Deborah Pratt Wietsma

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Holey pattern boosts coherence of nanomechanical membrane vibrations

Researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute have introduced a new type of nanomechanical resonator, in which a pattern of holes localizes vibrations to a …

Why it took years for the FDA to warn about infections tied to medical scopes

An outbreak at a Pennsylvania hospital in late 2012 should have been an early warning that a reusable medical scope was spreading deadly infections and nearly impossible to disinfect.<p>But staff at the federal Food and Drug Administration lost the report, one of multiple missteps that allowed doctors …

Public Health

Disney Will Open Star Wars Lands At Its Theme Parks

Two 14-acre Star Wars "lands" are coming to Disney's parks in Orlando, Florida, and Anaheim, California, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced on Saturday.<p>ANAHEIM, California — Star Wars is about to invade Disney's theme parks in a massive way. At the biannual D23 Expo on Saturday, Walt Disney Company CEO …

Edward Gorey: cover star of book design

The author and illustrator is much revered for his own weird and wonderful books, yet his 200-plus jacket designs are virtually ignored. Steven Heller celebrates his contribution to a unique era of publishing<p>Deliciously and subversively cryptic, Edward St John Gorey’s books, plays, postcards, toys, …

Today is a blue moon: What does that really mean, anyway?

Today, people the world over are learning the origins of the expression “once in a blue moon.”<p>That’s because the second full moon in a month, known as a “blue moon,” will be appearing in the Americas this evening (a little after 8pm ET, although technically it already revealed itself at 6:43am …

Astronomy

Here Are the Best Books of 2015 So Far

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Science says your “gut feeling” isn’t a metaphor

The brain’s powers are a little overrated. To keep your body going, you don’t need a functioning brain, but you do need something to provide energy. Enter the gut.<p>We may not give it much thought—because, literally, it happens without conscious thought—but the process of extracting energy from food …

Medical Research

Yes, Mr. President, We Remade Our Atlas to Reflect Shrinking Ice

While discussing his new plan to combat global warming, the President referenced one of the most striking shifts in the history of National Geographic maps.<p>Unveiling his most aggressive plan yet to combat climate change, President Obama on Monday referenced recent dramatic changes that National …

Perseid Meteor Shower Expected To Peak This Week

The celestial display promises to be especially spectacular.<p>The annual Perseid meteor shower is set to make a dazzling late summer appearance this week.<p>Stargazers are especially excited because this year marks the first time since 2010 that the meteor shower aligns with a new moon, making for ideal …

Don't Panic, But Our Universe Is Dying

Don't get too attached to the universe. It won't be around much longer.<p>The universe will long outlast Earth. However, in the cosmic sense, it is slowly dying -- something scientists have believed to be the case since the 1990s, but recently confirmed in a new study.<p>A team of international …

Universe

6 Small Shifts to the Way You Talk That Will Make You (and Everyone Else) Happier at Work

Ask us how we're doing at the end of a long, stressful workday, and chances are you’ll hear, “I’ve been better” or some equally snippy response. …

Lost resting place of Egyptian queen Nefertiti may have been hidden by Tutankhamun's tomb, archaeologist says

An English archaeologist has suggested that the tomb of Tutankhamun, the most famous of Egypt's pharaohs, is hiding a secret that has eluded researchers since its discovery more than 90 years ago.<p>Dr. Nicholas Reeves of the University of Arizona told the Times of London that he believes he has …

Severe Weather: Storm Risk Covers 84 Million, Including All of East Coast

Almost the entire East Coast and Southeast — 84 million people in all — were at risk for severe weather through Tuesday night.<p>The risk zone outlined by the National Weather Service stretched from the Louisiana-Texas state line east to Atlanta and up the coast to Boston.<p>"We're going to have a lot of …

The Coddling of the American Mind

In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s disastrous for education—and mental health.<p><b>S</b>omething strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and …

Higher Education

How Quantum Randomness Saves Relativity

In physics, Albert Einstein is famous for two things: developing the theory of relativity, and hating quantum mechanics. Relativity is a colossal achievement, with the special theory of 1905 putting classical physics on a firmer philosophical footing, and the general theory of 1915 extending that …

- The Washington Post

Here's what happened when scientists erased memories of using meth in mice

This has proved extremely difficult for researchers and patients alike, as even with the best rehabilitation therapy and the most supportive friends and families, many addicts of psychostimulant drugs —methamphetamine, cocaine, and MDMA — relapse soon after therapy ends, often because the memory of …

University of Florida

Why Cats Have Vertical Pupils

Have you ever wondered why your cat's eyes have those creepy vertical slits for pupils? A new study suggests the reason may lie in cats' preferred …

12 fitness 'truths' that are doing more harm than good

How many times a week do you need to work out to get in shape? If you're trying to lose weight, should you focus on exercise or diet? Is it better to hit the gym in the morning or at night?<p>Whether you want to tone up, slim down, or simply boost your mood, you've likely come across these questions, …

Fitness

11 Science Photos From This Week That Will Fill You With Awe

Space