Life and Nature

Native Artifacts

A story about beach parties — from the distant past. Ronald Blom is a geologist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. A current project is using images taken from aircraft to help identify potential sites of Native American settlements on government land. Blom and his colleagues hope to identify locations that have artifacts like tent foundations, …

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Amazon Archaeology

Most of the soil around the Amazon river is chalky and acidic — poor for farming. That’s why archaeologists assumed no advanced civilizations arose in the Amazon basin before European colonization. But Brazilian farmers know of patches of thick, dark soil they call Terra Preta — or Black Earth. Here’s Jim Petersen is an archaeologist …

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Moon and Venus

If you were an astronaut orbiting Earth, you’d see the sun rise and set every 45 minutes. You’d look down on a line of color above that part of Earth where twilight is taking place. That line of twilight would be curved to match the curve of the round Earth. You’d see it in contrast …

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Interview with Ron Reynolds

ES: Could you please tell me about the prairie pothole region, what formed it, and its current state today? Reynolds: The area where our research and investigations are primarily involved with are what’s commonly known as the prairie pothole region of North America. The prairie pothole region was formed primarily by a recent glacial episode. …

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Landing on Eros

Nearly 11 years ago — in February, 2001 — the NEAR spacecraft had finished exploring the asteroid Eros from the vantage point of an orbit around the asteroid. With its primary mission accomplished, the mission team decided to try a riskier maneuver — landing on the asteroid. Mark Robinson from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, …

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Why people like sugar so much

Allen Levine — of the Minnesota VA Medical Center and University of Minnesota — wonders why people like sugar so much. He wonders how sugar affects our brains. Dr. Levine is trying to answer these questions by studying rats. He changes their diets and also injects them with chemicals that regulate eating. Allen Levine: It’s …

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Dinosaur Eggs

Today’s winning team in our 9th Annual Young Producers Contest have an egg-cellent story to tell you about dinosaur eggs. Today’s winners are second-graders Riley Hill-Kartel, Azalea Scott, and Kavya Deevi from Champaign, Illinois. In reality, apatosaurus — also called brontosaurus — and saltopus didn’t exist at the same time. But Riley, Azalea and Kavya …

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