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Mammoths Didn't Go Out with a Bang

Why are there no more woolly mammoths? The last isolated island populations of these huge beasts disappeared about 4,000 years ago--well after the Pleistocene extinction that wiped out much of the world's megafauna--but what triggered their demise remains a frustrating mystery. According to the latest study to contribute to the ongoing debate, the last mammoths disappeared after a long, slow decline in numbers rather than because of a single cause...

from Nature News

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Thaw at Brain Bank Deals Setback to Autism Research

The details sound like something out of a bad science-fiction movie. A freezer storing human brains for research went on the fritz, and nobody at the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center knew for days. Two separate alarms that should have alerted staff to the problem failed to sound late last month...

from NPR

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Choosing a Sugar Substitute

White. Pink. Blue. Yellow. On restaurant tables everywhere, the colors of the sweetener packets instantly identify the contents. Sugar. Saccharin. Aspartame. Sucralose...

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

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New Wyoming Supercomputer Expected to Boost Atmospheric Science

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Here in the shortgrass prairie, where being stuck in the ways of the Old West is a point of civic pride, scientists are building a machine that will, in effect, look into the future...

from the Los Angeles Times (Registration Required)

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The Electric Flour Voltage Test

Ordinary baking flour isn't the most electrifying substance, but spilling a box of the stuff yields a jolt of voltage that has scientists excited about their prospects for sensing catastrophic events like earthquakes and industrial accidents...

from Science News

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Putting the Brakes on the Immune System

Your immune system protects you from bacteria and viruses, but you need specialized cells to protect you from your immune system. Overaggressive immune responses can cause everything from autoimmune diseases to organ rejection. Now, scientists have identified a new group of these specialized cells that seem to keep the immune system in check--at least in the short term...

from ScienceNOW Daily News

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Our Dying Forests: Beetles Gnaw Through Utah, West

Bozeman Pass, Mont. -- A gray-whiskered former fly-fishing guide waded through a horse pasture whacking weeds for his neighbor, the rumbling machine in his hands slicing thistles and sparing a robust tangle of grass and wildflowers, while on mountain ridges all around him, the trees silently died. Beetles...

from the Salt Lake Tribune

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Tabletop X-Rays Light Up

The pressurized, cylindrical chamber fits in the palm of Margaret Murnane's hand. Yet out of one end of the device comes an X-ray beam that packs almost as much punch as the light generated by massive particle accelerators...

from Nature News

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Latest Multimedia

EmlenBookCover

VIDEO: From Biology to Military History: Patterns in Animal Weaponry

What are the parallels between an ancient war ship and a dung beetle? More than you would think, actually! Douglas J. Emlen, PhD, has a unique perspective on animal weaponry that looks at patterns in military history.

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