Science

Kristen was the picture of health. She died of colorectal cancer at 38

When she was 5 years old, Kristen McRedmond had just taken her last swing up at bat when the umpire called her out. McRedmond turned around and told the ump that she was wrong, that she had hit the ball. Kristen’s mother, Rita McRedmond, laughed as she recalled the story so many years later. “She didn’t...

What fax machines can teach us about electric cars

Imagine if you could gas up your GM car only at GM gas stations. Or if you had to find a gas station servicing cars made from 2005 to 2012 to fill up your 2011 vehicle. It would be inconvenient and frustrating, right? This is the problem electric vehicle owners face every day when...

This Pi Day, use math to beat your friends at classic toy games

It’s Pi day! So what better way to celebrate than with games that involve the math of circles? On this most circular of days, we present three classic toys — hula hoops, yo-yo’s and Connect Four — and explore their mechanics with mathematicians and physicists. Learn these calculable secrets, and prepare to best your...

Typing sentences by simply thinking is possible with new technology

For decades, researchers have worked to create a better and more direct connection between a human brain and a computer to improve the lives of people who are paralyzed or have severe limb weakness from diseases like ALS. Those advances have been notable, but now the work is yielding groundbreaking results. Special correspondent Cat Wise has...

This insurance company wants to analyze your saliva to predict when you’ll die

The life insurance business is all about betting on how long you’re likely to live. Now, one company is turning to the hot, but still unproven, field of epigenetics to try to make that bet more scientific. GWG Life, which buys life insurance policies from people who don’t want or can’t afford them anymore, last...

Why did humans evolve big brains? We don’t know, but math can help

 mathematically illustrates what led to the evolution of humans’ abnormally large brains. Evolutionary biologists devised these equations to tease apart the relationship between human brain size and the cost of maintaining a large brain. Over the last few decades, the pace and stages of brain growth in humans have become clearer. From birth to preschool, our brains quadruple...

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