The same brain system that controls our muscles also helps us remember music, scientists say.
When we listen to a new musical phrase, it is the brain's motor system — not areas involved in hearing — that helps us remember what we've heard, researchers reported at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans last month.
Environmental officials in Canada are investigating what some have called a "rogue climate change experiment." Over the summer, a native village on the coast of British Columbia dumped more than 100 tons of iron sulfate into the ocean. The idea was to cause a bloom of plankton, which would then capture greenhouse gases.
That's the theory, anyway. The reality is a bit more complicated.
Now that the election is over and we have a winner, we can move on to consider questions that are of concern to any presidency. In fact, the question I'd like to consider today goes to the very core of scientific research and the way it functions in modern democracies, fomenting intellectual and technological innovation.
Are scientists who receive funds from the government free to create?
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 1:14 pm
By Amy Standen
Credit cheeseslave / Flickr.com
What a difference $46 million in TV ad spending can make.
At least that was the consensus in the wee hours of the morning at the Yes on Proposition 37 party, held at a performance art space in San Francisco's Mission District, even before the final votes were tallied.
Outspent many times over, "we couldn't get up on the air," organizer Stacy Malkan told The Salt when it appeared the measure was going down. "You need a certain saturation to have an impact."
While New York City and other places along the Northeast coast are still recovering from Superstorm Sandy, they're also looking ahead to how they can prevent flooding in the future, when sea level rise will make the problem worse. They may be able to take some lessons from coastal Norfolk, Va., which is far ahead of most cities when it comes to flood protection.
Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 10:11 am
By Adam Frank
Credit Elizabeth Merriam / U.S. Navy
Where is "science" this election season? It's everywhere and nowhere.
From the big race on down to local contests, we just haven't heard much talk about it during the campaign season that ends today. That's a pretty startling omission when you realize that almost all of the pressing, complex problems we face as a nation have roots in science and technology.
Superstorm Sandy got officials in New York and New Jersey talking about how to prevent flooding in a time of global warming and sea level rise.
But the place on the East Coast that's most vulnerable to flooding is several hundred miles south, around Norfolk, Va. — and Norfolk has already spent many years studying how to survive the rising waters.
Scientists say what Norfolk has learned is especially important in light of new research showing that the coastline from North Carolina to Boston will experience even more sea level rise than other areas.
Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 11:44 am
Credit Andrew Burton / Getty Images
We've all heard arguments that go something like this: it's not rational to vote, because the probability that your vote will make a difference is vanishingly small. This idea is formalized as "the paradox of not voting," and follows from a simple application of rational-choice theory.
Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 12:22 pm
The two sisters, Kaytlynn and Heather Welsch, have competed in over 70 endurance events, including rugged 13-mile trail runs, triathlons, and half-marathons. They are earning national attention, even more for their youth than their impressive athletic performances: They are 12 and 10 years old.