amanda crowley

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Why H is the most contentious letter in the alphabet

While writing my book, Alphabetical, about the history of the letters we use, I discovered that debates about power and class surround every letter – and none more so than the letter H<p>The alphabet is something not to be argued with: there are 26 letters in as fixed a sequence as the numbers 1-26; …

Could Beached Oarfish Be a Bad Omen for California?

It has long been known that erratic animal behaviour often occurs before earthquakes. Could the dead oarfish found recently on California’s beaches …

Fish

Milky Way may host billions of Earth-size planets

There's no place like home, but scientists now say that Earth-size planets orbiting sun-like stars in a so-called habitable zone are so common that there could be as many as 11 billion in the Milky Way alone.<p>Using a clever method to detect Earth-sizeexoplanets they may have missed, astronomers …

Universe

Why?: Answers to Everyday Scientific Questions by Joel Levy

This sweeping science book for young adults is just plain fun to read, being packed with interesting scientific facts that are clearly written and carefully researched.<p>If you're a parent or teacher, you probably are asked "why questions" by young people several dozen times each day. Why can't we …

Galaxy Quest: Just How Many Earth-Like Planets Are Out There?

A team of planet hunters estimates that about 22 percent of the sun-like stars in our galaxy may have planets about the size of Earth that are bathed in similar amounts of sunlight — and potentially habitable.<p>That's the conclusion of a new analysis of observations taken by NASA's Kepler Space …

The dark side of psychology in abuse and interrogation

A new report uncovers the role of US psychologists in torture and criticizes the American Psychological Association for supporting interrogation in the name of national security<p>This week the Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) and the Open Society Foundations (OSF) have published the most …

Environment: News & features

Environment

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Two billion planets in our galaxy may be suitable for life

Data from Kepler space observatory suggests planets capable of supporting life are far more common than previously thought<p>Our galaxy probably contains at least two billion planets that, like Earth, have liquid water on their surfaces and orbit around their parent stars in the "habitable zone" for …

This Giant Balloon Will Carry You to (Near) Space

Want to take your time at the edge of the world? Climb aboard for a World View balloon ride to 98,000 feet.<p><b>Tucson-based startup World View</b> has announced the latest tech to join the commercial space race: a football-field-size helium balloon designed to take paying customers 18 miles (98,000 feet) …

Space Travel

Why The Moon Should Be An International Park

We could learn a lot about Earth from the moon, and the risks of it being damaged are only increasing.<p>The thought of a robot laying tracks over Neil Armstrong’s and Buzz Aldrin’s footprints just seems wrong. And the risk is greater than you might think. Private spaceflight is flourishing, and even …

Best space images of the month

Here are some of the most stunning pictures captured during a memorable month in space – from bold new ventures to a galaxy far, far away.

Space Exploration

Kids who grow up with less may catch more colds as adults - Futurity

Kids from families with lower socioeconomic status have shorter telomeres as adults, which ultimately affects susceptibility to colds in middle-aged …

Medicine

Why India's Mars Mission Is So Much Cheaper Than NASA's

Former NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin pioneered a "faster, better, cheaper" approach to America's space program, but he would have been hard-pressed to deliver a Mars mission for the bargain-basement price of India's first probe to the red planet, which blasted off Tuesday.<p>"India's Mars mission, …