Some 500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci noted that branches on trees split with mathematical precision. Recently, physicists studying this phenomenon have discovered it has important implications for the way wind flows around and through trees.
The wise men would be one gift short at the manger — frankincense, one of the gifts given to the baby Jesus, is now in short supply. The trees from which the fragrant resin is produced are declining, and in 15 years, frankincense production could be cut in half.
Damian Scarf at New Zealand's University of Otago reports in the current issue of the journal Science that experiments he conducted with colleagues show that pigeons can learn abstract rules about numbers.
Nuclear power had enjoyed 25 years of relative quiet, but the Fukushima accident reminded people that despite improvements in safety, things can still go horribly wrong. The accident is unlikely to affect U.S. nuclear policy, experts say, but countries like Germany and Japan are looking to alternatives.
Forty years ago, President Nixon signed the National Cancer Act, beginning the War on Cancer. Harold Varmus, director of the National Cancer Institute, discusses four decades of scientific progress in preventing, detecting and treating cancer--and the mysteries that still remain.
By tracking the blinking light of distant stars, NASA's Kepler space telescope has identified the first Earth-sized exoplanets, and another which orbits its star in the "Goldilocks zone," where liquid water--and possibly life--could exist. Principal investigator William Borucki talks about the newly discovered worlds.
When a Mumbai hotel was besieged by terrorists in 2008, something extraordinary happened: Workers didn't flee. They stayed behind to help save guests at the risk of their own lives. What could possibly explain it? A new study attempts to answer that question.
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