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Defining A Data Deluge

February 11, 2011 8:37 am | Comments

From overflowing inboxes to portable players brimming with music, the amount of data in the world is increasing. Martin Hilbert, co-author of a paper in the journal Science on the tidal wave of information, says that in 2007, humanity was able to store some 295 exabytes of information,...

IBM Computer Faces Off Against Jeopardy Champs

February 11, 2011 8:37 am | Comments

Four years in the works, IBM's supercomputer "Watson" will compete against Jeopardy champions from February 14th to 16th. To win, the computer will have to process often-ambiguous natural language, including irony and wordplay. Stephen Baker, author of "Final Jeopardy," talks about Watson's chances.

The 'Science Of Kissing'

February 11, 2011 8:37 am | Comments

Socializing is found across the animal kingdom, but osculation — or kissing — seems to a human behavior. How did it start and why? 'The Science of Kissing' author Sheril Kirshenbaum discusses the history and biology behind kissing.

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Cracking The Cool Science Of Ice

February 11, 2011 8:36 am | Comments

With winter storms continuing across the country, much of the nation may not currently have warm feelings toward the solid form of water. Physicist and water researcher Eugene Stanley and Mariana Gosnell, author of Ice: The Nature, the History, and the Uses of an Astonishing Substance,...

Taking The Politics Out Of Climate Science

February 4, 2011 8:38 am | Comments

According to a 2009 Pew survey, 35 percent of Republicans say they saw no solid evidence of global warming, the lowest number of any political group. Climate scientist and conservative Kerry Emanuel discusses why he thinks political views shouldn't sway scientific thinking.

Why The Former Planet Pluto Got Demoted

February 4, 2011 8:38 am | Comments

In 2006 the former ninth planet in the solar system, Pluto, got demoted to a mere Kuiper Belt object. The man who was in large part responsible for that demotion, Caltech planetary scientist Mike Brown, discusses the status of Pluto and why it doesn't qualify as a planet.

Recipe For Turning Skin Cells Into Heart Cells

February 4, 2011 8:38 am | Comments

Reporting in Nature Cell Biology, researchers say they have turned mouse skin cells directly into beating heart cells — skipping the stem-cell stage that has been required in the past. Leonard Zon, director of the Stem Cell Program at Children's Hospital Boston, explains the findings.

Growing A Bigger Brain Is A Walk In The Park

February 4, 2011 8:38 am | Comments

A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that adults who walked for 40 minutes three times a week for a year had brain growth in the hippocampus — an area of the brain associated with spatial memory. Study author Arthur Kramer and psychologist Margaret Gatz...

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Plumbing The Depths Of Aquarium Science

February 4, 2011 8:37 am | Comments

What happens if you mix fat puffers with sponges? Do clownfish do better alone or in pairs? What's the best way to prune staghorn coral? Joseph Yaiullo, co-founder of Atlantis Marine World in Riverhead, N.Y., and the curator of the aquarium's 20,000-gallon tank, shares tank tips.

Can Dogs Smell Cancer?

February 4, 2011 8:37 am | Comments

Writing in the journal Gut, researchers in Japan say they've trained a dog to detect bowel cancer in humans. Monell Chemical Senses Center Director Gary Beauchamp describes how odor and disease may be related, and why he thinks dogs probably won't be used for diagnosing.

Blood Spotting Made Easier

January 28, 2011 10:42 am | Comments

A new camera may make finding and sampling blood spots easier for crime scene investigators. Chemist Stephen Morgan describes a thermal infrared camera developed by researchers at the University of South Carolina that can spot blood spatter not visible to the naked eye.

Digital Music Sampling: Creativity Or Criminality?

January 28, 2011 10:42 am | Comments

The advent of the sampler in the '80s brought a long tradition of musical borrowing into the digital age. Today, "sampling," or repurposing a snippet of another artist's music, is mainstream. Is sampling theft, or is copyright law making creativity a crime?

Two Cold Winters Don't Make A Climate Trend

January 28, 2011 10:41 am | Comments

The polar vortex, a jet stream swirling around the north pole, has weakened the past two winters, allowing plumes of cold air to slip south. But to most climatologists, two years don't make a trend. Atmospheric scientist John Wallace talks about why he is cautious about linking weird...

Privacy At Stake As Sites Track Online Preferences

January 28, 2011 10:41 am | Comments

Sites like Bit.ly, which provide a service to users by shortening URLs, also get something in return — users' browsing preferences. Bit.ly's Hilary Mason talks about the services sites hope to provide by collecting such data, and the trade-off of less privacy for a more customized online experience.

Twitter, Facebook As Political Tools In Arab World

January 28, 2011 10:41 am | Comments

Tunisian and Egyptian political activists used Facebook and Twitter to organize protests and publicize breaking news. Harvard's Jillian York discusses the use of social media platforms for digital activism, and cases in which governments have blocked the services or compromised user privacy.

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