Dark Matter Just Got More Mysterious

Reporting in the Astrophysical Journal, scientists write of a massive collision between two galaxy clusters. By studying the cosmic remnants of that smashup, they say leftover dark matter isn’t behaving as current theory predicts. Astrophysicist Andisheh Mahdavi discusses this dark matter mystery.

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 Dark Matter Just Got More Mysterious

A Workout Can Change Your DNA

Reporting in Cell Metabolism, researchers write that when people who lead relatively sedentary lives worked out the DNA in their muscle fibers changed almost immediately. Scientists also found caffeine had the same effect on isolated rodent muscles. Study co-author Juleen Zierath discusses the DNA modifications.

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Antarctica Visitors Unwittingly Bring Invasive Species

The far reaches of Antarctica are no longer visited only by scientists and their support staff. Adventure tourists and curiosity seekers from Europe, North America and beyond now come by the boatful — and they’re bringing some souvenirs from home. Ecologist Steven Chown tells Robert Siegel that visitors unknowingly carry seeds on their clothes and bags. He says they’ve helped spread dozens of invasive plant species on the continent and risk permanently changing Antarctica’s ecology.

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 Antarctica Visitors Unwittingly Bring Invasive Species

Neil deGrasse Tyson On Exploring Cosmic Frontiers

In Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson writes of how space exploration–especially human voyages–can profoundly inspire scientists and technologists of the future, and charts the path for missions to Mars and beyond.

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 Neil deGrasse Tyson On Exploring Cosmic Frontiers

New Methods Could Speed Up Repair Of Injured Nerves

Scientists say they’ve developed a technique that reconnects the severed ends of a nerve, allowing it to begin carrying messages again very quickly — at least in rats. Usually, severed nerves must regrow from the point of injury — a process that can take months, if it ever happens.

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New Methods Could Speed Up Repair Of Injured Nerves

Scientists say they’ve developed a technique that reconnects the severed ends of a nerve, allowing it to begin carrying messages again very quickly — at least in rats. Usually, severed nerves must regrow from the point of injury — a process that can take months, if it ever happens.

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 New Methods Could Speed Up Repair Of Injured Nerves

Reaching For The Limits of Tiny Transistors

Computer chip makers have long struggled to build ever-smaller transistors to allow faster, more powerful computers. Writing in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, a team of scientists describes what may be the ultimate limit of that struggle — a transistor made of a single atom. Michelle Simmons, a physicist at the University of New South Wales in Australia and leader of the project, discusses the work.

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 Reaching For The Limits of Tiny Transistors

Disease Sleuths Surf For Outbreaks Online

When sick people search the Web for remedies or tweet about their symptoms, they’re sending an early warning signal about disease outbreaks. Now scientists and public health officials are listening in.

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Disease Sleuths Surf For Outbreaks Online

When sick people search the Web for remedies or tweet about their symptoms, they’re sending an early warning signal about disease outbreaks. Now scientists and public health officials are listening in.

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Disease Sleuths Surf For Outbreaks Online

When sick people search the Web for remedies or tweet about their symptoms, they’re sending an early warning signal about disease outbreaks. Now scientists and public health officials are listening in.

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 Disease Sleuths Surf For Outbreaks Online

Can Gardening Help Troubled Minds Heal?

Psychiatrists have long claimed that gardens hold healing powers for mental illness. Now, scientists are exploring a new field called horticultural therapy for everyone from troubled youth to veterans. But just how gardens affect the brain remains mainly a mystery.

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 Can Gardening Help Troubled Minds Heal?

Swiss Building A ‘Janitor’ Satellite For Space Junk

Robert Siegel speaks with Dr. Anton Ivanov, a scientist with the Swiss Space Center, about the CleanSpace One project. A team of scientists, including Ivanov, is developing a “janitor” satellite, which will remove debris now orbiting in space.

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 Swiss Building A Janitor Satellite For Space Junk

Why California Almonds Need North Dakota Flowers (And A Few Billion Bees)

This month, the bees from 1.6 million hives — many of them trucked in commercially from as far away as North Dakota — will pollinate California’s almond orchards. Then beekeepers will pack up their colonies and drive them back to the northern Plains, where bees can graze for the summer. But scientists says that floral feast in the Great Plains is shrinking because of high corn prices.

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 Why California Almonds Need North Dakota Flowers (And A Few Billion Bees)

The Zebra’s Stripes, A Personal No-Fly Zone

Scientists in Hungary and Sweden say they’ve found an answer to the age-old question of how the zebra got its stripes. It turns out the pattern may have evolved to repel Africa’s biting flies. The researchers discovered this by placing models of patterned zebras next to models of their plainer cousins, horses, and measuring how many flies ended up on each one. Host Scott Simon has more.

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 The Zebras Stripes, A Personal No Fly Zone

Valentine’s Day Special: Look Of Love

When you gaze into your sweetheart’s eyes, look for enlarged pupils. Studies show that our pupils dilate when we feel strong emotions. Psychologist Bruno Laeng, of the University of Oslo, explains how scientists are using “pupillometry” and what pupil diameter suggests about mental activity.

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 Valentines Day Special: Look Of Love

International Meeting On Controversial Bird Flu Research Draws Near

The scientists, journal editors and others who attend are expected to review the facts and the most pressing issues related to this specific work, rather than have a broader discussion about the possibility of international oversight of potentially worrisome biological research.

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 International Meeting On Controversial Bird Flu Research Draws Near

Pythons Blamed For Everglade’s Disappearing Animals

The Florida Everglades is infested with Burmese pythons. To keep them from spreading, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is making it illegal to import the pythons into the country, or transport them across state lines. Scientists have discovered the pythons are doing more damage than ever imagined.

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 Pythons Blamed For Everglades Disappearing Animals

Invasive Pythons Put Squeeze On Everglades’ Animals

Burmese pythons have been slithering around south Florida for decades, but scientists now say the invasive constrictors are so bad, they’re eating their way through the swamps. The snakes have decimated populations of mammals like raccoons, possums and white-tailed deer.

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 Invasive Pythons Put Squeeze On Everglades Animals