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I missed the Occultation of Lambda Aquarii by Venus, but Tom Harradine didn't

I jinxed myself by not getting my travelling box of lenses and guff out of the cupboard and putting it on the bench the night before. But hey, I said, I'm not driving, so I have plenty of time to open the cupboard and walk to the back yard. Show More Summary

Study shows lasting effects of drought in rainy eastern US

This spring, more than 40 percent of the western U.S. is in a drought that the USDA deems "severe" or "exceptional." The same was true in 2013. In 2012, drought even spread to the humid east. It's easy to assume that a 3-year drought is an inconsequential blip on the radar for ecosystems that develop over centuries to millennia. Show More Summary

New technique detects microscopic diabetes-related eye damage

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University researchers have detected new early-warning signs of the potential loss of sight associated with diabetes. This discovery could have far-reaching implications for the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy, potentially impacting the care of over 25 million Americans. read more

Study: Cherokee's Struggles Visible in Their Skulls

It turns out the Trail of Tears didn't just affect the Cherokee people's spirits. A new study by North Carolina State University and University of Tennessee researchers has found that their struggles actually reshaped their skulls. The research was reliant on research done long before the present day, by Franz...

Rapid and accurate mRNA detection in plant tissues

Gene expression is the process whereby the genetic information of DNA is used to manufacture functional products, such as proteins, which have numerous different functions in living organisms. Messenger RNA (mRNA) serves as an important...Show More Summary

IU cognitive scientists use 'I spy' to show spoken language helps direct children's eyes

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In a new study, Indiana University cognitive scientists Catarina Vales and Linda Smith demonstrate that children spot objects more quickly when prompted by words than if they are only prompted by images. read mo...

Radiation therapy for cervical cancer increases risk for colorectal cancer

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston are the first to recommend that young women treated with radiation for cervical cancer should begin colorectal cancer screening earlier than traditionally recommended. read more

Stanford biologists help solve fungal mysteries

Pine forests are chock full of wild animals and plant life, but there's an invisible machine underground. Huge populations of fungi are churning away in the soil, decomposing organic matter and releasing carbon into the atmosphere. Despite the vital role these fungi play in ecological systems, their identities have only now been revealed. Show More Summary

Does the Fossil Record Show Ediacaran Biota Being Out-Competed by Bilaterans?

Patterns of Evolution of the Ediacaran Soft-Bodied BiotaAuthor:GrazhdankinAbstract:When each of the Avalon-, Ediacara-, and Nama-type fossil assemblages are tracked through geological time, there appear to be changes in species composition...Show More Summary

Genetic study tackles mystery of slow plant domestications

"The Modern View of Domestication," a special feature of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) published April 29, raises a number of startling questions about a transition in our deep history that most of us take for granted. Show More Summary

Do Economists Make Policies?

Elizabeth Popp Berman and I just received the good news that the final version of our paper on how economists influence policymaking was posted at Socioeconomic Review. We hope those interested in the political power of economic ideas, experts, and tools will find it useful. Abstract: Economics is often described as the most politically influential […]

Surface and Depth

We are too superficial to fathom our depth, and too deep to acquiesce comfortably in our superficiality.

Partial Solar Eclipse, April 29 2014

Partial Eclipse as seen from Brisbane near maximum eclipse, 5:00 pm AEST. Simulated in Celestia. Click to embiggen Partial Eclipse as seen from Sydney near maximum eclipse, 4:55 pm AEST. Simulated in Celestia. Click to embiggen Partial Eclipse as seen from Melbourne near maximum eclipse, 5:00 pm AEST. Show More Summary

The story of animal domestication retold

Many of our ideas about domestication derive from Charles Darwin, whose ideas in turn were strongly influenced by British animal-breeding practices during the 19th century, a period when landowners vigorously pursued systematic livestock...Show More Summary

How should things end?

For the last five years, I’ve taught the undergraduate methods class in the history department at the University of North Dakota every semester (History 240). Next year, I go on sabbatical and when I come back, it’s my understanding that my services will no longer be required in this class. So this will be my […]

The 48th/150th: Colonel Sigfried's Decision . . .

Colonel Joshua Sigfried (Courtesy of Mr. David Sigfried) 150 years ago, in late April 1864, Colonel Joshua Sigfried faced a tough decision. He had commanded the 48th Pennsylvania for the past two years, assuming regimental command in the spring of 1862 when Colonel James Nagle was elevated to brigade command. Show More Summary

Intel community willing to allow higher resolution commercial imagery

For the last few years, commercial satellite remote sensing company DigitalGlobe (and, before its merger with DigitalGlobe, GeoEye) has been lobbying the government to allow it to sell sharper satellite imagery that it’s currently allowed. DigitalGlobe is currently restricted to selling imagery with resolution no sharper than 0.5 meters per pixel, but has been pushing [...]

Few and far between

Q: In Jane Smiley’s novel Duplicate Keys, Alice muses about the “fewness” of the friends in her social circle. I drew a blank when I looked up “fewness” in my dictionary. Did this “Pulitzer Prize-winning author” have a copy editor who was asleep at the switch, or is my dictionary inferior? A: “Fewness”... ? Read More: Few and far between

Interactions between filamentous turf algae and coralline algae are modified under ocean acidification

Ocean acidification is a decrease in seawater pH and carbonate ion concentration due to increased uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide by the world’s oceans. This has major implications for many marine organisms, particularly the calcifiers. Show More Summary

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