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Talk With Your Hands? You’re Doing It Right

  This post was originally published at The American Scholar. Gestures are simple enough. Right? A spontaneous but well-timed wave can emphasize an idea, brush aside a compliment, or point out a barely obscured bird’s nest to an obtuse friend.

Picking Sides: How Genes Help Us Decide Between Left and Right

Some people call left-handers southpaws. Others call them mollydookers or corky dobbers. Scientists still often call lefties sinister, which in Latin originally just meant “left” but later came to be associated with evil.

How the “Gooey Universe” Could Shed Light on the Big Bang

“Interdisciplinary” is a huge buzzword in academia right now. But for science, it has a long history of success.

Floating Away: The Science of Sensory Deprivation Therapy

I tried not to panic. I was floating effortlessly in a pitch-black tank filled with salty, skin-temperature water, wearing earplugs and nothing else.

Genetic Screening to Enhance IQ Should Be Embraced

A version of this article originally appeared at The Conversation. There could be a way of predicting – and preventing – which children will go on to have low intelligence, according to the findings of a study researchers at Cardiff University presented on Monday.

Einstein’s Lost Theory Describes a Universe Without a Big Bang

Einstein with Edwin Hubble, in 1931, at the Mount Wilson Observatory in California, looking through the lens of the 100-inch telescope through which Hubble discovered the expansion of the universe in 1929.

Pilot Dreams of Stamping His One-Way Ticket to Mars

Nick Noreus prepares to fly an Mi-17 in Ukraine while he was embedded with the Afghan Army for a year.

Personalized Cancer Treament, From Just a Blood Sample

Blood samples are an invaluable tool, but often they’re just the tip of the diagnostic iceberg, something that determines whether additional, more sensitive tests and scans might be necessary.

Turncoat Employees Reveal Their Intentions in Subtle Word Choices

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Most office workers send dozens of electronic communications to colleagues in any given working day, through email, instant messaging and intranet systems.

Cutting-Edge Technology You Can Spot at the Sochi Olympics

The Sochi Olympics are churning out dramatic victories – but athletes aren’t the only ones who fine-tuned their craft to get here.

Mysterious Moon Base Discovered? Not So Fast.

Earlier this month, when a few high-traffic news websites reported a strange object or wedge-shaped craft on Google Moon, I was skeptical.

The Secret to Dolphins’ Swimming Speeds

The “Acknowledgements” section of a scientific paper is usually a good cure for insomnia—just a list of names of collaborating scientists and funding agencies.

Personalized Medicine Slogs Toward Reality

For years, medical researchers have been talking about the day when babies will have their whole genomes sequenced at birth, the day when genomic analysis will allow every patient to be treated not just based on her condition but on which treatment is the best match for her genetic quirks.

The Scientific Complexity in a Seemingly Simple Snowflake

Outside it is cold, cold — ten degrees below, give or take. I step out with my coat zipped up to my chin and my feet encased in heavy rubber boots.

Seven Things You Didn’t Know About Rosetta

This artist’s concept represents ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft passing by an asteroid. Courtesy NASA In case you were asleep yesterday and missed the big news, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Rosetta spacecraft woke up from its 31-month hibernation.

Time Travel Via Wormhole Breaks the Rules of Quantum Mechanics

Science has done it again everybody! Brace yourselves for this groundbreaking news, freshly determined by physicists: Time travel, if it exists, may have some weird consequences.

How the Smell of Your Home Could Be Making You Sick

Joan Bennett didn’t believe in sick building syndrome. As a specialist in mold toxins, she had even testified in trials in support of insurance companies denying claims to homeowners who claimed that they had been sickened by toxins from their moldy houses.

Smug Couples Patronize Singles to Feel Better About Themselves

By Samantha Joel, University of Toronto People tend to see their own lifestyle as being the ideal lifestyle.

How a New Type of Astronomy Investigates the Most Mysterious Objects in the Universe

In 2007, astronomer Duncan Lorimer was searching for pulsars in nine-year-old data when he found something he didn’t expect and couldn’t explain: a burst of radio waves appearing to come from outside our galaxy, lasting just 5 milliseconds but possessing as much energy as the sun releases in 30 days.

A Bitter Pill: Slow Progress Toward a Male Contraceptive

Scientists have called the contraceptive pill one of the most important inventions of the twentieth century.