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Dreamers of the Carbon-Free Dream

Can California go full-renewable?



Should We Prosecute Climate Change Protesters Who Break the Law?

A conversation with Bristol County, Massachusetts, District Attorney Sam Sutter, who dropped steep charges against two climate change protesters.



America’s Bathrooms Are a Total Failure

No matter which American bathroom is crowned in this year’s America’s Best Restroom contest, it will still have a host of terrible flaws.

Genes Are Us


Why DNA Is One of Humanity’s Greatest Inventions

How we’ve co-opted our genetic material to change our world.

Quick Studies


Earliest High-Altitude Settlements Found in Peru

Discovery suggests humans adapted to high altitude faster than previously thought.

Hot in Here


Converting the Climate Change Non-Believers

When hard science isn’t enough, what can be done?

Quick Studies


That Cigarette Would Make a Great Water Filter

Clean out the ashtray, add some aluminum oxide, and you’ve (almost) got yourself a low-cost way to remove arsenic from drinking water.

The Things We Eat


Fruits and Vegetables Are About to Enter a Flavor Renaissance

Chefs are teaming up with plant breeders to revitalize bland produce with robust flavors and exotic beauty—qualities long neglected by industrial agriculture.

Quick Studies


How to Water a Farm in Sandy Ground

Physicists investigate how to grow food more efficiently in fine-grained soil.



Can Science Fiction Spur Science Innovation?

Without proper funding, the answer might not even matter.



The Latest—and Most Mysterious—Player in the Nasty Battle Over Net Neutrality

As the FCC considers how to regulate Internet providers, the telecom industry’s stealth campaign for hearts and minds encompasses everything from art installations to LOLcats.

Placebo Week


How Cosmetic Companies Get Away With Pseudoscience

Anti-aging creams make absurd claims that they repair DNA damage or use stem-cell treatments. When cosmetics companies and dermatologists partner to maximize profits, who is responsible for protecting the consumer?

Our Machine Overlords


‘Looking’ at Art in the Smartphone Age

Technology is a great way to activate gallery space, but it shouldn’t take it over.

In the Classroom


The Battle Over High School Animal Dissection

Is the biology class tradition a useful rite of passage or a schoolroom relic?



Green Surroundings Linked to Higher Student Test Scores

New research on Massachusetts schoolchildren finds a tangible benefit to regular exposure to nature.

Burgh Diaspora


Tech Company Wagons Ho! Geography of the Urban Land Rush

Are technology companies willing to spend more for expensive urban real estate in order to attract cheaper talent?

Placebo Week


Little Lies Push an Athlete’s Limits

How far can you run or bike? For athletes, a little benign deception and positive thinking can trump body science.

Our Best Friends


Can Dogs, Cats, and Cows Predict Earthquakes?

A study out of Japan earlier this year surveyed pet owners about strange behaviors demonstrated before the magnitude 9 earthquake in 2011.



A Case for ‘Believing’ in Mercury Retrograde

Sure, why not?

Go Outside


The End of Stars

Soon, some scientists say, we’ll only be able to see the Milky Way in five different states.

Quick Studies


Twitter’s No Beacon of Democracy, But It’s Better Than Expected

It’s pretty bad, but it’s less status-conscious and less insult-prone than you’d think.



How Much of Your Sensitive Personal Information Would You Trade for a Free Cookie?

An artist tests whether New Yorkers will give away their mother’s maiden name or part of their Social Security number for a homemade cookie.

The World Wide Web


How Facebook’s Shifting ‘Real Names’ Policy Threatens Free Expression

A transgender activist, an Egyptian blogger, and a porn star explain the crucial identities connected to names they weren’t born with.

Go Outside


Have Humans Created a New Geological Era?

Welcome to the Anthropocene.

Our Best Friends


How Do We Know Our Environmental Laws Are Working?

Ask a great white shark.

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We’re Not So Great at Rejecting Each Other

And it's probably something we should work on.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Brain

Neuroscientists find less—but potentially stronger—white matter in the brains of patients with CFS.

Incumbents, Pray for Rain

Come next Tuesday, rain could push voters toward safer, more predictable candidates.

Could Economics Benefit From Computer Science Thinking?

Computational complexity could offer new insight into old ideas in biology and, yes, even the dismal science.

Politicians Really Aren’t Better Decision Makers

Politicians took part in a classic choice experiment but failed to do better than the rest of us.

The Big One

One town, Champlain, New York, was the source of nearly half the scams targeting small businesses in the United States last year. November/December 2014

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