A dropped cigarette butt, a chewed-up piece of gum, a stray hair. Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg uses DNA she's picked up around New York City to generate 3-D portraits of those who left their trash behind. This rendering of a brown-eyed man of Eastern European descent came out of a cigarette butt Dewey-Hagborg found in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Heather Dewey-Hagborg was sitting in a therapy session a while ago and noticed a painting on the wall. The glass on the frame was cracked, and lodged in the crack was a single hair. She couldn't take her eyes off it.
"I just became obsessed with thinking about whose hair that was, and what they might look like, and what they might be like," she says.
Beekeepers In Massachusetts are taking the mission to save the bees into their own hands.
There has been a dramatic disappearance of honeybees across the U.S. since 2006. A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report blamed a combination of problems, including mites, disease, poor nutrition and pesticides.
In this image made from video provided by NASA, astronaut Christopher Cassidy, foreground, holds a power wrench as he stows away a coolant pump on the International Space Station on Saturday. Thomas Marshburn is at left.
A few nights ago, (Wednesday, I think, around midnight), I was by my window looking up, and there, hanging in the sky, I saw the moon. Not all of it, just what the almanac used to call "a crescent" — what my mom called a "toenail moon." The whole moon, I knew, was up there, hidden in shadow. The crescent part was facing the sun. That's the part you can see at the beginning of each month, my second grade teacher, Mrs. Elkins taught us, using a flashlight and a tennis ball to demonstrate the phases of the moon. Scotty Miller, I remember, got to hold the tennis ball. Mrs.
The Food and Drug Administration is currently embroiled in a surprisingly heated culinary standoff — pitting French cheese-makers (and American cheese-lovers) against regulators, all because of one very small problem: cheese mites.
Cheese mites are microscopic little bugs that live on the surfaces of aged cheeses, munching the microscopic molds that grow there. For many aged cheeses, they're something of an industry nuisance, gently brushed off the cheeses. But for Mimolette, a bright orange French cheese, they're actually encouraged.
Researchers use the 120-foot tower atop Mauna Loa in Hawaii to collect air samples and measure the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Mauna Kea looms in the distance.
Credit Joe Palca / NPR
Aidan Colton is a research scientist at the Mauna Loa Observatory. Here in the "carbon cycle room," he measures the amount of carbon dioxide, methane and carbon monoxide in air from intake ports at the top of a 120-foot tower outside the lab.
Climate scientists have a good reason to want to get away from it all. To get an accurate picture of the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere, you have to find places where the numbers won't be distorted by cities or factories or even lots of vegetation that can have a major local impact on CO2 concentrations.
Children with autism see simple movements twice as fast as other children their age, a new study finds.
Researchers at Vanderbilt University and the University of Rochester were looking to test a common theory about autism which holds that overwhelming sensory stimulation inhibits other brain functions. The researchers figured they could check that by studying how kids with autism process moving images.
Credit Jonathan Kingston / National Geographic/Getty Images
Carbon dioxide readings at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii have reached what atmospheric scientist Ralph Keeling calls a "psychological threshold" of 400 parts per million. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been steadily increasing since near-constant measurements began at the observatory in 1958.
Credit Will von Dauster / NOAA
Pat Lang, of NOAA in Boulder, Colo., measures the amount of greenhouse gases from an air sample. The Boulder lab is part of a global network of air-sampling laboratories that track carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
Earth's atmosphere is entering a new era. A mountaintop research station that has been tracking carbon dioxide for more than 50 years says the level of that gas in our air has reached a milestone: 400 parts per million.
That number is one of the clearest measures of how human beings are changing the planet. It shows how much carbon we have put into the air from burning fossil fuels — and that carbon dioxide drives global warming.
This measurement comes from Mauna Loa, Hawaii, a remote volcano where the air is largely free of local influences.
The SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute's Jill Tarter has spent decades searching for the signals that would tell us we aren't alone in the cosmos. Tarter discusses the hunt, and what the presence of intelligent life elsewhere might tell us about our own future on Earth.