ASK THE EXPERTS
How Long Will Iceland’s Volcano Keep Planes Grounded?
As the volcano in Iceland continues to erupt, travelers in Europe are left to wonder how long local airspace will remain closed. A volcanologist from the Smithsonian explains why this eruption could cause long-term disruption
> Related: How do volcanoes affect world climate?
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60-SECOND EARTH PODCAST
What’s the Most Recycled Product in the U.S.?
It’s not paper, plastic or even aluminum. David Biello reports
(Newsletter continues below)
Mat of microbes the size of Greece discovered on seafloor
Microbes constitute 50 to 90 percent of the oceans’ total biomass
DMT is in your head…
…but it may be too weird for the psychedelic renaissance
60-SECOND SCIENCE PODCAST
Engineered Virus Harnesses Light to Split Water
Scientific American‘s 2006 researcher of the year, M.I.T.’s Angela Belcher, has engineered a virus so that it captures light energy and uses it to catalyze the splitting of water, a first step in a possible new way to generate hydrogen for fuel cells. Cynthia Graber reports
Don’t eat that
Endangered quolls may benefit from aversion therapy
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN MIND
What Is the Memory Capacity of the Human Brain?
Paul Reber, professor of psychology at Northwestern University, replies
60-SECOND PSYCH PODCAST
Making a Decision? Take Your Time
A recent study shows that when faced with a decision, it’s best to take some time–relax and cool off–so logical thinking can guide us to the best choice. Christie Nicholson reports
Quantum Effects Exploited to Generate Random Numbers
Measuring the internal states of entangled ions yields binary digits that demonstrably stem from the indeterminacy of quantum mechanics, but the process is laborious
Spectacular South African Skeletons Reveal New Species from Murky Period of Human Evolution
The discoverers argue that the nearly two-million-year-old fossils could be ancestral to us–but other scientists are not so sure
Health insurers make big bucks from Big Macs
Health and life insurance companies are out to make a buck, and one way they augment their income is by investing in other industries, including the top five publicly traded fast food chains