National Academy of Sciences

  • Rio de Janeiro Dec 1, 2019

    Warming Toll: 1 Degree Hotter, Trillions of Tons of Ice Gone

    Since leaders first started talking about tackling the problem of climate change, the world has spewed more heat-trapping gases, gotten hotter and suffered hundreds of extreme weather disasters. Fires have burned, ice has melted and seas have grown. The first United Nations diplomatic conference to tackle climate change was in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Here’s what’s happened to Earth...

  • NBC News Oct 12, 2019

    Laser-Scanning Tech Uncovers Huge Network of Ancient Mayan Farms

    Deep within a rainforest in Belize, scientists using lasers beamed from an airplane to peer beneath the dense foliage have discovered evidence of a vast network of ancient Maya farms that date back thousands of years, NBC News reports. The findings, part of more than 20 years of research in this part of Central America, show how the ancient Maya...

  • Professor Oct 8, 2019

    Researchers Find E-Cigarettes Cause Lung Cancer in Mice in First Study Tying Vaping to Cancer

    E-cigarette vapor causes lung cancer and potentially bladder cancer in mice, damaging their DNA and leading researchers at New York University to conclude that vaping is likely “very harmful” to humans as well. “It’s foreseeable that if you smoke e-cigarettes, all kinds of disease comes out” over time, Moon-Shong Tang, the study’s lead researcher, said in an interview. “Long term,...

  • Mexico Jul 1, 2019

    Floating Antarctic Ice Goes From Record High to Record Lows

    The amount of ice circling Antarctica is suddenly plunging from a record high to record lows, baffling scientists. Floating ice off the southern continent steadily increased from 1979 and hit a record high in 2014. But three years later, the annual average extent of Antarctic sea ice hit its lowest mark, wiping out three-and-a-half decades of gains — and then...

  • Arizona Jun 17, 2019

    Scientists Take a Peek Behind Those Sad Puppy Dog Eyes

    What’s behind those hard-to-resist puppy dog eyes? New research suggests that over thousands of years of dog domestication, people preferred pups that could pull off that appealing, sad look. And that encouraged the development of the facial muscle that creates it. Today, pooches use the muscle to raise their eyebrows and make the babylike expression. That muscle is virtually absent...

  • New York Jun 10, 2019

    Medical Pot Laws No Answer for US Opioid Deaths, Study Finds

    A new study shoots down the notion that medical marijuana laws can prevent opioid overdose deaths, challenging a favorite talking point of legal pot advocates. Researchers repeated an analysis that sparked excitement years ago. The previous work linked medical marijuana laws to slower than expected increases in state prescription opioid death rates from 1999 to 2010. The original authors speculated...

  • Harvard May 22, 2018

    Study of Planetary Poundage Finds Plants Outweigh People 7,500 to 1

    When you weigh all life on Earth, billions of humans don’t amount to much compared to trees, earthworms or even viruses. But we really know how to throw what little weight we have around, according to a first-of-its-kind global census of the footprint of life on the planet. Humans only add up to about one ten-thousandth of the life on...

  • Chicago Mar 19, 2018

    Want to Avoid the Flu While Flying? Try a Window Seat

    Worried about catching a cold or the flu on an airplane? Get a window seat, and don’t leave it until the flight is over.

  • New Jersey Oct 26, 2017

    5 Years After Sandy, Some NJ Survivors Don’t Know How Life Can Go On

    Five years after Sandy made landfall near Atlantic City, beginning its days-long siege on the tri-state area that would leave major cities largely under water, kill dozens of people and cause tens of billions of dollars in damage, many New Jersey residents who lived through the storm are still struggling to recover.

  • iPhone May 16, 2017

    ‘Beautiful and Terrifying’: Scientists Find 38 Million Pieces of Trash on Pacific Island

    When researchers traveled to a tiny, uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, they were astonished to find an estimated 38 million pieces of trash washed up on the beaches. Almost all of the garbage they found on Henderson Island was made from plastic. There were toy soldiers, dominos, toothbrushes and hundreds of hardhats of every shape, size...

  • New Jersey Mar 8, 2017

    Extra-Warm February Nearly Beats US Heat Record: Study

    A freakishly balmy February broke more than 11,700 local daily records for warmth in the United States, but it didn’t quite beat 1954 for the warmest February on record, climate scientists said. The average temperature last month was 41.2 degrees — 7.3 degrees warmer than normal but three-tenths a degree behind the record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported...

  • New York Oct 18, 2016

    Scientists Say They’ve Unlocked the Chilling Effect the Fridge Has on Tomatoes’ Taste

    If you buy tomatoes from John Banscher at his farmstand in New Jersey, he’ll recommend keeping them out of the fridge or they’ll lose some of their taste. Now scientists have figured out why: It’s because some of their genes chill out, says a study that may help solve that problem. Cooling tomatoes below 54 degrees stops them from making...

  • California Feb 9, 2016

    An Icky New Hero? Roach-Like Robots May Help in Disasters

    When buildings collapse in future disasters, the hero helping rescue trapped people may be a robotic cockroach. The amazing cockroach inspired scientists to create a mini-robot that can mimic those feats of strength and agility. The researchers hope swarms of future roach-like robots could be fitted with cameras, microphones and other sensors and then used in earthquakes and other disasters...

  • New York Apr 19, 2016

    Dinosaurs Were Declining Long Before Asteroid Hit: Study

    Dinosaurs were in decline long before an asteroid strike polished them off about 66 million years ago, a study says. It’s the latest contribution to a long-running debate: Did the asteroid reverse the fortune of a thriving group of animals? Or were dinosaurs already struggling, and the disruptive effects of the asteroid pushed them over the edge to extinction? Or...

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