New Food Safety Test Can Detect Bacteria in Half the Time: NOVA Next

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A new method for detecting disease-causing bacteria in food could eventually help keep tainted products from landing on diners’ plates.  Read more at NOVA Next.

India’s reusable space plane takes its first test flight

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India’s reusable space plane takes its first test flight

Read Conor Gearin’s coverage of the India Space Research Organization’s launch or a reusable shuttle.  In NewScientist: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2089757-indias-reusable-space-plane-takes-its-first-test-flight/?utm_source=NSNS&utm_medium=SOC&utm_campaign=hoot&cmpid=SOC|NSNS|2016-GLOBAL-hoot

Against Mowing: The Case from Jazz and Science

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One December night my family and my girlfriend both visited me in the small Missouri town where I went to college. As large flakes of snow fell, we walked to the school auditorium, where student jazz combos were giving a concert with a special guest. It’s thrilling to watch student performances, because there’s no guarantee it won’t be a complete disaster. In this case, it was far from that: the bands played perfect covers of “Dear Old Stockholm” and “Caravan.” The horn players launched into deeply felt, unpredictable solos—you could sense both the rigor of years of endless scales in the practice room and the need to prove they could do much more, the desire to surprise. Full Article »

Man, the Compassionate Carnivore

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I had been a vegetarian for three years, and a pescatarian for all of 14 days, when the lobster incident happened.

On my part, the decision to grill two languid, mottled-blue and orange lobsters on a pleasant July day was motivated partially by a sense of adventure and partially by pure stubbornness. My boyfriend, Matt, had recently moved to Cape Cod: shellfish country, a place where most of his neighbors would never set off for a day at the beach without their clam rake. I was converted to their worldview with little resistance, out to dinner one night, by a bite of littlenecks swimming in white wine and butter. Full Article »

This New Nanogenerator Can Power 20 LEDs with the Tap of a Finger

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The solution to saving energy might not be something big—it could be small. Nanoscale, to be exact.  Read more in Conor Gearin’s article at NOVA Next.    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/tech/this-new-nanogenerator-can-power-20-leds-with-the-tap-of-a-finger/

Black Bears Can Help Fruit Trees Escape Climate Change

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Trees can flee from climate change—with a little help from a burly friend.

Humans, we hope, can retreat from the effects of global warming. But trees—though they have limbs—can’t uproot themselves to find a new home. If a tree species has adapted to a particular temperature range, it needs a way to stay in that range or risk extinction.  Read the rest in NOVA Next.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/nature/black-bears-can-help-fruit-trees-escape-climate-change/

The Electronic Bucket Brigade

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When a building caught fire in colonial America, fire trucks equipped with high pressure water did not arrive to dampen the flames because they had yet to be invented. But fires still needed to be quenched. Consequently, these early Americans borrowed a practice dating back to the time of the Roman Emperor Nero. Full Article »

Step Right Up to See the Incredible, Unbelievable Neutron Star

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If a black hole is the senior starting quarterback on your high school football team—dark, handsome, well-known, and admired by everyone—then a neutron star is the starting quarterback’s kid brother, a gangly freshman who marches to the beat of his own drummer and can’t help being overshadowed by the sheer magnitude of his older sibling. Full Article »

Why Light Is a Wave…Sometimes: A Mini-History of the Photoelectric Effect

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When a child cannonballs into a pool, a simple series of waves radiate outward from the point where they plunged in. But if two children jump in at once, they create a more intricate waterscape. Where the two sets of waves meet, they interfere with each other. In some spots, the peak of one wave meets the valley of another, and they cancel each other out. The waves in that location disappear. Full Article »

The Stellar Forge

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The heart of every star is a forge for the building blocks of the universe. Since the day the universe began, stars have been taking the materials spit out by its formation and transforming them into the elements that make up everything we know: deserts, dinosaur bones, oak trees, apartment buildings, giant squids, jellybeans, and you. Full Article »

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