How did Pablo Neruda really die? Forensic science weighs in.

Almost 40 years ago, Chilean poet Pablo Neruda died. Whether the Nobel prizewinner’s death was from prostate cancer (the official diagnosis) or poisoning has been a longstanding mystery. But earlier this week, Neruda's body was removed from its tomb, launching a forensic investigation that could establish once and for… » 4/11/13 6:40am 4/11/13 6:40am

How to mine for gold in your television set and computer keyboard

Where do your computer, iPhone, and television go when they die? Mostly they end up in dumps. Now, people in North America, India, and Europe are harvesting these trashed electronic parts to recover the precious metals within. Though gold is often what they seek, lead and copper are valuable in large quantities too.… » 3/21/12 3:19pm 3/21/12 3:19pm

In South Africa, rhinos could soon become agents of chemical warfare

Got a hankering for some rhinoceros horn? Practitioners of traditional Asian medicine believe that ground rhino horns, when ingested, can help cure diseases like cancer. Unfortunately for patients consuming rhino horns, they could just as well be chewing on their fingernails. Unfortunately for the rhinos, the… » 9/08/11 5:00pm 9/08/11 5:00pm

The roads in North Dakota are giving people cancer

In Dunn County, North Dakota, the roads can kill you. In fact, anything you do to disturb rocks in the area, like driving or even sweeping, can kick up naturally-occurring particles that lodge in your body and give you a rare kind of lung cancer up to 30 years later. Dunn County, you see, is home to a lot of rocks… » 7/27/11 8:00am 7/27/11 8:00am

Mice have evolved immunity to poison in a very unusual way

For anyone who has to deal with rodent infestations, getting rid of the small, gnawing animals can be rough — so much so that many people immediately head for poison. However, it's not quite as easy as that. Some mice have obtained immunity to Warfarin, a common rodent poison, via a very unusual route: horizontal… » 7/21/11 12:30pm 7/21/11 12:30pm

Which poisonous bacterial protein is best for you?

As someone who has never had botulinim toxin injected in my face as a way to prevent wrinkles, it never occurred to me that different strains of the toxin might have different levels of effectiveness. Yet enterprising researchers from San Francisco have studied these poisons extensively, pitting two types against… » 6/23/11 10:14am 6/23/11 10:14am