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Contributors include: Kyria Abrahams, Serenity Caldwell, MacKenzie Haley, Madeleine Johnson, Kat Leyh, Jed McGowan, Roxanne Palmer, and the Stanford Graphic Novel Project.
The first moments of an X-class significant solar flare in different wavelengths of light.
(Photo credit: REUTERS/NASA/SDO)
Five children in California have been paralyzed by a mystery virus – and scientists are still in the dark.
On the surface, these cases looked a lot like polio. But the last time poliovirus claimed an American victim was in 1979, and all of these children had been vaccinated.
Whatever they had was something else - something rare and possibly new.
Each year, more than 25 million animals are used for scientific research in the U.S. More than 90 percent of those are mice - sort of. These lab-raised animals don’t burrow or gather like their wild peers. They are more like abstractions of human ills, mouse models of disease, genetically engineered to die in a very particular way.
"This is the central contradiction of animal experimentation: Mice are like us in all the ways that matter, so they’re used as stand-ins for humans - but the moral significance of those similarities is ignored," says Justin Goodman, who has been an animal rights activist since he saw scientists drill holes in the heads of monkeys as an undergraduate at the University of Connecticut.
Since the 1980s, the rise of transgenesis - the science of genetic engineering - has brought with it a seemingly endless series of biomedical breakthroughs. It has also opened up a field of inquiry about the unnerving price of all this. “The use of primates in research has increased, and the use of mice has exploded,” Goodman tells Newsweek.
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Here’s an un-fun experiment: the next time your kid’s in the other room, sneak a peek at her science textbook. Chances are, it says evolution is just a theory and global warming is debatable.
If you’re living in Louisiana or Tennessee, you may also want to check out what your kids’ teachers are discussing in class: Teachers in those states are now allowed to teach creationism along with evolution and to argue both sides of global warming - even over the objections of their school principals and superintendents.
In 2013, nine anti-science bills were introduced in seven states, and legislators nationwide have filed about 50 bills in the past 10 years declaring evolution a “controversial” idea whose opposing side, creationism, must be taught in the interest of academic freedom. Though most of these efforts died in committee - as South Dakota’s did last week - some become law.
It’s all being done under the guise of fairness: Missouri’s House Bill 1587, creeping toward a vote, would force principals and administrators to let teachers “help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of the theory of biological and hypotheses of chemical evolution.”
The bill’s authors say it’ll help students “develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues, including biological and chemical evolution.”
So much for “HotLanta.” Georgia is starting to look a lot like the opening scene from The Day After Tomorrow. The governor has declared a state of emergency for 89 counties as a wave of “crippling ice” befalls much of The Peach State in a storm the National Weather Service warns, “may be of historic proportions.”
This statewide IcePocalypseMageddon occurs a little more than a week after Georgia’s last devastating ice storm, when the National Guard was called in to aid thousands of people stranded in their homes, vehicles, and schools.
A few weeks prior, the polar vortex dropped temperatures from Chicago to Mexico, breaking more than 50 records and leaving Minneapolis with sub-zero temperatures for 62 straight hours.
In short, America’s 2014 weather has gone from Winter Wonderland to Class 3 Kill Storm. That U.S. weather patterns seem more at home in the Book of Revelation than February hasn’t made an impact on Senator Ted Cruz, who joked to attendees of the Conservative Policy Summit about the nip in the air: “Al Gore told me this wouldn’t happen.”
Our intrepid reporter investigates “mosquitoes” and finds they actually do like some people more than others.
“It’s like stepping out of the airport in Florida,” says Dr. Leslie Vosshall, as we step from her air-conditioned laboratory at New York City’s Rockefeller University into the mosquito chamber. The air is hot and damp, and lining the walls are clear-plastic-labeled “bug dorms.” Each box contains a swarm of buzzing mosquitoes. They cling to the walls, hang off the ceiling, bounce persistently against the mesh opening, trying to get to us. “I should have asked if you have a phobia,” says Vosshall.
I don’t have a phobia, exactly, but like a lot of people I feel uniquely hunted by mosquitoes. At barbecues and on hikes, mosquitoes always seem to seek me out. I’ve tried DEET spray, citronella torches, permethrin butane repellers of the sort used by hunters in the South. I once bought a mosquito net on Amazon at 3 a.m., after accidentally swatting myself in the ear while half asleep. But nothing seemed to change the fact that the best repellent, for everyone else, was to have me around. I’m at Vosshall’s lab because she’s just begun a six-month study of this phenomenon. I’ve come here for answers.
Brazilian marine geologists believe they may have found vestiges of an unknown continent some 1,800 miles from the Brazilian shore, where the water is 5,900 feet deep. Atlantis? That you?!
Hidden deep in Obama’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget is this item: “Begins work on a mission to rendezvous with—and then move—a small asteroid.”
A budget plan that President Barack Obama will release Wednesday would charge NASA Glenn Research Center with developing a solar electric propulsion system for a spaceship that will collect an asteroid and park it in the moon’s orbit so astronauts can conduct research on it.
Moving the giant space rock would give NASA experience deflecting asteroids that could prove vital to averting potential Earth collisions such as one believed to have caused a mass dinosaur extinction millions of years ago. Some asteroids also contain rare elements that mining companies are eager to exploit, NASA officials said.