Science & Environment

Science news

J. Junker

Are you addicted to your smartphone? Many of us certainly feel drawn to our electronic devices - and the array of information and activities they offer - in a way we feel uncomfortable admitting. And, while there's some controversy about whether or not the term "addiction" is appropriate, there is growing evidence that things like posting on Facebook can elicit the same brain response as an addictive substance.

Luke Wroblewski / flickr, https://goo.gl/sZ7V7x

An estimated seventy two percent of adults in the United States own a smartphone. For most, they are a handy tool for keeping track of the kids and checking the weather. But, for a growing number, smartphones have become a problem - a conduit to potentially addictive games and social media.

Which category do you fall into? Try answering these questions, giving yourself one point for each "yes" answer. Do you find yourself:

cessnaowner.org/ goo.gl/daXIlf

How do you locate a few endangered whales in 200 square miles of ocean? Take to the air and look for the telltale spout.

Jim Kelly bit.ly/2nPwRbZ / bit.ly/1mhaR6e

When I was a weird little birder kid growing up in the wilds of Brockton, the Common Raven was an almost mythical bird to me. They lived in wilderness areas, like the big woods of northern Maine, where I assumed they soared around over densely forested hills looking for deer carcasses or whatever it was they ate. Or maybe they only hung around haunted houses and dark castles where they kept company with murderous madmen.

The FlavoRx pilot study provided at-risk patients with prescriptions worth $30 at a farmer's market.
Francie Randolph / Sustainable CAPE

We all know that we’d be healthier if we ate more fruits and vegetables. Your doctor may have suggested that. But few of us actually do anything about it. But would that change if you actually got a prescription that covered the cost of fresh, locally-grown produce? That was the question at the heart of a recent pilot project on Cape Cod, called FlavoRx.

Gabrielle Graeter/NCWRC bit.ly/2nAJl75 / bit.ly/1mhaR6e

In the last 10 years, the population of Northern Long-eared bats has been decimated by a disease called white-nose syndrome. Until recently, Martha’s Vineyard was one of just a few spots believed to be free of the disease. Now researchers on the island have confirmed a bat with this fungal disease.

One reason nuclear power plants are expensive is concrete.
Petr Adamek / Public Domain

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant is scheduled to close in 2019, and there are many who would like to see it shut down sooner. But that leaves a significant gap in southern New England’s energy supply. And, love it or hate it, nuclear power is a source of electricity with a much smaller carbon footprint than fossil fuels.

DIYbio Boston at the Cambridge Science Festival, a partner for this year's Science on the Street Cape Cod.
Mackenzie Cowell

We’re used to hearing about upcoming concerts and movies. This weekend, there’s another option - called Science on the Street. Think art or food festival, but with science instead. Jill Neumayer-DePiper, director of Cape Cod Regional STEM Network, shared what it's all about.

Rick Leche bit.ly/2nswwPJ / bit.ly/OJZNiI

I’d like to talk today about a network of shadowy figures infiltrating our communities. This vocal but seldom seen group operates primarily at night, and strikes fear in the hearts of the small and the vulnerable. I am talking about owls.

http://students.brown.edu/seeing-theory/index.html

From Wall Street to the weather, statistics are a routine part of modern daily life. Statistical analysis is also critical to scientific advancement. And yet, even among scientists, there's a lack of understanding about how statistical tests work and what the results mean.

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