Can GeoEngineering Beat Global Warming?

If the Paris accords fail, GeoEngineering may offer our last best hope for beating global warming… but there is much we do not yet know. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are at a 2 million year high, with most of the rise since 1900. In response, global temperatures are rising rapidly. If nothing is done to… Read More »

Coywolves In Our Backyards

Wolves of the Northeast deep woods have interbred with western coyotes, and the hybrid coywolves now thrive among us I have never seen a wolf or coyote, outside of a zoo. An urban college professor, I have lived for the last 45 years in suburban Saint Louis. A red fox family once graced our subdivision… Read More »

e-Cigarettes: Legal Enslavement In the Name of Health

# e-cigarettes, fashionable among teens, are nicotine delivery tubes that financially chain teens to Big Tobacco A new fad among American teens is the “smokeless” electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette. A tube made to look like a rather large cigarette, an e-cigarette contains no tobacco, delivering to the smoker a measured dose of nicotine within water… Read More »

Does Life Exist on Other Worlds?

SETI (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) has a new lease on life – and a Goldilocks planet to listen at. Eighteen years ago this month, the film CONTACT was released, exploring the possibility of contact with life on other stars. The central idea of the film was to listen: Radio signals can travel through space,… Read More »

How to Kill a Dinosaur

As JURASSIC WORLD roars in theaters, scientists again debate whether dinosaurs were killed by an asteroid or by volcanos The current film hit Jurassic World, like the three dinosaur thrillers before it, involves killing a lot of dinosaurs running amuck on an isolated island. Ignoring Lewis Carroll’s warning to “shun the frumious Bandersnatch,” scientists on… Read More »

Ballpark Physics

Xavier Scruggs, a terrific batter recently brought up from the minors, has never hit a major league home run, for reasons that have a lot to do with physics As Major League Baseball warms up for its mid-season All Star Game on July 14, my attention turns to the ball field. In part this is… Read More »

Can CRISPR Eliminate Malaria?

Eliminating malaria may soon be possible, spreading resistance genes among mosquito populations in a chain reaction driven by CRISPR One of the nightmares associated with genetically modified (GM) crops has been the worry that a genetic change engineered in the laboratory might somehow “escape” from a target crop and spread like fire through natural populations,… Read More »

The Silence of the UFOs

There have been 90,000 reports of UFOs, now mapped. What is a scientist to make of UFO sightings by reasonable people? Some strange ideas die hard; others seem immortal, alive in our minds, immune to logic or the criticism of wise elders. Flying saucers are an idea like that. Nowadays we call Unidentified Flying Objects,… Read More »

A Sense of Where You Are

This year’s physiology Nobel explains how LeBron James is able to sink a jump shot without looking at the basket. It is June of 2015 and you are watching the NBA championship game. LeBron James has the ball and is moving past the basket, closely guarded. Without looking back, he unexpectedly tosses the ball back… Read More »

Editing Your Genes with CRISPR

With a new easy-to-use tool called CRISPR, researchers are now able to edit our genes, a prospect both promising and a little scary. What is CRISPR, and how does it work? Lets start with the cute monkey you see on this page. He is a gene pioneer. Last year his genes and those of a… Read More »