Planets Found With Crisscross Orbits—A First

  • May 25th, 2010
  • Science
  • 0 Comments
  • Rachel

Published in National Geographic News A “super Jupiter” and its sibling world have been found circling their parent star with steeply tilted orbits—the first time such a configuration has ever been spotted, astronomers say. All eight planets in our solar system orbit the sun in roughly the same plane, an imaginary disk that extends from […]

3 Future Oil-Spill Fighters: Sponges, Superbugs, and Herders

Amid efforts to cap the seafloor leak, cleanup workers have been using boat-based skimmers to pick up the oil, booms to gather the slick for burning, and chemical dispersants to break the crude into smaller droplets—all parts of the oil-fighting toolkit for decades. Soon, though, tech of the future could be cleaning up spills like this one.

Neuromarketers get inside buyers’ brains

Frito-Lay studied women’s brains to help develop an ad campaign, and Campbell Soup (CPB, Fortune 500) just unveiled a packaging redesign based on consumers’ “neurological and bodily responses” to different mockups. By hooking customers up to EEG or MRI machines, a company can learn about what’s really going on inside a buyer’s brain — possibly even before the buyer knows it.

Common Weed Killer Makes Male Frogs Lay Eggs

  • March 1st, 2010
  • Science
  • 0 Comments
  • Rachel

The so-called pregnant man has company: One of the most common weed killers in the United States can make male frogs lay eggs, a new study says.

Atrazine, widely used to kill pests on U.S. croplands, is an endocrine disruptor—a substance that interferes with animals’ reproductive systems.

Universe 20 Million Years Older Than Thought

  • February 9th, 2010
  • Science
  • 0 Comments
  • Rachel

by Rachel KaufmanPublished in National Geographic News2010-02-09 If you want to celebrate the universe’s birthday, you might need to add a few more candles to the cake. That’s because our universe is about 20 million years older than thought, according to the most accurate measurement yet made of the universe’s age. The data are the […]

Lost Roman Codex Fragments Found in Book Binding

by Rachel KaufmanPublished in National Geographic News2010-02-03 Fragments of a lost ancient Roman law text have been rediscovered in the scrap paper used to bind other books. The Codex Gregorianus, or Gregorian Code, was compiled by an otherwise unknown man named Gregorius at the end of the third century A.D. It started a centuries-long tradition […]

World’s Smallest Orchid Discovered (By Accident)

  • December 3rd, 2009
  • Science
  • 0 Comments
  • Rachel

The world’s smallest known orchid (pictured)—just over 2 millimeters (0.08 inch) across and nearly see-through—has been discovered nestled in the roots of another flower in Ecuador, scientists announced this week.

Worms’ Paralysis Turned On and Off With Light

by Rachel KaufmanPublished in National Geographic News2009-11-20 If Dr. Horrible really did have a “freeze ray,” he might stop the world by zapping it with ultraviolet light, new research suggests. After feeding a light-sensitive chemical to transparent, microscopic worms called nematodes, scientists at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia were able to paralyze the tiny […]

Marine Machines Made in Nature’s Image

  • October 26th, 2009
  • Science
  • 0 Comments
  • Rachel

If it looks like a fish and swims like a fish, it could be a robot–such as the University of Bath’s Gymnobot, inspired by an Amazonian knifefish.

Researchers worldwide are developing robots that look and act like aquatic creatures. That’s because biomimetic gadgets–bots that take inspiration from nature–are often more efficient than their clunkier counterparts.

“Backward” Planet Has Density of Foam Coffee Cups

by Rachel KaufmanPublished in National Geographic News2009-08-17 Contrary to a recent TV cell phone ad, Dunkin’ Donuts isn’t likely to set up shop in space any time soon. But if it did, the donut chain might like to build next to WASP-17b, a newfound planet that’s puffed up to be roughly as dense as a […]