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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 1995 | K.C. COLE, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
It's one thing for a scientist to have a brilliant idea, or conduct a brilliant experiment. It's quite another for that idea or result to be accepted as scientific truth. Ultimately, Nature will have her say, and further experiments will prove the scientist right or wrong. But while waiting for Nature's verdict, scientists--like lawyers--have to persuade a jury of peers to accept their results. A curious case of the sometimes shifting sands of scientific truth involves an elementary particle known as the top quark.
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NATIONAL
March 31, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
Climate change is already affecting every continent and ocean, posing immediate and growing risks to people, an international panel of scientists warned Monday. The longer society delays steps to cut the release of planet-warming greenhouse gases, the more severe and widespread the harm will be, said the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report, which collects and summarizes thousands of scientific studies, is the panel's starkest yet in laying out the risks facing nature and society.
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SCIENCE
March 18, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
Roosters, famously, crow in the early morn -- but scientists don't fully understand why they unleash their voices when they do.  After all, roosters have also been known to make a racket when other animals or birds are about, when a car starts, or when lights turn on in the middle of the night.  So do they crow because they see the morning light, or because they hear other roosters? Or do they have some kind of internal body clock that lets them know that's it's time to unleash their peals?
SCIENCE
March 26, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
In a first, scientists have detected rings encircling an M&M-shaped asteroid known as Chariklo. Until now, only the solar system's four gas planets - Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus and especially Saturn - were known to have rings. "It was an extremely surprising discovery," said James Bauer, a planetary astronomer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge who was not involved in the finding. "No one has ever seen rings around a comet or an asteroid before. This is a brand-new area.
NEWS
July 13, 2012 | By Alex B. Berezow
Psychologist Timothy D. Wilson, a professor at the University of Virginia, expressed resentment in his Times Op-Ed article on Thursday over the fact that most scientists don't consider his field a real science. He casts scientists as condescending bullies: "Once, during a meeting at my university, a biologist mentioned that he was the only faculty member present from a science department. When I corrected him, noting that I was from the Department of Psychology, he waved his hand dismissively, as if I were a Little Leaguer telling a member of the New York Yankees that I too played baseball.
OPINION
November 24, 2009 | By David Masci
Today, a century and a half after Charles Darwin published "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," the overwhelming majority of scientists in the United States accept Darwinian evolution as the basis for understanding how life on Earth developed. But although evolutionary theory is often portrayed as antithetical to religion, it has not destroyed the religious faith of the scientific community. According to a survey of members of the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science, conducted by the Pew Research Center in May and June this year, a majority of scientists (51%)
SCIENCE
February 20, 2014 | By Amina Khan
By taking sewing thread and fishing wire and giving it a twist, scientists have created artificial muscle that's 100 times stronger than human or animal sinew. The invention, described in the journal Science, could be useful for prosthetic limbs, humanoid robots, implanted medical devices and even wearable clothing. This wouldn't be the first artificial muscle on the market: there are carbon nanotube yarns and metal wires, but they're often expensive or store relatively low amounts of energy compared to their competitors, scientists said.
NATIONAL
October 11, 2012 | By Kim Murphy
SEATTLE - The long-running detective saga involving one of North America's earliest inhabitants has taken a new twist, with news that Kennewick Man - the shockingly intact 9,300-year-old skeleton unearthed in 1996 on the banks of the Columbia River - probably was a visitor to central Washington, not a longtime inhabitant. More likely, Smithsonian Institution anthropologist Douglas Owsley announced in a pair of lectures this week in Washington state, he came from the coast, not the arid inland valley where his remains were found.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 22, 2011 | By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times
California's "big one" may not be an earthquake at all, but a devastating megastorm that would inundate the Central Valley, trigger widespread landslides and cause flood damage to 1 in 4 homes in the state. The prospect of such a storm was raised this month by scientists predicting the consequences of an "atmospheric river" of moisture from the tropical Pacific hitting California with up to 10 feet of rain and hurricane-force winds over several weeks. A team of more than 100 scientists, engineers and emergency planners used flood mapping, climate change projections and geologic flood history to simulate a hypothetical storm so intense that it occurs only every 100 to 200 years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
A group of scientists warned Tuesday that world leaders must act more swiftly to slow greenhouse gas emissions or risk "abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes" from climate change. The American Assn. for the Advancement of Science's blunt report contains no new scientific conclusions. But by speaking in plain, accessible terms it seeks to instill greater urgency in leaders and influence everyday Americans. Scientists said many previous assessments have been long and ponderous, and have failed to shift public opinion on global warming.
SCIENCE
March 19, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
A dinosaur nicknamed the "chicken from hell" was described by a team of paleontologists in a study released Wednesday, and researchers say it is even weirder then they first imagined. The dinosaur's official name is Anzu wyliei,  but it was nicknamed the chicken from hell because it reminded researchers of a giant clawed chicken with a neck like an ostrich. (See the images above.) "It definitely looks more like a bird than a dinosaur," said Matthew Lamanna of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh and the lead author of the paper.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
A group of scientists warned Tuesday that world leaders must act more swiftly to slow greenhouse gas emissions or risk "abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes" from climate change. The American Assn. for the Advancement of Science's blunt report contains no new scientific conclusions. But by speaking in plain, accessible terms it seeks to instill greater urgency in leaders and influence everyday Americans. Scientists said many previous assessments have been long and ponderous, and have failed to shift public opinion on global warming.
SCIENCE
March 17, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
Researchers at MIT are giving plants super powers by placing tiny carbon nanotubes deep within their cells. Some of the altered plants increased their photosynthetic activity by 30% compared with regular old plants. Others were able to detect tiny traces of pollutants in the air. And that's just the beginning. Medicines and machines, inspired by nature "The idea is to impart plants with functions that are non-native to them," said Michael Strano, professor of chemical engineering at MIT. Strano's lab has been working at the nexus of plant biology and nanotechnology -- an area called plant nanobionics -- for three years, trying to figure out how to give plants new abilities.  Their first challenge was getting the nanotubes into the plants.
SCIENCE
March 15, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
In the rings of ancient and gnarled trees, scientists have found evidence of a period of an unusual stretch of warmth and wetness in Mongolia between the years 1211 and 1225 — the exact time that Genghis Khan was in power. Coincidence? They think not. This unusual period of mild temperatures and unprecedented rain in an area traditionally known for its cold and arid climate would probably have increased the productivity of grasslands of the Mongolian steppe, the researchers say. The abundant grass would in turn increase the number of grazing animals that could live off it. Members of Genghis Khan's army reportedly had five horses apiece, which allowed them to swiftly conquer an enormous area that stretched from East Asia to Eastern Europe, as well as parts of northern India and the Middle East.
SCIENCE
March 13, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
If you're a student of fat - and who isn't these days? - you know that the FTO gene is the gene thought to be most responsible for some people's inherited propensity to become obese. Well, forget that. A multinational group of geneticists has discovered that, more likely, the real obesity gene is named IRX3, and it is very far from the FTO gene - or would be, if DNA were to be stretched out in linear fashion instead of coiled up like a skein of yarn. In a letter posted Wednesday to the website of the journal Nature, University of Chicago geneticists Scott Smemo and Marcelo A. Nobrega, along with a team of Canadian and Spanish researchers, wrote that geneticists hunting for the obesity gene appear to have fallen into a trap: They assumed that genetic variations they could see have only local effects, and do not affect the workings of far-away genes.
SCIENCE
March 11, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
A number of scientists have been grumbling for weeks about a pair of breakthrough stem cell studies that seemed too good to be true. Now one of the senior researchers who worked on the papers agrees that they may be right. The studies, which were published in January by the journal Nature, described a surprisingly simple method of transforming mature cells into pluripotent stem cells capable of regenerating any type of tissue in the body. The key was to stress them out by soaking them in an acid bath for 30 minutes, prompting genetic changes that made the cells more flexible.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2014 | By Larry Gordon
UC San Diego graduate student Alex Piel is studying the family dynamics and habitats of chimpanzees in Tanzania's savanna. The research requires tracking animals, retrieving fecal samples and then testing to confirm genetic links. It does not come cheap. So after tapping traditional funding help from UC and other sources, Piel and Fiona Stewart, his wife and collaborator, recently decided to try their luck on the Internet. They posted a description of their project and an appeal to the public for money on Experiment , an online crowdfunding site devoted to science.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 3, 1999
Whether it's the vaccination that protects us from polio or the telephone that lets us talk with the neighbor down the street or around the world, our lives are enriched by the work of scientists. But what motivates people to study how and why things work, to dream up inventions that save lives or enable space travel? And why is it important to study galaxies or to view the activities of a single cell?
NATIONAL
March 9, 2014 | By John M. Glionna
CORNUCOPIA, Wis. - On some days, Kevin Hunt stands at his Star North gas station in this eye-blink of a town on mighty Lake Superior, marveling at Mother Nature and his own dumb luck. Everywhere he looks: ice and people. Months ago, many warned him not to invest in a place where fair-weather tourists flee in the fall and the big lake's waters turn cold and storm-tossed, forcing the 100 or so hardy full-time residents of Cornucopia to hibernate for the winter. He'd be out of business by March, they said.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 8, 2014 | By Meredith Blake
"It's time to get going again. " With these words, host and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson kicks off the new documentary series, "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. " Premiering on Fox, the National Geographic Channel and eight other affiliated networks Sunday night, it is a follow-up to "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage," the groundbreaking and hugely popular 1980 PBS series hosted by astronomer Carl Sagan. Tyson, strolling along the scenic California coastal cliffs of Monterey - just as Sagan did in the opening minutes of the original - is talking about bringing the franchise to a new generation, but with a command that can also be interpreted as a mission statement.
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