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A Sharp Spike in Honeybee Deaths Deepens a Worrisome Trend

A prolonged and mysterious die-off of the nation’s honeybees, a trend worrisome both to beekeepers and to farmers who depend on the insects to pollinate their crops, apparently worsened last year.

In an annual survey released on Wednesday by the Bee Informed Partnership, a consortium of universities …

Honey Bees

Study Asks if Carrot or Stick Can Better Help Smokers Quit

WASHINGTON — What would make a smoker more likely to quit, a big reward for succeeding or a little penalty for failing? That is what researchers wanted to know when they assigned a large group of CVS employees, their relatives and friends to different smoking cessation programs.

The answer offered a …

Behavioral Economics

B Vitamin Is Found to Help People Prone to Some Types of Skin Cancer

An inexpensive vitamin can help reduce the occurrence of common skin cancers in people prone to that disease, researchers reported on Wednesday.

In a clinical trial, people who took two pills a day of nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3 available as a nutritional supplement, had a 23 percent lower …

Cancer

With Tesla Entering Market, Hopes for Home Batteries Grow

Christian Kasberger, a telecommunications engineer in the Austrian town of Waizenkirchen, wanted to reduce his family’s dependence on fossil fuels that help power the electrical grid. So last year he put a battery system in his garage, to store the energy produced by solar panels on his rooftop.

The …

Batteries

Almost A Thousand Crowdfunders Breathe New Life Into Hybrid Blimp-Plane

Delivering the airship of the past

When the U.S. Army canceled the Airlander--a hybrid airship that borrows from both soft-bodied blimps and rigid-bodied zeppelin-style dirigibles--it looked like the dream of new airships for the 21st century went down with the funding. Then a curious thing …

Thousand

Singer Sarah Brightman calls off tourist flight to International Space Station

British soprano Sarah Brightman called off plans for a flight to the International Space Station, citing family reasons, the singer said in a statement on Wednesday.

Brightman began training in Russia’s Star City in January for a ride aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule and 10-day stay on the station, a …

Sarah Brightman

Watch: Ants Use Giant Jaws to Catapult Out of Death Trap

Trap-jaw ants can escape predators' sand pits by using their powerful jaws to fling themselves away from danger, a new study finds.

The trap-jaw ant is famous for its super-strong mandibles, which can crush prey, handle eggs, defend nests from intruders, and even fling the insect into the air.

Now, …

Insects

To make smokers healthy, it helps to make them wealthy, study finds

Would the promise of an $800 payout motivate you to quit smoking? And if so, what’s the most effective way to dangle that reward?

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania sought to answer those questions, with help from more than 2,500 smokers who either worked for CVS Caremark or were their …

Smoking

U.S. Air Force kicks off first satellite launch tender in over decade

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force on Wednesday kicked off its first major satellite launch competition in over a decade, issuing a draft request for proposals for the launch of a next-generation Global Positioning System satellite.

Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center said the contract …

Satellites

Public urged to help chart nature on Britain's coasts

Wildlife-lovers are being asked to help the National Trust conduct its most significant survey of nature on Britain's coastline

Wildlife-lovers are being asked to help the National Trust conduct its biggest survey yet of nature around the UK's coasts.

Hundreds of members of the public, National Trust …

Nature

Amazing Time-Lapse: Bees Hatch Before Your Eyes

Witness the eerily beautiful growth of larvae into bees in this mesmerizing time-lapse video from photographer Anand Varma. Varma said the six-month project, for which he built a beehive in his workshop, gave him a new respect for the meticulous job of beekeeping.

Time-lapse Photography

Einstein's Letters on God, Relativity and Family to be Auctioned

Perhaps the 20th century's greatest physicist, and certainly the most well-known, Albert Einstein left behind a massive intellectual legacy — and quite a bit of correspondence, too. A great number of these letters have been collected by historical memorabilia dealer Profiles in History, and will be …

Albert Einstein

Argentine lab peddles prized export: thoroughbred polo horse embryos

(In May 13 story, removes incorrect price of embryo transfer in paragraph 13)

By Miguel Lobianco

CARDALES, Argentina (Reuters) - Argentina is famous for its Malbec red wine and beef, but it boasts two lesser-known but equally prized exports: the sperm and frozen embryos of thoroughbred polo …

Argentina

Forget Renaissance Italy—Modernity Got Going With the Vikings

The North Sea is small, but its cultural influence spread from Dublin in the west to Poland in the east, says author.

We tend to think of European civilization being born among the marble statues and bright sunshine of Renaissance Italy.

But according to the author of The Edge of The World: A Cultural

Italy

How To Prevent America's Next Train Crash

Long-overdue rail upgrades could prevent the next big train catastrophe. So why are the railroads so reluctant to make them?

The evening of January 5, 2005, was dry and cool in Graniteville, South Carolina. At 6:10, a 12-car Norfolk Southern freight train pulled up to the Avondale Mills textile …

Federal Railroad Administration

Smokers More Likely To Quit If Their Own Cash Is On The Line

A new study finds that employer-based programs to help people stop smoking would work better if they tapped into highly motivating feelings — such as the fear of losing money.

This conclusion flows from a study involving the employees of CVS/Caremark. Some workers got postcards asking them if they …

University of Pennsylvania

Cloudiest Places on Earth Revealed by 12 Years of Satellite Data

As a new NASA image reveals, the Earth is a cloudy place. According to the space agency, clouds cover about 67 percent of the Earth's surface at any given time, and less than 10 percent of the skies over the ocean are sunny and blue. Now, more than a decade's worth of data from the Moderate …

Satellites

Viagra Could Stop Malaria

The little pill hardens blood cells to fight off parasites

Since it first came on the market in 1998, Viagra has been found to address more conditions than just erectile dysfunction—it treats hypertension, altitude sickness, and prostate cancer. Now a team of European researchers has found that …

Viagra

A Film Explores Curaçao’s Effort to Become a Caribbean Haven for Coral

After months of reporting and planning, a frenetic week of filming in March, and many long nights in the editing suite, 10 Pace University communication students, with guidance from Prof. Maria Luskay and me, have completed “Curaçao’s Coral Challenge – Reviving the Rain Forests of the Sea.”

The film …

Caribbean

Change of Tune: Singer Sarah Brightman Postpones Her Trip to Space

Sarah Brightman has had a change of tune and won't be singing in space after all — at least not in the near future.

The 54-year-old British soprano announced Wednesday that she is postponing her plans to fly as a tourist to the International Space Station in September with Russian cosmonaut Sergey …

Sarah Brightman

To Fight Infections, The Army Wants A Better Bugcatcher

War on disease never stops, even for other wars

War may be one horseman of the apocalypse, but for much of human history its destructive potential had nothing on its stablemate Pestilence. The Spanish Flu pandemic that followed World War I killed almost twice as many people as the war itself. While …

Foreign Policy

Using High-Tech Photography to Reveal Ancient Rock Art

During the second part of our adventure into the dark realms deep within Dahaisi cave where legends say a giant white snake dwells, we discovered and documented an ancient pathway worn smooth by ancient visitors to the cave. However, the main reason we came to Dahaisi was to document the wide array …

Art

Santa Fe Cuts Water Consumption By Imposing Tiered Pricing Model

NPR's Melissa Block interviews Santa Fe, N.M., Mayor Javier Gonzales about how the city managed to cut water usage by one-fifth while its population grew by 10 percent.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now, to another city that's grown in population, but at the same time, has managed to cut its total …

Prices

California Builders Prepare For Future Water Needs As Population Grows

Under the growing burden of drought, California is struggling to supply enough water to all of the people currently living there. The state is also working on ways to ensure water for millions more residents expected to live there in the future.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The drought in …

California

Marijuana pills fail to ease dementia symptoms

Pills containing an extract of marijuana do not significantly ease some of dementia's most difficult symptoms, including agitation, aggression and nighttime wandering, says the largest-ever study testing the safety and effectiveness of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on elderly dementia patients.

The new …

Marijuana

Scientists made a chicken more like a dinosaur to see how beaks evolved

Researchers are attempting to look into birds' past, figuring out how they evolved from dinosaurs by making modern specimens look a little bit like their ancestors. In a new study, published today in Evolution, researchers describe the process that appears to make birds have a beak instead of a …

Evolution

Fifteen-month-old Aidan from Lake Worth, Florida loved our March issue so much, he's reading it again! http://t.co/8Tjp2cF4Lt

Large Hadron Collider finds long-sought signs of rare particle decays

Smashing protons together in search of strange particles, scientists at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva say they’ve discovered signs of particle decays that have long been predicted, but have never before been seen.

The decay pattern of the two B mesons, described in the journal Nature, could …

Physics

Why Australia’s Lake Eyre will eventually disappear

Geoscientists have, for the first time, discovered the origins of Australia’s two largest basins: Lake Eyre and the Murray-Darling Basin. They also …

Australia

Do sunscreen and boat bottoms hurt sea urchins?

Nanomaterials in sunscreens and on boat-bottom paints make sea urchin embryos more vulnerable to toxins, report researchers.

They say the materials …

Invertebrates