May 2, 2016

Europa and Enceladus: Searching for Life on Icy Moons

We hear a lot about the prospect of microorganisms existing on Mars and probes of increasing complexity that will be going there in the years to come, but the life search will also examine the outer...

A model of the double helix structure of  DNA. (Wikimedia Commons)

April 25, 2016

The secret of life revealed: Today in science history

On April 25, 1953, the “secret of life” was revealed in a short article in Nature that began, “We wish to suggest a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid (D.N.A.). This structure has novel...

A Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton on display at the American Museum of Natural History. (Credit: Eqdoktor, Wikimedia Commons)

April 3, 2016

Tyrannosaur tracks show scientists how fast an ancient predator could move

Just north of the town of Glenrock, Wyoming, a stretch of ancient yellow sandstone is studded with a killer’s footprints. About 66 million years ago, a Tyrannosaurus rex strode through the wet sand of what was...

Researchers think that melting of the mantle (the red blob the right) changed the internatl structure of the moon, causing the axis to shift from the blue line to the green line. (Credit: James Keane, U of Arizona)

March 28, 2016

The moon’s wandering pole

If you’re an avid watcher of the night sky — or a Pink Floyd fan — you probably know that we Earthlings always see the same side of the moon. We always see the bright side,...


March 14, 2016

Celebrating All Things Pi on 3/14

There’s no better time to celebrate the magic of mathematics than Pi Day, which of course is on 3/14. Called by some the geekiest day of the year, Pi Day (also Albert Einstein’s birthday) is a great...

(c) New York Times

February 27, 2016

Research in the Classroom: Taking Action

The idea of conducting research can instill fear in many who are unfamiliar with its many varieties. Particularly in science-related areas, it’s easy to conjure images of white-coated, protective-goggle-wearing individuals hunkered over Erlenmeyer flasks waiting for...

A carved relief of the Babylonian god Marduk. (Credit: Rmashhadi/Wikimedia Commons)

February 20, 2016

The ancient Babylonians calculated Jupiter’s position long before NASA

To the ancient Babylonians, the planet Jupiter was more than a bright light in the Mesopotamian night sky: It was the celestial manifestation of their god, Marduk. Jupiter’s location told of Marduk’s plans for them, such...

Lonnie G. Johnson (1949-), rocket scientist and inventor. (Courtesy of Johnson Research & Affiliates)

February 18, 2016

Celebrating African Americans in STEM: Lonnie Johnson, rocket scientist and inventor

A prolific inventor with more than 100 patents, Lonnie G. Johnson is most famous for inventing the hugely popular Super Soaker®. However, Johnson’s accomplishments go far beyond the world of toys. He is also an aerospace...

This Iowa farm uses eco-friendly no-till practices to grow corn and soybeans. (Credit: Jason Johnson, USDA NRCS Iowa)

February 10, 2016

Organic farming could help feed the planet and protect it

Every day, it seems, there’s a new food trend. Low fat, gluten free, sugar free, organic. That last one probably conjures up images of a quaint country farm, with orderly rows of leafy vegetables and free-range...

Katherine Johnson (1918-), mathematician, at her desk with a "Celestial Training Device." (Credit: NASA)

February 1, 2016

Celebrating African Americans in STEM: Katherine Johnson

To celebrate National African American History Month, we applaud Katherine G. Johnson, a living legend in the fields of math, physics, and space science. A lifelong love affair with numbers brought Johnson from a small town...