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Traces of a Distant Past

DNA furnishes an ever clearer picture of the multimillennial trek from Africa all the way to the tip of South America

November 1, 2012

IBM and Caltech experiment with DNA-size computer chips

Gadget makers have for decades relied on ever-shrinking microchips to make more portable, yet more powerful, devices. But as the components used to make these chips become smaller, with widths measured in dozens rather than hundreds of nanometers, they become increasingly more difficult to assemble.  Since microchips are the engines performing the logic functions that make computers, cell phones and countless other electronic gadgets run, technology makers like IBM have been looking to pack more transistors closer together in smaller spaces. Now comes a potential solution.

August 17, 2009 — Larry Greenemeier

Colorado Cat Missing for 5 Years Found in Manhattan

Or maybe I should have titled this post as "Colorado Cat Becomes Big Star in New York, Goes Home to Rural Life Anyway." After all, she made it to NBC's Today show this morning (video), and several media outlets picked up the Associated Press story about how she went missing at a time when most people did not know who Barack Obama was.The cat, named Willow, belongs to the Squires, a Colorado family that was doing home renovations at the time of Willow's disappearance—contractors inadvertently left a door open.

September 15, 2011 — Philip Yam

Visions: A Familiar Face

In the series "Visions," science fiction about the very latest research will be paired with analysis looking into the facts behind the fiction. The goal is to marry ripped-from-the-headlines science fiction with analysis into the possibilities hinted at by new discoveries.

July 20, 2011 — Charles Q. Choi

How to Search for Life on Mars

Experiments now under development could finally answer one of the most profound questions in science: Does life exist outside of Earth?

June 1, 2014 — Christopher P. McKay and Victor Parro García

Sons of STM

Scanning tunneling microscope spawns diverse applications

July 1, 1988 — June Kinoshita
Cells That Compute Come Closer to Reality

Cells That Compute Come Closer to Reality

Synthetic biologists are close to putting living cells to work diagnosing human diseases and repairing environmental damage

April 1, 2016 — Timothy K. Lu and Oliver Purcell

The Environment: birds; strategic conservation; big cats.

In this episode, Cambridge conservation scientist Andrew Balmford discusses the state of the world's birds; the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Rex Johnson talks about a new, strategic approach to conservation (both men were presenters at the recent conference "Conserving Birds in Human-Dominated Landscapes" at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City); and the Wildlife Conservation Society's Alan Rabinowitz describes his efforts to save the world's big cats. Plus, test your knowledge about some recent science in the news.

May 10, 2006 — Steve Mirsky