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Stories by Lydia Chain

Inflating the Universe with Prize-Winning Cosmologist David Spergel

This year’s Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics was awarded to the team behind NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, or WMAP, a space telescope that launched in 2001 to map the cosmic microwave background—the earliest, oldest light we can detect from the universe’s infancy...

December 4, 2017 — Lydia Chain, Michael D. Lemonick and Lee Billings

New Frizzy-Haired Orangutan Species

An isolated group of orangutans in Sumatra is the first new great ape species described since the 1920s, and could be the most critically endangered. 

November 3, 2017 — Lydia Chain

Neutron Star Collisions Create Gold

Astrophysicists searching for gravitational waves have finally learned what happens when you crash two neutron stars together--and it's very, very shiny.

October 17, 2017 — Lydia Chain, Lee Billings and Michael D. Lemonick

Witness the Solar Eclipse without Frying Your Eyes or Your Camera

America is preparing for a sea-to-shining-sea solar eclipse. Here’s how you can watch the spectacular display, and maybe even snap a photo to commemorate the event, without burning your retinas or damaging your camera’s optics...

July 27, 2017 — Lydia Chain, Michael Lemonick and Lee Billings

Giant Model Mimics Damaged Dam Spillway

When the Oroville Dam spillway cracked and failed after a wet California winter, a team of scientists created a one fiftieth–scale model of the damaged concrete and eroded hillside to help guide the reconstruction...

June 28, 2017 — Lydia Chain

Sex on the Beach, Grunion Style

California grunions know how to make the most of a beach vacation. When the tides are right, these silvery fish flop up onto the sand and go in search of a mate.

June 19, 2017 — Lydia Chain

Why Do Allergies Make You Sneeze?

Do you suffer from allergies? Follow the dendritic cell and the entire Scientific American Allergy Orchestra to discover how allergens from pollen to pet dander can change the body's tune...

June 12, 2017 — Lydia Chain

Tackling China's Devastating Yellow River Floods

After learning how the waterway transports a billion tons of sediment into the sea each year, scientists built a tool that may help predict the inundations that impact some 80 million people...

May 15, 2017 — Lydia Chain

The 10 Weirdest Things in the Solar System

Pierogi moons, rubber duckie comets and spewing ice balls: We have some very strange neighbors among the myriad planets, moons and objects that circle our sun.

March 31, 2017 — Lydia Chain, Lee Billings and Michael Lemonick

Tracing a Gaze to Understand Language Delays

Researchers use eye-tracking software to peek inside a child's mind when words fail, reading eye patterns to understand language production and combat conditions such as specific language impairment...

March 27, 2017 — Lydia Chain and Larry Greenemeier
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