Lunch in the Lab

  • April 2, 2013    

    Swarms of cicada nymphs emerge from the ground. Photo by Michael Raupp. On Friday, we wrote about the impending arrival of the 17-year cicadas — the root sucking, egg laying, battery-sized bugs that will emerge from the earth en masse … Continue reading

  • March 29, 2013    

    If you live along the mid-Atlantic from North Carolina to Connecticut, get ready to witness the loud and “spectacular” mating ritual of the cicadas. Photo by Michael Raupp. Sometime around Memorial Day, in the declining hours of daylight, swarms of … Continue reading

  • March 26, 2013    

    Biologist Edward O. Wilson studies fire ants at Harvard University on Sept. 8, 1975. Photo by Hugh Patrick Brown/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images. Edward O. Wilson’s “Letters to a Young Scientist” arrived in the mail this week. Finding myself with … Continue reading

  • March 22, 2013    

    A new map shows the oldest light in our universe, as detected with the precision by the Planck mission. Image by ESA and the Planck Collaboration. You may have seen this map, which has been making the rounds since its … Continue reading

  • March 19, 2013    

    This proton-proton collision event, from the CMS experiment at CERN, shows characteristics expected from the decay of a Higgs boson. Photo by CERN. Following last week’s major announcement at CERN, I finally had time to sit down and read Dennis … Continue reading

  • March 15, 2013    

    In the 2000 film Erin Brockovich, Julia Roberts plays a scantily-clad file clerk in a small law firm who traces a cluster of health problems in a California desert town to a chemical in the groundwater there, and traces the … Continue reading

  • March 12, 2013    

    Oh to be Chris Hadfield, eating maple syrup from a tube and casually gazing down at a smoke plume streaming from Italy’s Mount Etna volcano while performing experiments to improve the metal in turbine blades and dental fillings. The good … Continue reading

  • March 8, 2013    

    This animation shows the path of the magnetic field that was discharged from the sun causing the Curiosity team to power down the rover this week. The modeling was carried out at the NASA Goddard Space Weather Research Center. Earlier … Continue reading

  • March 5, 2013    

    A lab technician pipettes liquid into test tubes. Photo by Photo by Apostrophe Productions. Scientists nationwide are bracing for the impacts of the sequestration cuts, which are poised to strike a fierce blow to research. Policymakers aren’t the only ones … Continue reading

  • March 1, 2013    

    The ocean, by some estimates, holds enough salt to cover the entire surface of the Earth, layered to the height of a 40-story office building. Much of the salt in the ocean comes from rock that gets eroded by slightly-acidic … Continue reading

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