scientists employ airship

It's not every day that NASA descends on your backyard, hunting for clues to extraterrestrial life. But that is the drama unfolding this week in and around the community of Lotus, along the south fork of the American River in El Dorado County. Scientists from NASA and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute are hunting for pieces of a meteorite that plunged to Earth on April 22. | 05/04/12 07:00:43 By - Matt Weiser

California's SynGen Inc. gets $5 million to develop stem cell harvesting system

Phil Coelho, president and CEO of SynGen Inc. in midtown Sacramento, is back in the regenerative medicine industry in earnest. | 04/19/12 07:10:21 By - Mark Glover

California study indicates link between autism and obesity

In the scientific hunt for the causes of autism, researchers at UC Davis may have just picked up a new trail: obesity during pregnancy. | 04/09/12 06:39:06 By - Grace Rubenstein

Study: Paying hospitals based on quality didn't cut death rates

Medicare's largest effort to pay hospitals based on how they perform — an inspiration for key parts of the 2010 health care law — did not lead to fewer deaths, a new study has found. | 03/28/12 18:10:00 By - Jordan Rau

Red meat mortality risk study leaves many meat eaters unfazed

Tell people seatbelts save lives and most buckle up. Tell them cigarettes kill and smoking rates go down. But new warnings about red meat don’t seem to cry out with the same urgency. | 03/14/12 06:37:49 By - Donald Bradley

Safety concerns rise as ‘fracking’ grows in Kansas

The national debate over fracking has darkened a good-news story for the country: horizontal multistage hydrofracking has reversed the growth of imported oil and natural gas, created hundreds of thousands of American jobs and, in the case of natural gas, dramatically cut prices. | 03/05/12 14:26:20 By - Dan Voorhis

Program supplying Lorenzo's oil to X-ALD patients faces funding crisis

But for one life-saving difference, 8-year-old Matthew Reimer's after-school routine is similar to that of many boys his age. But in the middle of his routine, the third-grader will drink 15 milliliters of the 44 milliliters he takes every day of Lorenzo's oil — a substance made famous 20 years ago by the Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon movie of the same name. | 02/13/12 07:24:52 By - Eric Adler

Calif. researchers, mountaineer go to Himalayas to study human adaptation to altitude

How did early humans learn to live at the highest altitudes on earth?

That's what Mark Aldenderfer, dean of UC Merced's School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts, is trying to find out. "That's really one of the major questions that lies behind our (research) project," he said. | 02/08/12 13:35:11 By - Yesenia Amaro

'You guys inspire me,' President Obama tells science fair winners

President Barack Obama praised a group of student science fair winners from around the country — including Shree Bose, a senior at Fort Worth Country Day School — in a boost to science education Tuesday at the second annual White House Science Fair. | 02/08/12 07:33:17 By - Maria Recio

The science behind storm chasing

For the last several years, Tim Samaras has led TWISTEX — Tactical Weather Instrument Sampling in/near Tornadoes Experiments — one of three pursuit teams on Discovery Channel's "Storm Chasers." | 02/06/12 12:31:42 By - John Bordsen

Despite new mandate, it's not easy to change medical practices

More than two years ago, studies found that injecting medical cement into compression fractures of the spine produced no better pain relief than "sham" injections. Yet doctors continue to perform the $5,000-plus procedure and most insurers, including Medicare, still cover it. | 01/16/12 14:36:00 By - Julie Appleby

Book examines America's turn from science, warns of danger for democracy

Americans have trouble dealing with science, and one place that's especially obvious is in presidential campaigns, says Shawn Lawrence Otto, who tried, with limited success, to get the candidates to debate scientific questions in the 2008 presidential election. | 12/26/11 13:42:00 By - Renee Schoof

Feeling blue? Blame it on the solstice

You can be excused for feeling a little depressed today and Thursday, even in the midst of the Christmas season. We're near the winter solstice, a time of the year with the least daylight in the Northern Hemisphere. | 12/21/11 07:21:19 By - Steve Lyttle

NIH says it will curtail use of chimpanzees in medical research

The National Institutes of Health said Thursday it would sharply curtail its use of chimpanzees in medical research, saying it would accept the recommendations of an expert panel that said the apes are “not necessary for most biomedical research." | 12/15/11 11:06:41 By - Chris Adams

NASA's Mars mission boosts Aerojet into new era

Aerojet is decades removed from the glory days of the space race of the 1960s, when more than 20,000 employees were aiming for the moon. But the defense and aerospace subsidiary of Rancho Cordova-based GenCorp Inc. is staying busy these days with various projects. Aerojet provided the solid rocket boosters that lifted NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, or MSL for short, at Saturday's start of a 354 million-mile journey to the Red Planet. | 11/29/11 06:48:02 By - Mark Glover

Brain cancer vaccine might turn fatal disease into a chronic condition

When U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy was diagnosed with a glioblastoma of the brain in May 2009, doctors understood there was little chance he could survive it. He died that August. But cancer specialists from the University of Miami Medical School and nine other U.S. institutions are well into clinical experiments aimed at ending the tumor’s fatal reputation. | 11/23/11 06:59:06 By - Fred Tasker

How has climate change impacted California?

The songbirds at the feeder outside your window are not the same as they used to be. The goldfinch, the grosbeak and even the ever-present sparrow are all a little bit bigger. The reason is climate change, according to a new study, which found that 70 bird species, all common to Central California, have evolved a longer wingspan and greater body mass over the past 40 years. | 11/21/11 06:44:11 By - Matt Weiser

Rocket test brings U.S. missions to deep space more likely

America took one big step closer to space travel Wednesday. The J-2X rocket engine, which one day will carry astronauts into deep space was test-fired at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. | 11/10/11 12:33:03 By - Mary Perez

Study finds California science education lacking — and teachers aren't surprised

Forty percent of the California elementary teachers surveyed for the study say they spend 60 minutes or less teaching science each week. The research blames the pressure to score well on standardized tests in English and math for the little time spent teaching science. | 11/06/11 17:42:02 By - Diana Lambert

NASA, seeking place to train for asteroid visit, picks Key West

At 60 feet below the ocean’s surface, alongside coral, fish and a curious goliath grouper, NASA astronauts and scientists spent seven days testing battery-powered jet packs, booms with magnets, robotic arms on one-man subs and other ways to function in zero gravity. | 11/06/11 16:45:26 By - Cammy Clark

Fewer monarch butterflies spotted in Texas this year

It is one of the most amazing migrations in all of the world, not least because the animal making the 3,000-mile journey weighs half a gram and North Texans often see the ancient journey from their back yards and gardens. But, with only isolated sightings, the last few weeks proved disappointing for monarch butterfly watchers in virtually all of Texas. Normally the butterflies' migration from the Red River to the Rio Grande Valley is hailed as one of autumn's great marvels. | 11/03/11 07:34:55 By - Chris Vaughn

NASA astronauts train in Florida Keys for voyage to an asteroid

At 60 feet below the ocean’s surface, alongside coral, fish and a curious goliath grouper, NASA astronauts and scientists spent seven days testing battery-powered jet packs, booms with magnets, robotic arms on one-man subs and other ways to function in zero gravity. The Florida Keys underwater world is helping NASA prepare for humankind’s first trip to an asteroid. | 11/03/11 07:02:34 By - Cammy Clark

Study questions link between fast food and lower-income obesity

Fast food alone cannot be blamed for high obesity rates among people with low incomes, according to a new UC Davis Center for Healthcare Policy and Research study. | 10/28/11 06:41:58 By - Carlos Alcala

Flu vaccinations are less effective for obese patients, study finds

That annual flu shot may be significantly less effective if you're overweight, according to a new study by UNC-Chapel Hill researchers. | 10/25/11 07:12:00 By - Jay Price

Global warming spurs debate over whether U.S. should build new icebreakers

Climate change is melting parts of the ice-locked Northwest Passage. China is building its first modern icebreaker in hopes of staking claims to Arctic waters. Frigid polar regions are opening up to increased shipping traffic, scientific exploration and tourism. | 10/10/11 19:38:17 By - Kyung M. Song

Apple's Steve Jobs dies at age 56

Steve Jobs, who sparked a revolution in the technology industry and then presided over it as Silicon Valley's radiant Sun King, died Wednesday. The incandescent center of a tech universe around which all the other planets revolved, Jobs had a genius for stylish design and a boyish sense of what was "cool." He was 56 when he died, ahead of his time to the very end. | 10/05/11 20:17:23 By - Bruce Newman

New solar system collects energy, rain or shine

Researchers at UC Merced have created a new kind of solar thermal system that generates high temperatures and efficiency levels without having to track the sun. | 09/29/11 18:51:19 By - Yesenia Amaro

Everglades restoration imperiled by monitoring program cuts, experts say

The agencies in charge of restoring the Everglades are set to gut a science program critical to determining whether work they’re doing is helping or hurting plants and animals that live there — from algae that anchors the bottom of the food chain to alligators that feast at its top. | 09/26/11 06:59:37 By - Curtis Morgan

New telescopes in Chile will push astronomy's boundaries

For years, the clear skies above the Atacama Desert have made northern Chile a paradise for astronomers, and the powerful telescopes here have captured some remarkable images from the distant corners of the universe. | 09/19/11 07:03:20 By - Gideon Long

Archeologists uncover mysterious disks in Alaska

Mysterious disks found at an archaeological dig in Northwest Alaska have experts puzzled. The four small pieces, formed from clay, are round and adorned with markings. Two have neatly centered holes. They may be 1,000 years old and, at the moment, what they were used for is anyone's guess. | 09/13/11 06:30:37 By - Mike Dunham

A long mission to ‘Mars’ for Colombian man

After kicking Martian dust off his boots, and turning his back on the Gusev crater, Diego Urbina climbed back into the landing module to begin the long, lonely ride back to earth — sort of. | 09/10/11 07:03:34 By - Jim Wyss

Katia looming, lawmakers fight for 'hurricane hunter' funds

With the cleanup from Hurricane Irene ongoing and Katia looming in the Atlantic Ocean, some lawmakers and top federal scientists are making the case to maintain healthy research budgets that sharpen the accuracy of hurricane forecasts. | 09/01/11 19:04:00 By - Erika Bolstad and Curtis Morgan

Kansas researcher seeks to reduce amputations from battlefield bone breaks

A $1.4 million grant from the Department of Defense for the research and development of a device to stabilize fractures on the battlefield has a lot of commercial potential as well, officials from the National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State University and the Center of Innovation for Biomaterials in Orthopaedic Research said Wednesday. | 09/01/11 07:00:22 By - Jerry Siebenmark

N.C.'s Zinfandel Pharmaceuticals to lead Alzheimer's clinical trials

Zinfandel Pharmaceuticals, a Chapel Hill, N.C., company headed by eminent scientist Allen Roses, has staked out the ambitious goal of revolutionizing the medical community's approach to Alzheimer's disease. | 08/23/11 06:57:53 By - David Ranii

Study: Black scientists receive fewer NIH grants

A University of Kansas researcher found that black scientists were significantly less likely than their white counterparts to receive funding from the National Institutes of Health. Economics professor Donna Ginther analyzed data from 2000 to 2006 for the study paid for by NIH. Results appear in today’s issue of Science. | 08/19/11 07:21:10 By - Mara Rose Williams

Early-onset Alzheimer's affects people in their 50s

Starting in his early 50s, Lou Bordisso Jr. knew something was wrong. One time, he got lost in a Macy's store in San Francisco and couldn't find his way out. Another time, expected in a meeting, he rode confused from floor to floor in one Financial District skyscraper, then the one next door. | 08/18/11 06:45:45 By - Anita Creamer

Hospitals promote bargain CT scans for worried smokers

Trumpeting a landmark study released recently, hospitals around the country have started offering deeply discounted CT scans for smokers who are worried about lung cancer. But some experts question whether the strategy is a marketing ploy that could bring more harm than good. | 08/16/11 15:45:00 By - Phil Galewitz

Will oceans' tides supply endless electricity?

Joshua Myers has been busy putting electrodes on the heads of juvenile salmon, trying to determine how the fish will react to the simulated sound of giant steel and fiberglass turbines, which soon could be submerged in Washington state's Puget Sound. | 08/07/11 00:01:00 By - Rob Hotakainen

Supercomputers may help predict climate changes locally

Even a century ago, scientists working out equations on paper understood that gases in the atmosphere absorbed and emitted energy, keeping Earth from being a ball of ice. Today they use supercomputers to make increasingly refined predictions about how the Earth's climate will change. | 08/03/11 14:23:00 By - Renee Schoof

Egypt's army drives protesters from Cairo square

Hundreds of military policemen and dozens of armed men in civilian clothes drove protesters from Cairo's Tahrir Square on Monday, ripping down tents and smashing signs the protesters had displayed through their weeks of protest. | 08/01/11 16:52:00 By - Mohannad Sabry

Prehistoric 'sea lizard' fossil found in Alaska

A team from the University of Alaska Museum of the North has succeeded in excavating the fossil of a rare, ancient marine reptile from rock that's usually covered by the tide. | 07/28/11 06:31:53 By - Mike Dunham

Meat grown in a petri dish? Missouri researcher explores the possibility

Nicholas Genovese is a lab-coated collection of incongruities. He's being bankrolled by an animal-rights group to make meat. Genovese's work explores a hope to grow muscle meat separate from an animal. It would start in a laboratory and move to a factory. It aims for a world that would leave both meat lover and animal lover with a satisfied burp. | 07/25/11 07:24:08 By - Scott Canon

Potatoes promote weight gain? Spud slander! Idaho says

The humble Idaho potato is marketed as an inexpensive, fat- and cholesterol-free source of potassium and fiber, in addition to being deeply rooted in the country's agricultural economy. | 07/24/11 00:01:00 By - Erika Bolstad

Researchers discover 2 new chemical building blocks of DNA

For decades, biology students have learned their ATGCs — a four-letter alphabet that spells out the four chemical building blocks of DNA: adenosine, thymine, guanine and cytosine. But DNA's alphabet expanded years ago. A fifth chemical building block was discovered in 1948, and a sixth in 2009. | 07/22/11 11:36:17 By - Hellen Chappell

Space Shuttle Atlantis lands and an era in space travel ends

The space shuttle era officially ended early Thursday morning as Atlantis touched down under a cloudless and star-spangled sky at Kennedy Space Center. The safe return of a shuttle and its crew from a dangerous journey is always a cause for celebration but this one — the final landing after 135 missions spanning 30 years — was bittersweet. | 07/21/11 06:42:19 By - Curtis Morgan

Welcome to the armed forces; here's your computer

U.S. military trainees talk to Afghan elders, earn the trust of villagers and roll over Humvees - all without interacting with another person. The use of computer programs to simulate combat situations is growing in the military, despite concerns over their limitations. And as budget cutbacks hit the Defense Department, cheaper computer-training options will only become more attractive. | 07/20/11 16:13:00 By - Michelle Stein

Justice Department retracts court filings that undercut FBI's anthrax case

Rushing into court to undo a major gaffe, Justice Department lawyers defending a civil suit Tuesday retracted statements that seemed to undercut the FBI's finding that a former Army microbiologist mailed the anthrax-filled letters that killed five people in 2001. | 07/19/11 20:20:00 By - Greg Gordon, Mike Wiser and Stephen Engelberg

More older adults living with HIV/AIDS

The miracle of growing old was all but unimaginable for them 30 years ago, at the dawn of the age of AIDS. But today the number of people 50 and older diagnosed with HIV or living with AIDS is booming. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, people who are 50 and older account for more than 15 percent of the nation's new HIV diagnoses. That percentage is expected to double within the next four years, making older adults America's fastest growing HIV demographic. | 07/15/11 06:23:17 By - Anita Creamer

NOAA: U.S. unprepared for changes in Arctic ice

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is being inundated with requests for weather and ice forecasts as well as navigation information about the Arctic, but isn't able to provide all of the information that the Coast Guard, industries and native Alaskans need, NOAA chief Jane Lubchenco said on Monday. | 06/20/11 18:32:00 By - Renee Schoof

N.C. State researchers take lead in Smart Grid development

It takes up enough space to cover a billiards table, but next year it will fit inside a backpack. The electronic contraption, only in its first generation, was named this year by experts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology as one of the 10 most important technology innovations of 2010. The digital transformer will form the electronic guts of the vaunted Smart Grid, the automated power network that is expected to replace nation's aging mechanical power grid in the coming decade. | 06/20/11 07:40:56 By - John Murawski

N.C. State study yields Parkinson's disease clues

A study by researchers at N.C. State University could pave the way for new treatments for Parkinson's disease, a degenerative disorder whose patients suffer from tremors and loss of muscle function. | 06/15/11 07:52:25 By - Helen Chappell

Off-label marketing: How testosterone replacement got big

The question for doctors was simple: When a patient comes in and asks for Viagra, will you first screen for low T - meaning testosterone. The pitch by Solvay Pharmaceuticals Inc. was part of its effort to make its testosterone replacement drug AndroGel "ride (the) coat tails of Viagra." | 06/13/11 17:10:00 By - Chris Adams

Florida Keys volunteers fight to keep stranded pilot whales alive

Since the first plea for help came over a Florida Keys radio station, hundreds of volunteers have worked around the clock to save pilot whales that mysteriously stranded themselves in shallow waters. | 05/24/11 06:54:55 By - Cammy Clark

Adopt a shark program helps fund Miami researcher's work

Here in Florida, you can adopt a highway, a park, a manatee, a tree — donating money and time to make sure the object or creature of your interest receives care and upkeep. And now, you can also adopt a shark. | 05/16/11 06:59:01 By - Susan Cocking

Study: Early HIV treatment slows spread of disease

A multinational study headed by a UNC-Chapel Hill researcher has led to a discovery that could help slow the spread of HIV. Early treatment of heterosexual HIV patients with antiretroviral drugs sharply reduces the chances they will transmit the virus, according to results of the nine-nation study released Thursday. | 05/13/11 07:25:03 By - Jay Price

Republicans push drilling off California coast; Democrats say no

High gas prices have reignited a familiar debate about drilling off California's coast, with everyone playing their usual part and the outcome pretty much predictable. | 05/10/11 18:42:00 By - Michael Doyle

Draft plan to protect California's Delta inadequate, scientists say

An ambitious draft plan to protect California's crucial Bay-Delta region is fragmented, incomplete and hard to understand, a National Academy of Sciences panel warned Thursday. | 05/05/11 13:43:00 By - Michael Doyle

Some lab chimps left with poor health, shortened lives

They've been out of the lab for years, but for many chimpanzees at a federal primate facility in New Mexico, the effects of long-ago medical experimentation can linger till they die. In pursuit of cures for humans, some chimpanzees' lives are cut short. | 04/24/11 00:01:00 By - Chris Adams

As science turns from chimp research, U.S. wants to restart

About 180 chimpanzees at a federal primate facility in the New Mexico desert are at the center of an impassioned debate between the National Institutes of Health and the animal-rights community. The NIH wants to move the chimps away from Alamogordo, where they'll be allowed to be put back into research. Animal-rights activists want them retired to a grassy sanctuary. The use of chimps in research has been a hot-button issue for years. | 04/24/11 00:01:00 By - Chris Adams

Some chimps never recover from stresses of research

The debate about medical testing on chimpanzees often revolves around the physical impact on the chimps — week after week of liver biopsies or year after year of being infected with HIV or hepatitis. But an examination by McClatchy of the chimp-research world found that, in addition to a physical toll, the testing life can have a significant impact on a chimp's mental state. | 04/24/11 00:01:00 By - Chris Adams

Was FBI too quick to judge anthrax suspect the killer?

Scouring the anthrax-laced mail that took five lives and terrorized the East Coast in 2001, laboratory scientists discovered a unique contaminant — a tiny scientific fingerprint that they hoped would help unmask the killer. Yet once FBI agents concluded that the likely culprit was Bruce Ivins, they stopped looking for the contaminant. That decision could reignite the debate over whether its agents found the real killer. | 04/20/11 17:11:00 By - Greg Gordon

Liver cancer treatment may come from California teenager's research

Mira Loma High School's drill team captain is trying to develop a new treatment for liver cancer. Selena Li, 17, has completed research that could offer an alternative to chemotherapy or transplant for liver cancer patients. | 04/15/11 06:46:24 By - Diana Lambert

Pacific salmon may be dying from leukemia-type virus

In Canada's Fraser River, a mysterious illness has killed millions of Pacific salmon, and scientists have a new hypothesis about why: The wild salmon are suffering from viral infections similar to those linked to some forms of leukemia and lymphoma. | 04/14/11 18:26:00 By - Rob Hotakainen

Kentucky miner finds 300 million-year-old shark fossil

On Feb. 24, Jay Wright, 25, a miner for Webster County Coal, noticed something jutting from the roof of the Dotiki Mine, where he was bolting a roof 700 feet underground. Wright had found the 300-million-year-old black jawbone and still-sharp teeth of an Edestus, a prehistoric shark. | 04/11/11 16:52:37 By - Cheryl Truman

Modern-day malady curses ancient mummies

She didn’t smoke. Never ate a double bacon cheeseburger. Never sacked out on the couch watching cable. Yet by the time she reached her early 40s, she was a candidate for a heart attack. That was nearly 3,600 years ago. Atherosclerosis — commonly called hardening of the arteries — was surprisingly widespread in ancient times, at least among the Egyptian mummies examined by an international team of scientists and heart specialists. | 04/04/11 07:15:52 By - Alan Bavley

Congress urged to track cancer clusters better

Activists urged the government Tuesday to let people post and track cancer cases across communities, a public health effort that they say could lead to discoveries of new chemical-related cancer clusters throughout the United States as well as insights into disease management. | 03/29/11 16:27:00 By - Erika Bolstad, Barbara Barrett and Lesley Clark

Texas artifacts indicate earlier human arrival in North America than Clovis people

Archaeologists at a Central Texas site have unearthed artifacts indicating that the first humans arrived in North America roughly 2,500 years earlier than previously thought, raising questions about how they made it to the New World and what route they took. | 03/25/11 07:43:27 By - Bill Hanna

'Extreme supermoon' coming Saturday

It's called an "extreme supermoon" and when it rises in the eastern sky on Saturday, it won't just be full, it also will be making its closest approach to Earth in 18 years. | 03/18/11 07:44:05 By - Ken Kaye

Americans in Japan voice anxiety over nuclear meltdowns

With minor levels of excess radiation detected in Tokyo and at two nearby U.S. military bases, alarm is building among Americans in Japan who fear the Japanese government and the U.S. military are underplaying the threat of contamination from four out-of-control nuclear reactors. | 03/15/11 19:14:00 By - Liz Ruskin and Warren P. Strobel

Crisis at Japanese nuclear complex prompts calls for U.S. review

As Japan copes with one crisis after another at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, a review of federal records indicates that nearly a quarter of America's nuclear reactors in 13 states share the same design of the ill-fated Japanese reactors. | 03/14/11 19:11:00 By - Rob Hotakainen, Renee Schoof and Margaret Talev

Jane Goodall brings conservation message to Texas

Jane Goodall walked quietly among dozens of adoring students Monday at Texas Christian University, posing for pictures and signing autographs as teens pushed closer for a word or a glance. The 76-year-old scientist and conservationist is an unlikely rock star to a generation whose parents were children or not even born when she began her pioneering work with chimpanzees in Tanzania in July 1960. | 03/08/11 07:29:13 By - Shirley Jinkins

Genetically altered salmon spook Northwest lawmakers

Fearing for the wild salmon industry in the Northwest, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state wants to stop the Food and Drug Administration from making a quick decision on whether to approve genetically modified Atlantic salmon for human consumption. | 03/06/11 00:01:00 By - Rob Hotakainen

Arctic oil studies yield discoveries about sea life

Spurred by the rush to develop the Arctic's offshore oil and gas riches, scientists are unlocking some mysteries about the marine environment off Alaska's northern coast. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on the icy Beaufort and Chukchi seas, resulting in major discoveries -- including the existence of commercial fish species such as Pacific cod and walleye pollock in places never before documented. | 03/01/11 06:41:57 By - Elizabeth Bluemink

Ice Age child's remains discovered in Alaska

Fairbanks researchers say they've uncovered the oldest cremated human remains ever discovered in northern North America at a site near the Tanana River in central Alaska. The 3-year-old is only the second Ice Age child discovered on the continent, according to the University of Alaska Fairbanks. | 02/25/11 06:31:21 By - Casey Grove

California scientist adapts wine scanner for Homeland Security use

Scanner technology originally developed at UC Davis to test wine in the bottle is being re-engineered to tell shampoo from explosives at airports. That means travelers could be able to carry soda cans or full-size tubes of toothpaste through security and onto jetliners in the not-too-distant future. The Department of Homeland Security has taken a keen interest in the project, bankrolling it and putting it on a fast track, scientists say. | 02/17/11 06:44:09 By - Hudson Sangree

Patrick Swayze's widow calls for greater focus on pancreatic cancer

The wife of the late actor Patrick Swayze brought star power to a Capitol Hill news conference Wednesday to urge greater attention and federal resources to study pancreatic cancer, the disease that killed her husband in 2009. | 02/16/11 17:14:00 By - Maria Recio

Study: Energy drinks pose risks to kids' health

Energy drinks packed with caffeine and sugar may pose serious health risks to users, especially children, adolescents and young adults, according to a study by the University of Miami School of Medicine published Monday in the online version of Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. | 02/14/11 06:59:34 By - Fred Tasker

Human ancestor Lucy walked like we do, researchers say

Our celebrated ancestor Lucy was no waddling, hunched-over ape-woman who felt more at home in the trees. New research from the University of Missouri in Columbia offers the most conclusive evidence yet that Lucy and her tribe spent their lives on solid ground and walked much as modern humans do — more than 3 million years ago. | 02/11/11 07:13:45 By - Alan Bavley

Study finds oil dispersants lingered deep under Gulf

An active ingredient in the chemical dispersants pumped deep into the Gulf of Mexico after BP's oil spill didn't break down, but remained for several months in a deep layer of oil and gas, according to a study published Wednesday. | 01/26/11 16:43:00 By - Renee Schoof

Virtual world aims to help soldiers with PTSD

Virtual soldiers for years have experienced adrenaline-pumping combat scenes in “Call of Duty” and other video games. Real veterans might want to check out a new Pentagon video game whose main challenge is comfortably navigating a visit to a shopping mall. The Defense Department this week unveiled the “T2 Virtual PTSD Experience,” a project developed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord that lets users explore the causes and symptoms of combat trauma on the battlefield and at home. | 01/25/11 07:37:18 By - Adam Ashton

Don't kiss your pets, California researcher warns

They give you joy. They give you loyalty. They give you sloppy kisses. But before you allow Fido or Fluffy to climb into bed with you at night, as an increasing number of Americans are doing, know that they can also give you something else: a variety of diseases known as zoonoses. | 01/25/11 06:51:14 By - Cynthia Hubert

Tucson shootings reminder of military's role in trauma care

Dr. Peter Rhee, a Navy veteran, spent his life searching for battlefields in a race for the latest developments in trauma care. How Rhee handled the Tucson shooting victims in the first minutes after their arrival at the hospital is the latest installment in the story of the interdependence between the battlefield and the emergency rooms of civilian hospitals throughout America. | 01/14/11 18:03:00 By - Nancy A. Youssef

Horoscope signs realigned by Minnesota astronomer

When astronomers in 2006 declared that Pluto was no longer a planet, the world gasped -- and then obeyed. School textbooks were re-written, and scientific discovery ruled the day. Then this week, a Minnesota astronomy professor took on something even more sacred -- our horoscopes. | 01/14/11 06:56:38 By - Michael Vasquez

Effect of 3-D video games on vision draws scrutiny

In a seeming blink of an eye, 3-D technology has advanced beyond imagination. Hollywood, TV manufacturers and video game makers say you have to see it to believe it. But the visual trickery that produces 3-D images can also lead to headaches, motion sickness and possibly impaired vision. | 01/06/11 06:46:30 By - Bobby Caina Calvan

Sex in space? Tests show human reproduction likely to suffer

Ever dream about a honeymoon in space? You may want to think twice after you hear about Joe Tash’s research. The near-zero gravity of Earth orbit may do serious harm to the male and female reproductive systems, the University of Kansas Medical Center biologist has discovered. | 01/05/11 07:26:18 By - Alan Bavley

Why it's so hard to shed that fat

It seems so simple: Too much food and too little activity make people fat. But the actual processes that create and perpetuate that imbalance are proving to be astoundingly complex. | 01/01/11 14:53:22 By - SARAH AVERY

Will generating ocean energy affect migration of sea creatures?

Scientists believe that sharks, turtles, and a lot of other marine creatures use the earth's magnetic fields to navigate as they migrate from spawning grounds across the open seas and back. And that raises a big question for planners of plants generating electricity from tidal and wave movements: could the electro-magnetic fields that go with power generation affect the internal compasses of sea creatures? | 12/26/10 15:58:00 By - Les Blumenthal

Obama administration issues science guidelines at last

The White House on Friday released its long-delayed scientific integrity guidelines, intended to ban political interference in science. President Barack Obama campaigned on scientific integrity after scientists and others complained that Bush administration officials distorted scientific work. | 12/17/10 18:30:00 By - Renee Schoof

Scientist builds acoustics lab in unused nuclear reactor building

Work ground to a halt on Satsop nuclear reactor building in Washington state more than 25 years ago before it ever produced a kilowatt of electricity. Then along came Ron Sauro, an energetic scientist and entrepreneur who sees opportunity and jobs where others see gloomy concrete rooms and lost dreams of energy too cheap to meter. | 12/17/10 07:42:03 By - John Dodge

HIV patient 'cured' with stem cell procedure

Doctors in Berlin, working with an American patient with both HIV and leukemia, have declared in a peer-reviewed journal that they believe they have cured both illnesses. It would be the first time an HIV patient has been cured. | 12/15/10 06:54:32 By - Fred Tasker

Haiti not the first stop for cholera strain that's killed 2,000

The cholera outbreak ravaging Haiti is part of a worldwide pandemic that began 50 years ago and should be easy to stop — with technology developed in the 1800s. Haiti’s poor sanitation system, however, makes it vulnerable. More than 2,000 people have died and perhaps 100,000 have been sickened by a disease that hasn't been seen in large scale in the United States since the 19th Century. | 12/12/10 23:25:38 By - Frances Robles

Obama decision to close Yucca nuclear dump back in court

The lawsuits had been on hold while the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals waited for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to decide whether DOE had the authority to withdraw its license application for Yucca Mountain. But the NRC hasn't made its decision, so on Friday the court said the lawsuits by the state of Washington and others can go forward. | 12/12/10 21:15:30 By - Annette Cary

Doctors try 'natural killer cells' on liver cancer

They're called "natural killer cells" but they're a part of the human immune system that helps save lives. Now doctors from Miami and Japan have developed new ways to pump up the cells to attack cancer even more aggressively. | 12/10/10 07:06:46 By - Fred Tasker

FBI seeks delay in outside review of its anthrax probe

The FBI has asked the National Academy of Sciences to delay the release of its review of the bureau's highly controversial, seven-year investigation into the deadly 2001 anthrax mail attacks that killed five people and panicked the nation. A New Jersey congressman has called the request "disturbing" and asked the FBI for an explanation. | 12/09/10 20:56:00 By - Greg Gordon

Missouri governor says new coal plant may be state's last

Gov. Jay Nixon flipped the switch Tuesday Kansas City Power & Light's Iatan 2 power plant but opnely wondered if another coal-fired plant would ever be built in the state. The Iatan 2 plant, by slashing emissions of nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide, will be among the cleanest-burning coal-fired power plants in operation, but still a large contributor of global-warming carbon dioxide. | 12/08/10 13:36:16 By - Steve Everly

NASA scientists find microbes with arsenic in their DNA

The NASA announcement created an enormous Internet buzz: The space agency was going to reveal Thursday "an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life." But then the announcement came and it was about . . . bacteria right here on Earth. | 12/03/10 07:09:36 By - Fred Tasker

What's missing in Mexico City? Dirty air

Slowly and steadily, this sprawling city is cleaning up its air. A haze still covers Mexico City, and ozone levels are often unhealthy. But the capital is no longer the smog-choked city of two decades ago, when birds were said to fall from the sky dead. It's been years since teachers kept kids off playgrounds to prevent respiratory illness. | 12/02/10 14:39:00 By - Tim Johnson

S.C. researcher's marijuana studies explore its health impact

Chemical compounds in marijuana can suppress the body’s immune functions — potentially speeding the growth of some cancers but possibly helping in the fight against arthritis, multiple sclerosis or allergies. The good-news, bad-news findings were published in this month’s European Journal of Immunology, based on a study led by University of South Carolina researcher Prakash Nagarkatti. | 12/02/10 12:49:43 By - Joey Holleman

Florida health officials brace for more cholera from Haiti

A woman who returned to Florida's west coast from visiting family in Haiti's disease-stricken Artibonite Valley has become the state's first case of cholera transmitted from the beleaguered country, where the disease has killed more than 1,000, sickened more than 18,000 people and hospitalized more than 9,000. | 11/20/10 15:46:15 By - Fred Tasker

Sweet potato a key ingredient in world malnutrition fight

The sweet potato, that Thanksgiving staple, is starring in a new agricultural revolution that aims not just to produce more food but to create more nutrient-enriched foods that can help save the world's poorest people from blindness, stunted growth and disease. | 11/09/10 16:46:00 By - Renee Schoof

Home fertility detectors may not be reliable, study find

Home fertility tests may not be reliable predictors of a woman's ability to get pregnant, researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill have found. The group, led by Dr. Anne Z. Steiner, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, found that the do-it-yourself kits often indicated women would have difficulties, yet many had no problem conceiving. | 11/04/10 14:23:39 By - Sarah Avery

Rare earthquake in Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta puzzles experts

It was a small earthquake, measuring just 3.1 on the Richter scale, but its location in the heart of California's Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has experts buzzing. No faults are known to exist in that area, where earthquakes are rare. | 10/27/10 06:43:41 By - Matt Weiser

Haiti may be at risk for more earthquakes, scientists say

The January earthquake that left Haiti in ruins and killed more than 200,000 people may not have had been the "big one" and almost certainly wasn't the last one. If anything, the studies published Sunday conclude, Haiti now faces a heightened risk of repeat quakes along the Enriquillo fault — particularly near the heavily damaged, densely populated capital of Port-au-Prince. | 10/24/10 14:28:26 By - Curtis Morgan

Nuclear watchdog groups say corners cut on fire safety

Nuclear watchdog groups say that an internal report by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on fire safety at nuclear plants shows that regulators don't have enough information to know whether its new fire rules will ensure safety. | 10/13/10 19:12:00 By - Renee Schoof

Low vaccination numbers leave Missouri's children vulnerable, experts warn

Missouri has fallen woefully behind the rest of the nation in vaccinating preschool children, which health experts say leaves the state’s children vulnerable to a resurgence of infectious diseases. Just 56.2 percent of Missouri children 19 to 35 months old received all their recommended shots last year, according to new survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. | 10/12/10 07:12:54 By - Alan Bavley

Study: Cancer survivors more likely to suffer memory loss

Cancer survivors have a 40 percent greater chance of suffering memory loss than people who have not had cancer, according to a new national study presented by a University of Miami Miller School of Medicine assistant professor. It's severe enough to interfere with daily functioning, the study said. | 10/12/10 07:00:00 By - Fred Tasker

U.S. coast at risk as tsunami warning system falters

A detection system that was expanded following an Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 230,000 people has experienced significant outages and can no longer be relied on detect the giant waves as they approach the U.S. coastline, a new report finds. | 10/03/10 00:01:00 By - Les Blumenthal

Coast Guard preparing for Cuba oil spills

The new U.S. Coast Guard commander for the southeastern United States said Thursday that his agency is looking "very seriously'' at Cuba's plans to drill for oil and reviewing contingency plans in the event of a spill that could reach the Florida coast. | 09/30/10 18:45:00 By - Lesley Clark

Oh, hail: 7-inch ball of ice believed largest ever in Kansas

With a diameter of 7.75 inches and a circumference of 15.5 inches, the hail stone fell on Wednesday. A task force to confirm the record will be convened next week, the National Weather Service said. | 09/16/10 19:09:59 By - Stan Finger

NOAA head: Scientists' work on Gulf spill far from done

More than a week since a second university research cruise found oil on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Wednesday that teams of academic and federal scientists would make an aggressive effort to search for oil "from the surface to the sea floor." | 09/15/10 19:30:00 By - Renee Schoof

BP investigation cites multiple failures, but not well's design

A BP internal investigation released Wednesday concludes that eight key factors contributed to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, including a poor cement job by Halliburton and the failure by Transocean workers to notice for 40 minutes that oil and gas were gushing into the well. | 09/08/10 19:39:00 By - William Douglas

Weather delays recovery of BP well's blowout preventer

High seas at the site of BP's Deepwater Horizon oil well in the Gulf of Mexico will delay for at least two to three days the recovery of the well's failed blowout preventer, Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Monday. The weather also will push back the completion of a relief well that Allen has said for months is the only way to ensure that the Deepwater Horizon well is sealed permanently. | 08/30/10 13:58:56 By -

Spread of 'didymo' algae perplexes California scientists

On a sunny stretch of the Bear River near Colfax, Calif., the cool water carries a nasty surprise for swimmers and fishermen. About 10 miles of the Bear River is infested with a strange algae called "didymo," short for its scientific name, Didymosphenia geminata. So-called "nuisance blooms" of didymo are being reported with increasing frequency around the world. Experts don't know why, but suspect everything from climate change to a genetic mutation in the algae itself. | 08/30/10 06:36:51 By - Matt Weiser

Study of coal ash sites finds extensive water contamination

A study released on Thursday finds that 39 sites in 21 states where coal-fired power plants dump their coal ash are contaminating water with toxic metals such as arsenic and other pollutants, and that the problem is more extensive than previously estimated. | 08/26/10 17:51:00 By - Renee Schoof

Katrina's toll includes rise in suicide, mental illness

The last five years have been a mental health roller coaster for many among the Mississippi Gulf Coast's post-Hurricane Katrina population. | 08/26/10 00:01:00 By - Pam Firmin

Georgia scientists dispute Obama claim that most oil is gone

Far from gone or dispersed, Univeristy of Georgia scientists said Tuesday that 70 to 79 percent of the more than 4 million barrels of oil that escaped into the Gulf of Mexico from BP's Deepwater Horizon well remains in the water, posing real but still undetermined risks. | 08/17/10 19:58:00 By - Curtis Morgan

Study: BP oil spill has taken heavy toll on Gulf mental health

About 30 percent of Gulf Coast residents are suffering with mental-health issues in the aftermath of the BP oil spill, according to a study by the nonprofit Ochsner Health System in Louisiana. The finding was based on a survey taken among 406 people in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. | 08/16/10 18:01:16 By - Nicole Dow

'Diaphragm pacing system' gives taste, smell back to paralyzed patients

A new breathing device is helping to return the senses of taste and smell back to some paralysis victims. The "diaphragm pacing system" uses tiny steel electrodes implanted in the chest to electronically stimulates the patients diaphragm to contract This pulls air into the lungs through the nose and mouth and lets the patient breathe the way everybody else does. And it returned their senses of taste and smell. | 08/10/10 07:00:07 By - Fred Tasker

BP will try to cement Deepwater Horizon well today

BP said it would begin pouring cement into the Deepwater Horizon well today in a procedure that could lead to the permanent sealing of the well. National Incident Commander Thad Allen gave permission for the process after a day of monitoring the well indicated no problems from the successful "static kill" that used heavy drilling mud to drive the crude oil back into the rock formation from which it had surged 106 days earlier. | 08/04/10 20:48:46 By - Mark Seibel

Scientists cast doubt on claims BP spill's no threat to Gulf

Many scientists say they're skeptical of a widely publicized government report Wednesday that concludes much of the oil that gushed from BP's leaking well is gone and poses little threat to the Gulf of Mexico. | 08/04/10 19:31:00 By - Erika Bolstad, Renee Schoof and Margaret Talev

Driveless cars are no longer science fiction

America's love affair with cars has been going on for more than a century. But if you're one of those people who really hate driving, the future could belong to you. Thanks to advances in sensors, GPS systems, electronic steering and computerized braking, cars have been developed that drive themselves. | 08/03/10 07:19:07 By - Greg Hack

Government defends BP's use of dispersants, but worries linger

The government on Monday defended BP's use of chemicals to disperse millions of gallons of oil in the Gulf of Mexico as the company neared a fix that's expected to kill for good the runaway well that wreaked economic and environmental catastrophe in the region. | 08/02/10 19:17:00 By - Erika Bolstad and Lesley Clark

Nanoparticles to fight breast cancer? A California scientist is working on it

Tiny cancer-fighting agents are poised to play a big role in the future of chemotherapy. The breast cancer foundation Susan G. Komen for the Cure has awarded a UC Davis researcher $450,000 for the development of nanoparticles capable of effectively targeting and destroying tumor cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed. | 08/02/10 06:53:24 By - Lulu Liu

Gulf states now worry about restoring their image

Louisiana fishermen pray their livelihood will return, hoteliers in Alabama wait for the phones to ring, and New Orleans' finest chefs cook up public relations strategies rather than po'-boys — all because oil has touched their shorelines. | 07/29/10 18:31:00 By - Grace Gagliano and Sara Kennedy

Power companies ignore blackout risk in rush for grants

Billions of dollars in government stimulus money are encouraging utility companies to ignore security risks that could plummet large metropolitan areas into darkness, security experts say. | 07/27/10 14:51:00 By - Maggie Bridgeman

Researchers confirm subsea Gulf oil plumes are from BP well

Through a chemical fingerprinting process, researchers have definitively linked clouds of underwater oil to BP's runaway Deepwater Horizon well — the first direct scientific link between the subsurface oil clouds commonly known as "plumes" and the BP oil spill. The finding confirms what in the early days of the spill was denied by BP and viewed skeptically by NOAA — that much of the crude from the Deepwater Horizon well stayed beneath the surface of the water. | 07/23/10 21:10:00 By - Sara Kennedy

Gulf's oil slick, already waning, could vanish with the wind

Starved of its daily dose of crude and under assault by wind, waves, sun, oil-eating bacteria and the largest fleet of oil skimmers ever assembled, the massive oil slick that has stalked the Gulf of Mexico for three months has been shrinking for the past week. Now, a blustery tropical system expected to hit the main spill area Saturday could literally blow much of the slick's remnants away. | 07/23/10 20:06:00 By - Curtis Morgan

Amid leak worries, feds and BP focus on killing Gulf well

The government and BP continue to monitor leaks that appeared this weekend to be an ominous threat to their effort to contain the gush of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. But they've also renewed their focus on permanently capping the well that killed 11 people, fouled the Gulf of Mexico and wreaked economic havoc on the region. | 07/19/10 19:42:00 By - Erika Bolstad

Duke scientist placed on leave over Rhodes Scholar claim

A well-regarded Duke University cancer researcher has been placed on leave and at least temporarily denied access to a research grant while the university investigates whether he falsely claimed to be a Rhodes Scholar on applications for federal funding. | 07/17/10 18:27:43 By - Eric Ferreri

BP continues tests, but can't guarantee cap will succeed

BP will proceed with its delicate testing of its containment cap that could continue to keep oil from spewing into the Gulf of Mexico from its failed well, but the team monitoring the testing isn't 100 percent confident the cap will be successful. | 07/16/10 20:29:00 By - Erika Bolstad

Despite Gulf cleanup efforts, nature will have to do most of it

Now that BP has shut off oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico from its broken well for the first time in 12 weeks, the company faces a Herculean task of cleaning up the region's oily mess. | 07/16/10 18:15:00 By - Renee Schoof

Here's some hope for Gulf: Spill-eating microbes spike

The number of naturally occurring microbes that eat methane grew surprisingly fast inside a plume spreading from BP's ruptured oil well, an oceanographer who was one of the first to detect the plumes said Tuesday. | 07/13/10 18:11:00 By - Renee Schoof

His mission: save the planet's oceans

John Bruno is now at the center of international debate about the health of the oceans, co-writing a sweeping account of the problems in last month's issue of the journal Science. His conclusion — that global climate change is putting the world's largest ecosystem in peril — has added to a growing level of alarm about oceans. | 07/11/10 14:21:24 By - SARAH AVERY

FDA nears approval of genetically engineered salmon

They may not be the 500-pound "Frankenfish" that some researchers were talking about 10 years ago, but a Massachusetts company says it's on the verge of receiving federal approval to market a quick-growing Atlantic salmon that's been genetically modified with help from a Pacific Chinook salmon. | 07/11/10 00:01:00 By - Les Blumenthal

Scientists urge U.S. to move quickly to study Gulf oil spill

Frustrated with limited data on the BP oil gusher, a group of independent scientists has proposed a large experiment that would give a clearer understanding of where the oil and gas are going and where they'll do the most damage. Thye say their mission must be undertaken immediately, before BP kills the runaway well. | 07/08/10 18:18:00 By - Renee Schoof

Weedkiller takes a toll on nation's oldest grape vine

For centuries, a massive grapevine has grown on the northern end of Roanoke Island in North Carolina, surviving nor'easters, bugs and mildew for maybe 400 years. Then a utility contractor sprayed it with weedkiller. | 07/05/10 17:11:49 By - Bruce Henderson

Judges rule Obama can't close Yucca Mountain nuclear dump

Three administrative judges within the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruled last week that Congress designated Yucca Mountain in 1987 to receive highly toxic waste and that only an act of Congress can close it. President Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu cannot withdraw the government's application to dump waste there. | 07/04/10 05:34:16 By - James Rosen

BP wasted no time preparing for oil spill lawsuits

In the immediate aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, BP publicly touted its expert oil clean-up response, but its preparations for the legal fight to come was what really impressed. In a matter of days, BP signed up experts who otherwise would work for plaintiffs, shopped for top-notch legal teams and drew up waivers for volunteers, fishermen and workers that would take away some of their right to sue. | 07/03/10 15:52:00 By - Marc Caputo

Another Gulf mystery: Who's in charge of oil spill research?

As an unprecedented amount of oil fouls the Gulf of Mexico, research scientists and ocean experts say the Obama administration's efforts to discover the magnitude of the damage are surprisingly uncoordinated. | 07/02/10 15:36:00 By - Renee Schoof

EPA says more testing needed to know dispersants' impacts

The first round of government tests of the chemical dispersants that are being used to break up the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico found that they aren't overly damaging to shrimp and small fish, but more tests are needed to determine what happens when they're mixed with oil. | 06/30/10 19:47:00 By - Renee Schoof

Health of Exxon Valdez cleanup workers was never studied

You'd think that more than 20 years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, scientists would know what, if any, long-term health dangers face the thousands of workers needed to clean up the Gulf of Mexico spill. You'd be wrong. | 06/29/10 19:55:00 By - Kyle Hopkins

Mississippi officials slam Coast Guard as BP oil hits shores

What South Mississippi officials had been fearing for weeks came true Sunday when large, gooey globs of weathered oil, chocolate-colored oil patties and tar balls washed ashore in quantity along the Mississippi Coast. Local officials were livid, saying the Coast Guard and BP had failed to move fast enough Saturday, even though it was apparent the oil was heading toward the shoreline. | 06/27/10 22:19:28 By - Anita Lee and Margaret Baker

Louisiana applauds judge's offshore drilling ruling

The oil industry employs 32,000 people in Louisiana's coastal parishes and pumps an estimated $3 billion into the state economy. In cities like Houma in Terrebonne Parish, more than 60 percent of the jobs are oil-related. So when U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman ruled last week that the Obama administration had overstepped its authority by ordering a six-month moratorium on deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, he became a folk hero. | 06/27/10 18:17:00 By - Lesley Clark and Robert Samuels

BP played big role in Alaska blowout preventer probe

When two Alaska state agencies received complaints in 2005 that a BP drilling contractor routinely cheated on tests of blowout preventers and that BP knew it, the agencies let both companies join the investigation. In at least three instances, after witnesses confirmed allegations, company lawyers took them aside for private conversations. One witness recanted his statement immediately after emerging from his private meeting with a company attorney, state records show. | 06/26/10 17:03:00 By - Richard Mauer

Arctic drilling still a no-go, despite judge's moratorium ruling

The ruling by a federal judge in New Orleans overturning an offshore drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico does not affect the Interior Department's decision not to consider applications to drill in the Arctic until 2011. | 06/22/10 19:17:46 By - Erika Bolstad

Are Australian honeybees behind U.S. hive collapse?

Disease-carrying honeybees imported from Australia may be responsible for a mysterious disorder that's decimated bee hives around the country, and federal regulators say they'd consider import restrictions if necessary. | 06/20/10 00:01:00 By - Les Blumenthal

MMS blasted for lax offshore drilling scrutiny

The Minerals Management Service, the beleaguered regulator caught in the crosshairs over its faulty scrutiny of BP's runaway oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, has been lax in its inspections of deep-sea drilling, an independent watchdog said Thursday. | 06/17/10 18:42:00 By - Reid Davenport

BP's Gulf leak boosts interests in oil-eating microbes

One scientist compares the microbes to the yellow chompers in the Pac-Man video game — hungry and single-minded as they gobble hydrocarbons from the oily waters, marshes and shores of the Gulf of Mexico. | 06/17/10 18:11:25 By - Fred Tasker

BP's oil recovery stats show how wrong leak estimates were

BP recovered 18,600 barrels of oil from its gushing Deepwater Horizon well on Wednesday, the most so far, but still just a fraction of what is spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. The amount serves as a reminder of the weeks-long reluctance of both BP and the Obama administration to recognize the full extent of the disaster. | 06/17/10 13:19:45 By -

Newest oil spill flow rate: 35,000 to 60,000 barrels daily

The runaway Deepwater Horizon well is pouring 35,000 to 60,000 barrels a day of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration said Tuesday. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, however, warned that the estimate is still preliminary, and that it might be revised upward. | 06/15/10 17:38:15 By - Renee Schoof

Plan to burn excess oil from BP well raises health questions

Plans to burn hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil from BP's blown-out well are raising new questions about the health and safety of the thousands of workers on rigs and vessels near the spill site. | 06/11/10 18:53:00 By - Renee Schoof and Marisa Taylor

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