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Past Stories

Past Stories by Title

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Mammoth Mystery

Mammoth Mystery - July 2008
A pair of mammoth skeletons is found locked together by their tusks. What happened?

Marathon Mouse

Marathon Mouse - July 2009
With an "exercise pill," researchers turn couch-potato rodents into champion runners.

Mass Extinction

Mass Extinction - Nov. 2006
What caused the mother of all extinctions 250 million years ago?

Maya

Maya - Jan. 2007
NASA archeologists use satellites to pinpoint ancient ruins buried deep in the jungle.

Moon Smasher

Moon Smasher - July 2009
A NASA satellite called LCROSS heads to the moon in the hope of finding buried water.

Of Mice and Memory

Of Mice and Memory - Jun. 2008
Mice placed in enriched environments can recover lost memories, giving hope to those who study Alzheimer's.

Mirror Neurons

Mirror Neurons - Jan. 2005
A recently discovered system in the brain may help explain why we humans can get so worked up watching other people.

Obesity

Obesity - Oct. 2006
Examine the biology behind the compulsion to eat.

Pandemic Flu

Pandemic Flu - Jan. 2006
Will the virus that causes bird flu develop the ability to move from person to person?

Papyrus

Papyrus - Nov. 2006
Scraps of writings from a garbage dump in ancient Egypt reveal what life was like 2,000 years ago.

Personal DNA Testing

Personal DNA Testing - Jul. 2008
Genetic testing to assess risk factors for a handful of serious illnesses is now commercially available. But is it a good idea?

Phoenix Mars Lander

Phoenix Mars Lander - July 2008
NASA's latest robot has already found frozen water and is looking for more signs that the Red Planet could support life.

Profile: Maydianne Andrade

Profile: Maydianne Andrade - July 2009
By peering into the sex lives of black widow spiders, this evolutionary biologist has shown the upside of cannibalism.

Profile: Bonnie Bassler

Profile: Bonnie Bassler - Jan. 2007
Her insight into how bacteria "talk" has launched a revolution in biological and medical research.

Profile: Sangeeta Bhatia

Profile: Sangeeta Bhatia - July 2009
Intrigued by the idea of artificial organs, a biomedical engineer uses computer-chip technology to craft tiny livers.

Profile: Cynthia Breazeal

Profile: Cynthia Breazeal - Nov. 2006
A daring engineer designs robots to communicate and interact the way people do.

Profile: Brothers Chudnovsky

Profile: Brothers Chudnovsky - Jul. 2005
The story of two brilliant mathematicians, a unicorn, and a homemade supercomputer

Profile: Tyler Curiel

Profile: Tyler Curiel - Jan. 2006
In the midst of Hurricane Katrina a cancer researcher risks everything to save a medical treasure.

Profile: Franklin Chang-Díaz

Profile: Franklin Chang-Díaz - July 2009
The first Latino-American astronaut is also a scientist designing a new generation of plasma-powered space vehicles.

Profile: Hany Farid

Profile: Hany Farid - Jun. 2008
This self-proclaimed "accidental scientist" is a digital detective inventing new ways to tell if photos have been faked.

Profile: Judah Folkman

Profile: Judah Folkman - July 2008
Once scorned for his ideas about how cancer grows, the late Judah Folkman is now hailed as a visionary.

Profile: Naomi Halas

Profile: Naomi Halas - Apr. 2005
Naomi Halas is a pioneering nanotechnologist bent on seeing practical applications for her work—and soon.

Profile: Karl Iagnemma

Profile: Karl Iagnemma - Oct. 2006
An innovative MIT roboticist is also an acclaimed fiction writer.

Profile: Erich Jarvis

Profile: Erich Jarvis - Oct. 2005
The work of neuroscientist Erich Jarvis demonstrates the power of open-mindedness in the lab.

Profile: Yoky Matsuoka

Profile: Yoky Matsuoka - July 2008
A former tennis prodigy aims to create advanced prosthetic limbs controlled by human thought.

Profile: James McLurkin

Profile: James McLurkin - Jan. 2005
James McLurkin of MIT is one of the world's leading designers of robot "swarms"—groups of robots that work together for a greater purpose.

Profile: Arlie Petters

Profile: Arlie Petters - Jul. 2007
A boy from a rural village in Belize grows up to become a world-class mathematician and cosmologist.

Profile: Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa

Profile: Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa - July 2008
He jumped the fence from Mexico to work as a farmhand and ended up a leading brain surgeon.

Profile: Pardis Sabeti

Profile: Pardis Sabeti - Jul. 2008
By night she's a rocker. By day, she's a Harvard geneticist tracking the evolution of the human genome.

Profile: Julie Schablitsky

Profile: Julie Schablitsky - Jul. 2007
Meet an archeologist who is helping to rewrite the history of the Old West.

Profile: Lonnie Thompson

Profile: Lonnie Thompson - July 2009
A climatologist struggles to save ancient history preserved in ice that is now melting.

Profile: Luis von Ahn

Profile: Luis von Ahn - June 2009
A computer scientist finds novel ways to stop spammers and harness the brainpower of millions of people.

Profile: Edith Widder

Profile: Edith Widder - July 2008
Meet a marine biologist and explorer who has engineered new ways to spy on deep-sea creatures.

Public Genomes

Public Genomes - Aug. 2009
Thousands of people are signing up to post their DNA sequences on the Internet, for all to see. Are they crazy?

RNAi

RNAi - Jul. 2005
A wayward petunia leads to the discovery of modest little molecules with enormous medical promise.

Saving Hubble

Saving Hubble - July 2008
Two teams of spacewalkers take on the risky mission of reviving the ailing Space Telescope.

The Science of Picky Eaters

The Science of Picky Eaters - July 2009
Don't like broccoli? Your DNA may explain why.

The Search for ET

The Search for ET - July 2008
Astronomers have their radio telescopes tuned to receive signals from alien worlds. But is anybody out there?

Secrets in the Salt

Secrets in the Salt - July 2009
Salt deposits that formed 250 million years ago hold tantalizing hints of early life.

Sleep

Sleep - Jul. 2007
Why do we need sleep? Part of the answer may be to strengthen memories.

Smart Bridges

Smart Bridges - July 2008
Can we engineer bridges that tell us what's wrong with them before it's too late?

Smart Sea Lions and Talking Walruses

Smart Sea Lions and Talking Walruses - July 2009
Marine mammals are wowing researchers with more than just circus tricks.

Space Elevator

Space Elevator - Jan. 2007
Can we build a 22,000-mile-high cable to transport cargo and people into space?

Space Storms

Space Storms - July 2008
Behind the dazzling display of the aurora borealis are space storms that could turn the lights off here on Earth.

Stem Cells

Stem Cells - Apr. 2005
What are they, and how do we find a balance between hope for cures and respect for life?

Stem Cells Breakthrough

Stem Cells Breakthrough - July 2008
Three separate teams overcome a biomedical hurdle—creating stem cells without the use of human embryos.

Stem Cells Update

Stem Cells Update - Jan. 2006
A new technique for creating stem cells may ease ethical concerns.

Stronger Hurricanes

Stronger Hurricanes - Jan. 2006
Is global warming making hurricanes more intense?

10th Planet

10th Planet - Jan. 2006
A stunning discovery at the far reaches of our solar system raises questions about what makes a planet a planet.

T. Rex

T. Rex - Apr. 2005
An astonishing adolescent growth spurt accounts for T. rex's enormous size.

T. Rex Blood?

T. Rex Blood? - Jul. 2007
Preserved soft tissue, including possible blood vessels and red blood cells, are turning up in dinosaur fossils.

Twin Prime Conjecture

Twin Prime Conjecture - Jan. 2006
New insight into a 2,300-year-old mystery surrounding prime numbers inspires a song.

Wisdom of the Crowds

Wisdom of the Crowd - Jun. 2008
Ask enough people to estimate something, and their combined guesses will get you surprisingly close to the right answer.

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