The region of Ethiopia called the Middle Awash, some 140 miles northeast of the capital of Addis Ababa, is a hot, harsh and inhospitable place–a rocky desert punctuated by tree-lined rivers, the occasional lake and patches of lava that are slowly being buried by sediments flushed out of the hills by the torrential rains that come along twice a year. But between 5 million and 6 million years ago, the landscape here was very different.
Itching for a good after-school science experiment?
On Aug. 14 a computer hacker named Virgil Griffith unleashed a clever little program onto the Internet that he dubbed WikiScanner.
When it finally happened — after years of ethical hand wringing and science- fiction fantasy — it was done in such a low-key way by researchers so quiet and self-effacing that the world nearly missed it. The landmark experiment was reported by Jerry Hall at a meeting of the American Fertility Society in Montreal three weeks ago.
What would you see if you could fly over Mars in a plane and look out the window?
It was arguably the biggest news in science this month: A graduate student in Australia discovered the continent of Africa. What makes Sally Langford’s discovery so remarkable and worthy of reporting in the journal Astrobiology on April 6 is not what she saw, but how she saw it. Once a month over the course of three years, Langford stood huddled against the evening chill in lonely Australian farmland and watched as the east coast of Africa shone in the midday sun
The Olympic torch relay for the 2012 London Games will be confined to Britain, organizers confirmed on Friday. The past two summer Olympics have seen the torch taken on a world tour, but the experiment, started for the Athens Games in 2004, has now been scrapped. It follows the widespread political protests which disrupted the passage of the torch ahead of last year’s Games in Beijing.