Saul Perlmutter shared the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics for his discovery that the universe was expanding at an accelerating rate. Perlmutter explains how supernovae and other astronomical artifacts are used to measure the expansion rate, and explains what physicists are learning about "dark energy" — the mysterious entity thought to be driving the acceleration.
And Flora Lichtman is here with our Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora.
FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi. It's multitasking's - you know, what goes best with multitasking? A big cup of coffee.
LICHTMAN: That's what our video is about this week. Our continuing coverage of this hard-hitting serious issue: What is the science in your morning Joe? So our video this week was put together by video producer Jenny Woodward. And this one goes into the gear.
What would it be like to be a string that made music? Not anything simple, like a guitar string or a cello string, but a magical string, a sine curve that's taut then loose, that doubles then doubles again, that sheds then dissolves into showers of notes — a flaming, sighing, looping, dissolving string. Curious?
The Alabama Legislature has voted to extend two taxes that support the state Medicaid program.
The assessments on nursing homes and hospitals were due to expire this year, but the Senate gave final approval Thursday to bills that extend the nursing home tax for two years and the hospital tax for three years. The bills passed the House earlier and now go to the governor to be signed into law.
Senate budget committee Chairman Arthur Orr of Decatur says the bills were critical to maintaining Medicaid services for low-income Alabamians.
Taxpayers help subsidize crop insurance premiums for farmers to the tune of about $9 billion dollars, a figure that's growing each year. These policies protect farmers from major losses, and help support their income even if there's no loss of crops.
And in return? Well, environmentalists argue that farmers who receive this financial supportshould be required to be good stewards of the land.
In 1961, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner came up with some basic theories of caveman linguistics in their 2,000-Year-Old Man skit. Most of them had to do with rocks, as in, "What are you doing with that rock there?"
Now, a professor in England has questioned the validity of the famous caveman's rock-centric theories. And Mark Pagel of the University of Reading is reaching even further back, to the time of the 15,000-year-old man.
A study of genetically identical mice is providing some hints about humans. How can one identical twin be a wallflower while the other is the life of the party?
The study of 40 young mice found that their behavior grew increasingly different over three months, even though the mice shared the same genes and lived in the same five-level cage, researchers report Thursday in the journal Science.
Between the ages of 36 and 38, Sarah Elizabeth Richards spent $50,000 to have her eggs frozen. That wiped out her savings and the money her parents had set aside for a wedding, and she writes, it was the best investment I ever made. Improved technology gives women the choice to freeze their eggs when they're younger and schedule motherhood when they're ready. The experimental status of this procedure was lifted last year.
The origin of some of the words we use today go back much further than scientists once thought, suggesting an Ice Age-era proto-language that spawned many of the world's contemporary linguistic groups, according to a new study by a group of U.K.-based scientists.
According to a new survey of America's beekeepers, almost a third of the country's honeybee colonies did not make it through the winter.
That's been the case, in fact, almost every year since the U.S. Department of Agriculture began this annual survey, six years ago.
Over the past six years, on average, 30 percent of all the honeybee colonies in the U.S. died off over the winter. The worst year was five years ago. Last year was the best: Just 22 percent of the colonies died.