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Mobilizing the Planet’s Genetic Diversity with Synthetic Biology

1,4-Butanediol isn’t exactly the flashiest product on the market: with a four-carbon chain bounded by alcohol groups, the thick, colorless liquid is one of those “industrial chemicals” that makes the eyes glaze over. But the diminutive molecule is worth some serious cash, with an estimated global market cap of $2 billion. Show More Summary

Shrub Attract Pollinators By Glittering Under the Full Moon

On the cliffs of the Mediterranean, there grows an untidy, scrambling shrub called Ephedra foeminea. It isn’t the …

Discovering missing body parts of ancient fossils: Waves and storms lifted fossils off the seafloor 550 million years ago

Certain specimens of the fossil Dickinsonia are incomplete because ancient currents lifted them from the sea floor, a team of paleontologists has found. Sand then got deposited beneath the lifted portion, the researchers report, strongly suggesting that Dickinsonia was mobile, easily separated from the sea floor and not attached to the substrate on which it lived.

Better method for forecasting hurricane season

A better method for predicting the number of hurricanes in an upcoming season has been developed by atmospheric scientists. The team's new model improves the accuracy of seasonal hurricane forecasts for the North Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico by 23 percent.

Model helps city planners prepare to weather large storms

Researchers have developed a modeling tool to help local communities better understand their vulnerabilities to large storms stoked by climate change.

Tired of the same old, same old? Wipe out your browser cache! You won’t believe the places you’ll go when autocomplete misbehaves! #protip

Tired of the same old, same old? Wipe out your browser cache! You won’t believe the places you’ll go when autocomplete misbehaves! #protip

DARPA Vision for Air to Ground Combat: Swarm Warfare

One of the most important jobs for an air force is suppressing enemy air defenses. It means hacking, jamming or otherwise blowing up radars and anti-aircraft missile sites?—?often during the opening stages of a war.Now a new projectShow More Summary

History Of Paleontological Science

Abstract The science of paleontology was truly established in the late 19th century, witnessing a rapid advancement in theories of evolution of life on earth. Since then it has featured…

P-Values and Exploratory Research

Lately I've been talking a lot about the question of whether scientists should preregister their research protocols. One question that often arises in these discussion is: "what about exploratory research?" The argument goes like this: sure, preregistration is good for confirmatory research - research designed to test a particular hypothesis. Show More Summary

Kid Icarus for the Nintendo Entertainment System

An early game for the blessed NES, Pit - the titular Kid Icarus - first appeared in 1986, and put his head above the digital parapet again in 1991 for an outing on the Game Boy. It was then 21 YEARS before Nintendo reminded us of his existence in a 3D shooter for, appropriately enough, the 3DS. Show More Summary

Mysterious US Air Force X-37B Space Plane to Launch on May 6th

With its new homeport in renovated NASA space shuttle hangars off in the distance, the Air Force’s X-37 mini spaceplane will be launched from Cape Canaveral on May 6 for its fourth journey into orbit.The Orbital Test Vehicle will beShow More Summary

A 17th-Century Argument for the Many Virtues of Coffee, Chocolate, and Tea

The Vault is Slate's history blog. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @slatevault, and find us on Tumblr. Find out more about what this space is all about here. In this 1690 broadside advertisement, London merchant Samuel Price deployed rumor and vivid anecdote to advance the medical case for drinking coffee, chocolate, and tea. Show More Summary

How to Let Go of Letting Go

The art of moving into the peaceful state of Letgo. After thirty years in the mental health profession, I have grown leery of psychological catchphrases. Sure, they make good headings […]

Are Microbes the Taste-Makers of the Future?

On its journey from plant to ice cream cone, vanilla travels thousands of miles. Shady fields of waist-high vines in Madagascar, the South Pacific, or Latin America produce valuable fruit, which is cured, oxidized, and dried in an intensive sequence of events lasting several weeks. Show More Summary

Australian Government Unveils Plan to Fix Australia's Conservation Crisis

The federal government revealed its proposal today to solve the conservation crisis in Australia, by ensuring populations of species are kept to an acceptable minimum, and preventing the description of new ones.Prime Minister Tony Abbott...Show More Summary

Lasers Map the Earth That Moved in Colorado’s Epic Floods

Lasers and radioactive dating help scientists figure out how much muck the 2013 storms scraped out of the Colorado Rockies. The post Lasers Map the Earth That Moved in Colorado’s Epic Floods appeared first on WIRED.

One ring to bind them all

Editor’s note: the January 2015 issue of Nature Chemistry features a Thesis article ($) from Michelle Francl that looks at chemists’ fascination with benzene. It is illustrated with a range of different representations of benzene and benzene-containing compounds drawn by Michelle’s own fair hand. Show More Summary

Can 'ghosts' cause bad air? Poor indoor air quality and 'sightings'

A team of researchers is studying possible links between reported hauntings and indoor air quality. It is known that some fungi, such as rye ergot fungus, may cause severe psychosis in humans.

You can now play Pac-Man on any Google Map

Kiss you afternoon productivity goodbye. Here I am playing my commute from home to my Columbia office: Just go to a Google Map page and look for the Pac-Man view at bottom left. (Note: No guarantees this lasts past April 1.) … Continue reading ? The post You can now play Pac-Man on any Google Map appeared first on Chris Blattman.

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