High on the back wall of the New Jersey Poison Center in Newark, beyond a display case filled with bottles of ant killer, antifreeze and other ingredients of noteworthy cases, hangs an electronic map of the state. It displays dozens of glowing red dots. Each marks the origin of a call received over the previous 24 hours. Updates sweep down the map every 10 minutes, and the staff knows where to expect clusters based on population. "This is one way that computerization can help us pick up unexpected hotspots," says medical director Steven Marcus.
The B-2 stealth bomber, assisted by midair refuelings, can fly a 44-hour mission to the other side of the world, take out targets using laser-guided smart munitions, then sneak out of enemy territory undetected. Yet it runs on Intel 286 processors -- state of the art in 1982, but these days, not so much.
America is haunted by 100,000 missing persons and 40,000 unidentified sets of remains. Only one lab can truly connect the lost and the dead—and it’s revealing the secrets of serial killers in the process
Like a cowboy loosely holding the reins, Larry Weatherman steers up Deer Creek Road with his left hand on the wheel, his right arm ready at his side. His upper body rocks with the motion of the pickup as he navigates the dirt road's gauntlet of potholes and rocks. Since his retirement from the Missoula County Sheriff's Department in 2000, Weatherman has adopted the bushy white mustache and Stetson of a gentleman rancher.
This 50-foot Ethernet cable snaking all the way through my apartment from the router in the bedroom to my Xbox 360 in the living room? That's how I used to play videogames online. The Xbox doesn't come with wireless capability built in, and I didn't want to shell out the extra $100 -- a third the price of the console itself -- for Microsoft's wireless adapter. Third-party wireless bridges cost a bit less but are still pricey. Finally, though, I found a way to ditch the giant wire with a solution that cost me only 40 bucks.
At the end of this tunnel, which snakes as deep as 820 feet below the Hungarian countryside, lies a new long-term nuclear-waste facility, set to open in 2010. Located on the outskirts of the village of Bátaapáti, it will store more than 10.5 million gallons of low- and intermediate-level waste produced at the Paks nuclear power plant, which is 40 miles away. The waste consists of protective clothing and contaminated tools and materials from processing. It collectively accounts for 97 percent of the volume of radioactive waste from the plant.
Picking barbecue-flavor potato chips over salt-and-vinegar can be tough enough without having to choose between brands made with "natural flavors" and ones that are "artificially flavored." Natural flavors, you might think, are derived from the pure essence of a food's flavor, and as such are more authentic. But the term "natural" is misleading.
On March 1, the Republic of Ireland becomes the first democratic country in the world to ban the traditional incandescent lightbulb. Stores there will no longer carry the century-old technology, which converts only between 5 and 10 percent of electricity into light, losing the rest as radiant heat. (Compare this with the 40 percent efficiency of compact fluorescent bulbs.) In its place, hardware stores will stock shelves with compact fluorescents, halogens and LEDs.
Mars Science Laboratory
Launching in the fall, this research rover will collect and examine Martian soil and rock samples for traces of carbon, life’s most common building block. To find that carbon, ChemCam will fire lasers at the ground and analyze the vapor produced by the impact.
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
NASA is going back to the moon—after the LRO finds astronauts a good place to land. Launching on April 24, the LRO will map out the moon’s surface and home in on the poles, where scientists believe there could be water.
Earth's twin could be waiting for us hundreds of light-years away. In fact, thousands of Earth doppelgängers may be lurking in the cosmic distance, orbiting stars just like our sun and maybe, just maybe, harboring life of their own. Although telescopes have identified more than 300 planets outside our solar system, most of them are too harsh to host life. One notable exception to the typical "hot Jupiter" model is a rocky Earth-like planet discovered in 2007, dubbed Gliese 581 c.
Nearly five decades ago, Americans learned that one of their most treasured habits—smoking—was lethal. This year, we could get more scary news, when scientists announce the results from Interphone, the largest-ever study to investigate whether cellphones cause cancer.