science

Christopher.Michel / Creative Commons

As Earth's climate changes, mountain-dwelling animals have typically been viewed as universal losers. Warming temperatures force a species upward, it runs out of habitable space, and it dies off. But new research is complicating that notion, suggesting some mountain animals might actually benefit in the near term from climate change. 

As many outdoorsy Vermonters are discovering, ticks are in plentiful supply this summer. Bad news for humans at risk for Lyme disease. But the bumper crop is providing ample specimens to study and, amazingly, to dissect with some really tiny scalpels.

Agustín Ruiz/flickr creative commons

Deprive a newborn baby of loving touch and the consequences are dramatic. In fact, touch deprivation can lead to a broad range of developmental problems that, if left uncorrected, will most likely carryover into adulthood. Neuroscientist David Linden tells us touch is not optional for human development.

Robert Dewar / Creative Commons

Neanderthals have long been recognized as humans’ closest relatives. They were highly intelligent, skilled hunters, with a rugged build, and a knack for toolmaking.

A 4 / Creative Commons

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. says it will expand its presence in research centers in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and San Francisco, while cutting jobs in Connecticut.

Milk May Not Do a Body Good

Jun 25, 2015
pixagraphic/flickr creative commons

 Milk, we've been told, is a good source of calcium, provides protein, vitamins, and other nutrients. It's also becoming a source of controversy among parents, doctors, and scientists. We need calcium for bone health and while other foods, like spinach and broccoli, contain calcium milk has been thought to be an efficient vehicle for delivery. What the research tells us about milk is confusing at best. In fact, according to some studies, too much dairy can actually be harmful to our health.

Nathan Reading / Crea

The presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has increased over the past few decades, and the development of new antibiotics has decreased. It's a trend raising fears among physicians that, without quick and deliberate action, antibiotics could become useless.

Kevin Thompson / Flickr Creative Commons

In 1997, more than 180 nations signed the Kyoto Protocol. The idea was clear and ambitious: Begin the process of saving the planet from global warming. The Kyoto protocol outlined what were thought to be realistic guidelines for reducing greenhouse gas emissions among developed nations. In the nearly 20 years since the protocol was signed, climate change has showed few indications of slowing.

Davide Gabino/flickr creative commons

That's what we learned from neuroscientist Dr. Seth Horowitz of Brown University; true silence is non-existent. "In truly quiet areas," he writes in his book, The Universal Sense, "You can even hear the sound of air molecules vibrating inside your ear canals or the fluid in your ears themselves."

Sherman Geronimo-Tan / Creative Commons

Is scientific progress suffering from a lack of creativity?

This hour, we talk to the author of The Creativity Crisis: Reinventing Science to Unleash Possibility to find out how increasingly cautious funding decisions are impacting scientific innovation and discovery. 

Irina Pechkareva / Flickr Creative Commons

Patterns are everywhere: both in the wonders of nature and in the man-made world. They exist in the formations of crystals and clouds, in art and music, and in math and science. It is therefore no surprise that we, as inhabitants of this pattern filled world, are wired to find them.

And it's not only humans that have this ability; pattern recognition is a skill shared by all mammals. Since the first primates learned that certain weather patterns meant a storm and others meant it was time to hunt, life on this planet has both created and responded to patterns for survival. 

Rennett Stowe / Flickr Creative Commons

In 1954, Roger Bannister did the previously unthinkable. He ran a mile in under four minutes. Six weeks later, his chief rival John Landy, did the same thing, and bettered Bannister's performance.

Thirteen months later, three other runners broke four minutes. Bear in mind that this had been considered impossible for as long as there had been time-keeping at track meets.

kakissel / Creative Commons

Scientists and thinkers from around the state will gather in Hartford next month for a panel discussion on 3D printing. The idea is to foster better conversations between researchers and the public.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration plans to continue to monitor daily the three beluga whales exploring Narragansett Bay. Biologists want to make sure they return safely back to their Arctic habitat.

Famed British broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough has been lending his calming voice to nature documentaries ever since TV was in black and white.

NASA, ESA, P. Oesch and I. Momcheva (Yale University), and the 3D-HST and HUDF09/XDF teams

The most distant galaxy ever measured is 13.1 billion light years away, according to a new study out of Yale University. 

Banning Eyre

If you listen closely to the music of Thomas Mapfumo, you will hear the pulse of Zimbabwe. It’s a sound unlike any other, driven by decades of struggle, brutality, and cultural sabotage. 

Mason Masteka/flickr creative commons

This hour I talk with Dr. Reza Yavari, a metabolic doctor and endocrinologist with offices in Madison and Trumbull, Conn. Yavari, affiliated with Yale University, has coached countless clients, many with health issues like diabetes or obesity, to stay motivated and at a stable weight. He shares his tips in this conversation.

Creative Commons

Two UConn professors who’ve been accused of misusing funds from the National Science Foundation didn’t fully read documentation that required them to disclose a conflict of interest, according to state auditors.

After 4,104 orbits of Mercury and billions of miles of space travel, NASA's Messenger orbiter ended its mission with a quiet bang on Thursday. Messenger crashed into the planet it has been orbiting for four years.

NASA says the orbiter began the process of lithobraking at 3:26 p.m. ET — meaning that Messenger essentially scraped to a stop after hitting the planet's surface traveling at thousands of miles an hour. The Oxford English Dictionary reminds us that litho is the combining form for the Greek word for "stone."

Huntstock / Thinkstock

Connecticut staked its claim as a leader in the field of stem cell research this week, as it hosted StemConn, a conference bringing together the latest discoveries in the field. 

When a major earthquake pummeled Kobe, Japan, in 1995, more than 6,000 people were killed, many buried as their traditional wooden homes collapsed under the weight of heavy, unstable tile roofs.

The quake's power was extraordinary and demonstrated Japan wasn't as prepared as it thought it was. Still, it was no match for Japanese resilience.

Mike Licht / Creative Commons

University of Kentucky Biology professor James Krupa is frustrated with the resistance of his non-biology students to accept the theory of evolution as established fact, despite what he calls an "avalanche of evidence" supporting its validity.

Krupa says that evolution is the foundation of our science, and just as we accept germ theory, cell theory, quantum theory, and even game theory, we must understand the significance of evolution even if it challenges long-held religious beliefs.

NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund 2 Science Team

The Hubble Space telescope shot into orbit 25 years ago on Friday. I spoke with a Connecticut engineer who worked on the project, which forever changed humanity's view of its place in the cosmos. 

Mike Massimino is one of the last people to ever see the Hubble Space Telescope in person.

From inside his orbiting space shuttle, the telescope first appeared on the horizon as a star, says Massimino, who was an astronaut on the final mission to service the space telescope in 2009.

Jeffrey Smith/flickr creative commons

There was a time when almost everyone wore a watch. There was a time when almost everyone had a mechanical clock in their home. There was a time when almost no one had any kind of timepiece at all.

There was also a time when pretty much everyone had a VCR that blinked 12:00 AM twenty-four hours a day.

The Science of Snake Oil

Apr 22, 2015
Dave Baker / Flickr Creative Commons

We like to think of health care as an exact science: established guidelines, uniform practices, rigorously tested treatments vetted through extensive lab trials. Unfortunately this was neither the case  in the early days of medicine, nor is it the case today. It's shame that nearly 2500 years after the writing of Hippocrates' famous oath we'd still be wrestling with the ethics of best practice.

In space, all they have is instant.

"For an instant coffee, it's an excellent instant coffee," says Vickie Kloeris, who manages the space station's food supply for NASA. Astronauts are allotted up to three freeze-dried cups (pouches, actually) a day, and Kloeris says it's "extremely popular."

But, she adds, "Can it compete with brewed espresso? No."

Creative Commons

For the last few decades, lobsters have had to prove that they were healthy enough to ship by having blood drawn.

Now, thanks to a Connecticut native, all they’ll have to do is prove their strength in the most lobster of methods: by squeezing sensors with their claws.

The Large Hadron Collider — the giant particle accelerator in Switzerland that confirmed the Higgs boson — is back online after two years and ready to ramp up to twice its previous proton-smashing energy.

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