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New findings suggest misconceptions about ‘abortion pills’

A story in today’s New York Times suggests Republican anger over morning-after pills is misplaced, because of misconceptions about what they do. Pills like Plan B, Pam Belluck says, don’t stop fertilized eggs from attaching themselves to a woman’s uterus; instead, they delay ovulation, thus preventing eggs from interacting with…

WATCH LIVE: The transit of Venus

Australia and other countries in the Pacific have the opportunity to see the transit of Venus, when the planet passes between the Earth and the Sun. NASA is offering coverage of this rare event, which won’t occur again until 2117. Watch the live coverage from NASA, broadcast by UStream on…

Greenpeace maps way to saving Arctic from oil drilling

BERLIN — Greenpeace called here Tuesday for more use of renewable energy and greener cars to help protect the Arctic and other areas from being spoiled by oil drilling. The environmental group launched an “energy roadmap” for cutting oil demand by about 80 percent, especially for transport, by making cars…

Scientists fighting genetic diseases face ethical challenges

Aaron began to stand out at primary school. He was unlike other children in subtle ways that at times were hard to put a finger on. He couldn’t hold a pen properly. His balance was a little poor. He just seemed different from his classmates. There is no subtlety to…

Scientists call BP spill subpoenaed emails an attack on academic freedom

A pair of scientists have accused BP of an attack on academic freedom after the oil company successfully subpoenaed thousands of confidential emails related to research on the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. The accusation from oceanographers Richard Camilli and Christopher Reddy offered a rare glimpse into the behind-the-scenes legal…

Pilot embarks on first solar-powered intercontinental flight

A Swiss adventurer soared above sun-splashed Spanish valleys toward Morocco on Tuesday on the world’s first intercontinental flight in a solar-powered plane. Bertrand Piccard, a 54-year-old psychiatrist and balloonist, took off into the night skies above Madrid in the Solar Impulse plane, a giant as big as an Airbus A340 but as light as an average…

Australia awaits key transit of Venus

Australia was gearing up Tuesday for the transit of Venus, an event with historical significance as a previous occurrence in 1769 played a key part in the “discovery” of the southern continent. When Venus on Wednesday passes between the Earth and the Sun, an astronomical event that will not occur again until 2117,…

Wider letter spacing helps dyslexics read: study

WASHINGTON — European researchers said Monday that offering reading materials with wider spacing between the letters can help dyslexic children read faster and better. In a sample of dyslexic children age eight to 14, extra-wide letter spacing doubled accuracy and increased reading speed by more than 20 percent, according to…

Military gives NASA two space telescopes more powerful than Hubble

Although America’s space agency has perpetually seen its funding threatened and reduced in recent years, few would argue that the nation’s defense agency, the Pentagon, suffers from the same problem. That disparity is so great that Pentagon official dialed up NASA last year and revealed that the National Reconnaissance Office had secretly…

Asia witnesses partial lunar eclipse

The first partial lunar eclipse of the year provided dramatic scenes across Asia late Monday, with a clear moon visible to many as the event unfolded. While Australia and the east of Japan watched as the Earth slid between the Moon and the Sun, casting a grey shadow over the…

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