We Can't Blame Obesity On Our Hunter-Gatherer Ancestors Anymore

One popular idea to explain the current obesity epidemic proposes that our hunter-gatherer ancestors had a fat-storing adaptation, which allowed them to survive frequent famines. Today, with our overabundance of food, this adaptation is causing us to get fat. There's just one problem with this idea — research now shows … » 1/10/14 6:40am 1/10/14 6:40am

12 Real Life Inventions That Science Fiction is Neglecting at its Peril

Science fiction has always commented on the present, and today's present is very science-fictional. All around, we see inventions that could transform the world within a decade or two. So why don't more science fiction writers speculate about them? Here are 12 real-life developments science fiction should be… » 12/03/13 10:38am 12/03/13 10:38am

Why are all the pig farms exploding?

It sounds like a factory farm legend. One day, the manure collected under the floorboards of a pig barn starts foaming uncontrollably. Then, the foam releases gas that explodes. In one incident — all too real — over 1,500 pigs were killed, and one human seriously injured. What's going on? » 12/03/13 10:35am 12/03/13 10:35am

Controversial study linking GM corn to tumors in rats retracted

Since its publication in September 2012, a study that showed rats fed Monsanto’s glyphosate-resistant NK603 maize developed more tumors than controls has been roundly criticized for its poor experimental design and dubious statistical methods. Yesterday, the study was retracted. » 11/29/13 8:00am 11/29/13 8:00am

Here's why wine snobs should probably be called bacteria snobs

Differences in wine quality between vineyards have long been attributed to processing techniques and seasonal variation. But research now suggests that regional differences between wines are shaped by microbes — specifically, fungi and bacteria. Cultivating certain grape microbes may actually improve wine flavor. » 11/26/13 12:38pm 11/26/13 12:38pm

No, Extreme Human Longevity Won’t Destroy the Planet

It’s only a matter of time before humanity solves the aging problem. And resistance to radical life extension has already begun, driven by fears of overpopulation and the exhaustion of our planet's resources. Here’s why the critics are wrong. » 10/02/13 11:52am 10/02/13 11:52am

This is why the ocean is full of dead zones

Every year, a massive "dead zone" develops in the Gulf of Mexico — a region where algae destroys almost all the oxygen in the ocean. No fish or other life forms can survive there. This year's dead zone is roughly 5,840 square miles (see above map). It's almost twice as big as last year's. What causes this watery death… » 8/14/13 5:39pm 8/14/13 5:39pm

The most important thing you'll read today is an article about oranges

The discourse on genetically modified crops gained a cogent and sorely needed voice this weekend, with the publication of a captivating narrative-treatment of the subject in The New York Times by science writer Amy Harmon. The title of her feature: "A Race to Save the Orange by Altering Its DNA." » 7/29/13 12:45pm 7/29/13 12:45pm