817,221 articles

The downside -- and surprising upside - of microcredit

Microcredit, which involves giving small loans to very small businesses in an effort to promote entrepreneurship, has been widely touted as a way to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth. But in a new study, researchers find that the practice may not be an efficient tool in promoting business growth or improving the lives of its beneficiaries, but could instead have just the opposite...

Ultracold neutrons for science: UCNs will help to solve mysteries of astrophysics

Scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany have built what is currently the strongest source of ultracold neutrons. Ultracold neutrons were first generated here five years ago. They are much slower than thermal neutrons and are characterized by the fact that they can be stored in special containers. This property makes them important tools for experiments to investigate why...

Why animals don't have infrared vision

On rare occasion, the light-sensing photoreceptor cells in the eye misfire and signal to the brain as if they have captured photons, when in reality they haven't. For years this phenomenon remained a mystery. Reporting in the June 10 issue of Science, neuroscientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have discovered that a light-capturing pigment molecule in photoreceptors can be...

Record-breaking heat grips much of eastern US (AP)

AP - The mercury climbed into the 90s across half the country Wednesday in a record-breaking blast of August-like heat, forcing schools with no air conditioning to let kids go home early and cities to open cooling centers. And scientists say we had better get used to...

Heart attacks over 20 years over 20 years, but rising BMIs may reverse trend, UK study finds

Better control of cholesterol levels and blood pressure and a decline in smoking have contributed to a 74 percent drop in the risk of heart attack among 10,000 London civil servants over a 20-year period, according to new research. However, the reduction would have been even greater were it not for the fact that more people became fatter during this time; the rise in body mass index accounted for...

A double-satellite NASA-style view of the first tropical storm in eastern Pacific: Adrian

The first tropical depression in the Eastern Pacific Ocean is now the first tropical storm, and two satellites are providing NASA insights into its thunderstorms, rainfall, and intensity. NASA satellite data on newly born Tropical Storm Adrian shows high cloud tops and moderate rainfall, indications that the storm is getting stronger, triggering a tropical storm watch in Mexico.

Audit: Mars mission faces hurdles before launch

(AP) -- NASA's next-generation rover to the surface of Mars, which is already overbudget and behind schedule, faces significant hurdles as it races to the launch pad for a November liftoff, an internal audit released Wednesday found.