Tag: Scientific Method


New sea level estimates show strong, recent acceleration

Enlarge / Flooding under clear skies is an increasing reality for coastal communities. (credit: NOAA ) Humanity has trillions of dollars of infrastructure within a meter of the current sea level. Given that, it’s rather important that we understand how long that sea level will stay at its current measurement and how quickly it will…


Baking soda shortage has hospitals frantic, delaying treatments and surgeries

Enlarge (credit: Intropin ) Amid a national shortage of a critical medicine , US hospitals are hoarding vials, delaying surgeries, and turning away patients, The New York Times reports. The medicine in short supply: solutions of sodium bicarbonate—aka, baking soda. The simple drug is used in all sorts of treatments, from chemotherapies to those for…


Remote Pacific island is the most plastic-contaminated spot yet surveyed

Enlarge (credit: University of Tasmania ) Plastic is durable—very, very durable—which is why we like it. Since it started being mass-produced in the 1950s, annual production has increased 300-fold. Because plastic is so durable, when our kids grow up and we purge our toy chests, or even just when we finish a bottle of laundry detergent…


Gender confirmation surgeries rose 20% in the last two years

Enlarge / Gearah Goldstein speaks with her plastic surgeon, Dr. Loren Schechter, about her gender confirmation surgery. (credit: ASPS ) Gender confirmation procedures are on the rise in the US, doctors reported Monday. Surgeons performed more than 3,200 transfeminine and transmasculine procedures in 2016, according to new data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)….


Japan, China have extracted methane hydrate from the seafloor

Enlarge / A photo from the China Geological Survey. The researchers extracted methane hydrate from the bottom of the South China Sea. (credit: China Geological Survey ) This month, teams from Japan and China have successfully extracted methane hydrate, a hydrocarbon gas trapped in a structure of water molecules, off the seafloor. The substance looks…


Moon Express chairman believes his team’s “ready to go for the end of this year”

Chatting up MoonExpress co-founder and chairman Naveen Jain (video link) NEW ORLEANS—The day before we talked with Moon Express co-founder and chairman Naveen Jain, he sat on the Collision Conference mainstage next to a HoloLens -clad Robert Scoble. The successful investor Jain and the enthusiastic tech-evangelist Scoble chatted about “Startups as a Superpower,” exploring what…


Once an astronaut, now Mike Massimino can’t wait to be a space tourist

Ars interviews an astronaut! (video link) NEW ORLEANS—Mike Massimino wanted to be an astronaut ever since Neil Armstrong inspired the former six-year-old. He obsessed over space so much, in fact, his mom once converted an elephant costume from Massimino’s first-grade play into his official flight suit. “She cut the tail off and made it an…


The Arctic seed vault had to deal with melting permafrost last winter

Enlarge (credit: Mari Tefre/Svalbard Globale frøhvelv ) In Arctic Svalbard, there is a vault that might sound like a sci-fi plot device. Completed in 2008, the Global Seed Vault is a remote archive for safeguarding seeds for thousands of crop varieties. If anything dramatic should happen elsewhere around the world, we want these seeds to be…


River channels on three worlds reveal a history of shifting landscapes

Enlarge / Ligeia Mare, the second-largest body of liquid hydrocarbons on Titan. (credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/Cornell ) At this point, we’ve worked out the basics of the processes that produced the topography around us here on Earth. But other worlds in our solar system have very different landscapes that could partly be the result of foreign processes….