Thomas Johnson

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5 possible Supreme Court picks that could make Republicans squirm

By Amber Phillips<p>Amber Phillips<p>Reporter for The Fix covering Congress, statehouses<p>Email Bio Follow<p>It's an uphill battle for President Obama to get his yet-to-be-determined Supreme Court nominee through a Republican-controlled Senate.<p>But because he is empowered to choose whom he wants to replace …

Republicans

What 2016 Food Prices Can Tell Us About the Economy

As the avian influenza outbreak appears to be contained and the remnants of the drought in California have dissipated, food prices will stabilize in …

This Is How Letters to Santa Were First Delivered by the U.S. Mail

Smithsonian's National Postal Museum<p>Smithsonian's National Postal Museum<p>Smithsonian's National Postal Museum<p>Smithsonian's National Postal …

How Eggnog (Almost) Changed the World

Of all the holiday traditions that might conceivably have changed American history, eggnog would be an unlikely choice—and yet it was the creamy …

Why Rudolph’s Shiny Red Nose Makes Scientific Sense

Certain Christmas legends require a suspension of disbelief, but a new paper published by <i>Frontiers for Young Minds</i> ("science edited for kids, by …

How and when the North Pole became part of Christmas

If you’ve been tracking Santa’s movements via NORAD, you’ll know that he started, as usual, from his village at the North Pole.<p>But it may come as a surprise to some that Santa Claus did not always live there.<p>The earliest published reference to the fact is from December 29, 1866, in Harper's Weekly …

The famous and near-famous who passed away in 2015

Oliver Sacks, the neurologist who fascinated readers with case histories that illustrated the brain’s mysteries, announced his own impending death of melanoma in a column in the <i>New York Times</i>.<p>The author of <i>Awakenings</i> and <i>The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat</i> said that as death neared he saw his life …

Micro-map of hippocampus lends big hand to brain research

Researchers at The Neuro compile new tool designed to be shared with experts world-wide to accelerate research.<p>A new detailed map of the hippocampal …

Hippocampus

Specific coffee chemicals may ward off type 2 diabetes

Coffee and diabetes are two of the most commonly covered topics in current medical news. The latest research looks in detail at some of coffee's …

Diabetes

Great New Video Shows You What Autism And Sensory Overload Feels Like

For those who aren’t affected by autism, the condition can be very hard to understand. Many people know the condition comes with a difficulty in …

400-Year-Old Embalmed Hearts Found Under French Convent

Four hundred years after they were buried in heart-shaped lead urns, five embalmed human hearts have been discovered in a cemetery in northwestern …

This gruesome animation of a bleeding leg might save your life one day

APS Physics/YouTube<p>In the movies, the leg is arguably the best place to be shot; bad guys hardly seem to react to the injuries. But in reality, leg …

Certain Herpes Viruses Can Infect Neurons and Underlie Symptoms of Brain Disorders

<b>For years, researchers have noted a tantalizing link between some neurologic conditions and certain species of the herpes virus. In patients with</b> …

Mystery of arsenic release into groundwater solved

To address these questions, Fendorf and his team performed a series of field experiments. They collected sediment cores from two types of …

This Prehistoric Beast Looks Like 'Star Wars' Queen, Scientists Say

The newly discovered species may be an ancient relative of giraffes.<p>A newly discovered giraffe-like creature that roamed Europe some 13 to 20 million years ago has a moniker fit for a queen. Say hello to Xenokeryx amidalae, named after the "Star Wars" character Queen Amidala, played by actress …

Scientists Find Link Between Low Intelligence And "Pseudo-Profound Bulls***"

If you are inspired by wise-sounding statements then you probably have a low intelligence level, a new study has found.<p>A teams of researchers from …

4 surprising ways science is battling aging

It takes 70 or 80 years to get really good at the whole business of being alive, and no sooner does that happen than mortality begins looking your way, tapping its watch and discreetly reminding you that there's a line waiting for your table.<p>It's the job of aging—and the multiple diseases that …

Stem Cells

Scientists say left-handed people may be smarter in one key way

As is so often the case with social science research, the frustrating answer is "it depends."<p>But there are certain cognitive domains where left-handed people do seem to excel. One such area is called "divergent thinking," or the ability to generate new ideas based on existing information.<p>That's …

These 9 animals are most at risk of disappearing as temperatures reach record levels around the world

1/<p>Puffins<p>Reuters/Nigel Roddis<p>As warmer waters affect fish, puffins and similar fish-eating seabirds will find that their food is harder to come by. …

Map of World's Groundwater Shows Planet's 'Hidden' Reservoirs

A new map of Earth's groundwater supply shows where on the planet water is locked up and "hidden" underground.<p>The map — the first of its kind — …

Science Explains Why You Should Stop Hitting the Snooze Button

It's all too tempting to hit the snooze button when the alarm goes off in the morning. Don't do it: You might think the extra few minutes will give …

DNA storage allows all the world’s digital information to be stored in 9 liters of liquid

Conventional hard drives are topping 10TB now, but that could seem like a laughably small amount of space if DNA-based storage takes off. Two teams …

'Impossible' Space Engine May Actually Work, NASA Test Suggests

It's really starting to look as if an "impossible" space propulsion technology actually works.<p>Researchers at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston …

The Science Behind Why We Procrastinate

Some research says the best way to spark creativity is to walk away and that the best ideas come from those least-expected “aha!” moments. So maybe …

Scientists Unveil the World's First Cyborg Plant

The concept of “green energy” got a whole lot more literal this week, when scientists announced they’d successfully turned living roses into …

Breakthroughs

The World's Awesomest Scientists Invent Cavity-Free Candy

With a breakthrough that will finally help Halloween top Christmas as the best holiday ever, scientists at the Berlin-based biotech lab Organo …

Dental Care

There's Skin Bacteria in Cemetery Soil—Here's Why

Did you know that, according to Polish law, graves can be reused after 20 years, provided nobody objects and the burial fee has not been paid? After …

World Health Organization

This Hypnotic Video of a Snake Race Tells Us Something About Physics

In this video, snakes are forced to slither between two boards. The boards are placed successively closer together until the poor snake is wriggling. …

Physics

Scientists find new arsenic threat in deep water wells

"Dig deep" to avoid naturally occurring arsenic contamination has been promoted as an answer to obtaining safe water in South Asia, which has …

These Stone Etchings Might Depict a Prehistoric Campsite

Humans might have had architectural inclinations as far back as the Paleolithic era. According to a study in the journal <i>PLOS ONE</i>, researchers have …