Science

1:37pm

Wed November 12, 2014
Oil and Gas

Study Finds Shared Chemicals Between Toothpaste, Ice Cream – And Fracking Fluid

A drill rig in Northern Colorado.
KUNC File Photo

Fracking fluid -- is it a dangerous substance, full of secret chemicals and cancer-causing toxins? Or is it safe enough to drink?

A new study from researchers at Colorado State University and the University of Colorado Boulder takes a stab at answering that question. Their take: much of what's found in fracking fluid isn’t all that different from common chemicals found in your house -- and some of it's even in your ice cream.

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9:11am

Mon November 3, 2014
Science

New Clock May End Time As We Know It

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 12:51 pm

Strontium atoms floating in the center of this photo are the heart of the world's most precise clock. The clock is so exact that it can detect tiny shifts in the flow of time itself.
Courtesy of the Ye group and Brad Baxley/JILA

"My own personal opinion is that time is a human construct," says Tom O'Brian. O'Brian has thought a lot about this over the years. He is America's official timekeeper at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado.

To him, days, hours, minutes and seconds are a way for humanity to "put some order in this very fascinating and complex universe around us."

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4:07pm

Sun October 26, 2014
Research News

From Brain To Computer: Helping 'Locked-In' Patient Get His Thoughts Out

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 8:08 am

Patients with certain kinds of brain damage can wind up with locked-in syndrome: they may be able to think just fine, but are unable to communicate their thoughts to others. A recently published case study shows that a non-invasive brain-computer interface can help.
iStockphoto

In 2009, a man named Barry Beck suffered a series of strokes, which caused extensive damage to his right occipital lobe and to the brain stem. The geologist and author of several books was left completely unable to communicate, in a state known as locked-in syndrome.

The condition was famously described by Jean-Dominique Bauby in his memoir The Diving Bell And The Butterfly, which he dictated by blinking.

But thanks to a team of researchers and some technological advances, Beck had another option.

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2:32pm

Wed October 22, 2014
Science

Bigger Than A T. Rex, With A Duck's Bill, Huge Arms And A Hump

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 6:24 pm

Reconstruction of Deinocheirus mirificus.
Yuong-Nam Lee/Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources

Scientists announced Tuesday they've solved the mystery of the Mongolian ostrich dinosaur.

The mystery began in 1965, when fossil hunters found a pair of 6-foot-long, heavily clawed arm bones in Mongolia's Gobi desert. Nobody had seen anything like them before. Now, scientists say, they've got the rest of the beast ... and dinosaur textbooks may need to be rewritten.

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3:02am

Thu October 2, 2014
Science

Soil Doctors Hit Pay Dirt In Manhattan's Central Park

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 7:14 am

The Bronx may be up and the Battery down, but Central Park is where an amazing wealth of different sorts of microbes play.
iStockphoto

Manhattan's Central Park is surrounded by one of the densest cities on the planet. It's green enough, yet hardly the first place most people would think of as biologically rich.

But a team of scientists got a big surprise when they recently started digging there.

They were 10 soil ecologists — aka dirt doctors. Kelly Ramirez from Colorado State University was among them. "We met on the steps of the natural history museum at 7 a.m. with our collection gear, coolers and sunblock," she recalls.

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