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Stories by Steve Mirsky

Vaccinate Prairie Dogs to Save Ferrets

As was widely reported on social media, the U.S. is indeed going to use aerial drones to spread vaccine-laced pellets among prairie dogs to save endangered ferrets, although, contrary to some reports, no M&Ms will be involved. 

July 19, 2016 — Steve Mirsky

Drowsy Driving Kills 6,400 Americans Annually

Charles Czeisler, director of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, talked about the dangers of drowsy driving at a recent Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Forum called Asleep at the Wheel.      

June 27, 2016 — Steve Mirsky

Electric Eels versus Horses: Shocking but True

Kenneth Catania of Vanderbilt University talks to Cynthia Graber about electric eel research that led him to accept 19th-century naturalist Alexander von Humboldt's account of electric eels attacking horses.  

June 27, 2016 — Cynthia Graber and Steve Mirsky

Tiger, Tiger, Being Tracked

Wildlife Conservation Society researcher Ullas Karanth talks about his July, 2016, Scientific American article on state-of-the-art techniques for tracking tigers and estimating their populations and habitat health.

June 16, 2016 — K. Ullas Karanth and Steve Mirsky

Gravitational Wave Scientists Astounded--by Your Interest

Caltech’s Kip Thorne and Ronald Drever and MIT’s Rainer Weiss were the founders of the LIGO experiment that detected gravitational waves. They were just awarded the Kavli Prize in Astrophysics and two of them spoke with Scientific American's Clara Moskowitz about LIGO and the public's reaction. 

June 14, 2016 — Clara Moskowitz and Steve Mirsky

Sean M. Carroll Looks at The Big Picture

Caltech theoretical physicist Sean M. Carroll talks about his new book The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. (Dutton, 2016)  

May 12, 2016 — Sean M. Carroll and Steve Mirsky

Everything There Is

Caltech theoretical physicist Sean M. Carroll talks about the necessary connections among the various ways we have of describing the universe. 

May 11, 2016 — Steve Mirsky

The Bowling Ball That Invaded Earth

Former Scientific American editor Mark Alpert talks about his latest science fiction thriller, The Orion Plan, featuring the method whereby aliens most likely really would colonize our planet.

May 5, 2016 — Mark Alpert and Steve Mirsky

Gambling Gave Science Some Lucky Breaks

The development of statistics, probability theory, game theory and chaos theory owes a lot to people trying to figure out various games of chance.   

April 19, 2016 — Steve Mirsky

The Fastball Gets Its Scientific Due in a New Documentary

The new movie Fastball dissects the pitch from the perspective of pitchers, hitters, umpires—and scientists, who talk about everything from the physics governing the trajectory of the ball to the neuroscience of the batter’s perception and reaction—including how the ball can appear to vanish.   

March 25, 2016 — Steve Mirsky