science

Marcie Sillman talks with Dr. Doug Smith, an orthopedic surgeon at Harborview and the University of Washington, about emerging technology in which nerves can be relocated in amputated limbs so the brain can control prosthetic devices.

The menus of millennia past can be tough to crack, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables. For archaeologists studying a prehistoric site in Sudan, dental plaque provided a hint.

"When you eat, you get this kind of film of dental plaque over your teeth," says Karen Hardy, an archaeologist with the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.

The area of Russia is said to be called, ominously enough, the end of the world. And that's where researchers are headed this week, to investigate a large crater whose appearance reportedly caught scientists by surprise. The crater is estimated at 262 feet wide and is in the northern Siberian area of Yamal.

An extinct species of bird just discovered by a Connecticut scientist may have been the largest ever to fly. The pelagornis sandersi lived 25 million years ago. The fossil was uncovered at an airport in the 1980s but went largely unnoticed until 2010.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Patrick Skahill of WNPR has the story on the bird with a 24-foot wingspan, and what the finding means for paleontologists.

Institute for Learning and Brain Science / University of Washington

A University of Washington study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science gives clues about how talking to babies from an early age helps them say their first words.

What's Killing Clams? Solve This Low Tide Mystery

Jul 14, 2014
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

One of the lowest tides of the year this weekend revealed a "crime scene" at the beach at Golden Gardens Park in Seattle.

Scientists who carry out basic research sometimes find themselves unexpectedly caught up in a web of vitriolic public attacks by politicians pretending to expose foolish, dollar-wasting projects. Patricia Brennan, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, found this out the hard way.

Fire season has come alive in the Northwest. On Monday, 20 homes in Idaho's Sun Valley area were briefly under evacuation when a fire broke out in a nearby canyon. A 5,000-acre fire north of Wenatchee, Washington, continues to threaten houses in the area.

Many of us tend to align ourselves with either numbers or words. We're either math brains or we're reading brains.

In college, my fellow English majors joked about how none of us could long-divide to save our lives, while our friends in engineering groaned about the fact that Lit 101 was a graduation requirement.

A gung-ho group of space enthusiasts has started the process of putting a vintage NASA spacecraft on a new flight path, so that this venerable piece of hardware will be able to do useful science once again.

Ask somebody about stress, and you're likely to hear an outpouring about all the bad things that cause it — and the bad things that result. But if you ask a biologist, you'll hear that stress can be good.

In fact, it's essential.

The secret to more productive meetings? You might simply need to stand up.

This we know, to some degree. Just take as examples the growing popularity of standing desks, which took off after a flurry of reports found that sitting for long periods of time can significantly, negatively, impact employees' health.

Can you hear the difference between hot and cold?

They're odds. That's all they are. Not fate, just probabilities. Lauren Weinstein, cartoonist, is having a baby, and she's told — out of the blue — that she and her husband are both carriers of the gene that causes cystic fibrosis. They are sent to a genetic counselor. What happens next — told in five beautifully drawn, emotionally eloquent cartoons — tells what it's like to walk the edge for a few weeks. She's so many things (sad, funny, scared, puzzled), and then there's the ender. Take a look.

From Wikipedia

Here’s the plot: A man suffering from dystonia – a neurological disorder that causes twisting and abnormal postures – goes to a doctor. The doctor gives the man local anesthesia, drills into his head, inserts spaghetti-like electrodes and then hooks him up to a pacemaker to send electrical currents into his brain.

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