Readers Respond to the November 2021 Issue

STATES OF DISEASE “States vs. Health,” by the Editors [Science Agenda], explains how politicians in several states are trying to prevent the lifesaving work that public health officials are executing to protect the population by requiring masking and physical distancing. I agree with the presentation of the article and the position that the Editors take … Read more

There are neurons in the brain that only seem to respond to singing

Electrical recordings from the auditory cortex of 15 people identified brain cells that specifically respond when we listen to singing Mind 22 February 2022 By Jason Arunn Murugesu A woman listens to music through headphones DEEPOL by plainpicture/Simona Pillola Humans may have neurons whose main job is to process singing. Scientists have previously found neurons … Read more

Readers Respond to the October 2021 Issue

MUON MATTERS In “The Unseen Universe,” Marcela Carena describes apparent discrepancies between the observed behavior of muons—one of the three types of charged leptons—and calculations based on the Standard Model of particle physics. If the discrepancies for muons are real, I would also expect discrepancies for tau leptons. VAN SNYDER La Crescenta, Calif. As a … Read more

The Science Behind Why Some of Us Can’t Grow Big Muscles After Turning 50

There is perhaps no better way to see the absolute pinnacle of human athletic abilities than by watching the Olympics. But at the Winter Games this year – and at almost all professional sporting events – you rarely see a competitor over 40 years old and almost never see a single athlete over 50.   … Read more

U.S. science no longer leads the world. Here’s how top advisers say the nation should respond | Science

A new data-rich report by the National Science Foundation (NSF) confirms China has overtaken the United States as the world’s leader in several key scientific metrics, including the overall number of papers published and patents awarded. U.S. scientists also have serious competition from foreign researchers in certain fields, it finds. That loss of hegemony raises … Read more

Readers Respond to the September 2021 Issue

ZERO-SUM SPACE? In “Lifting the Venus Curse,” Robin George Andrews writes about discoveries that expand our understanding of our close planetary neighbor Venus. Enormous sums of money are tossed about in that quest as if they were almost insubstantial. But explorations of outer space do more to satisfy our curiosity than advance the human condition … Read more

Matter and antimatter respond to gravity in the same way, study finds

Matter and antimatter behave the same way under the influence of gravity, a new study found, leaving scientists no wiser as to what makes the two different.  Antimatter is the puzzling stuff created during the Big Bang together with normal matter. It is virtually normal matter’s mirror — exactly the same, only with the opposite … Read more

Dog news: Pets can respond to 89 distinct words on average

A survey of dog owners has concluded that the average pet can respond to 89 words or phrases, with some dogs responding to 215 Life 14 December 2021 By Christa Lesté-Lasserre Dogs respond to more words than you might think Shutterstock / Prostock-studio Domestic dogs respond to 89 words and phrases, on average – including … Read more

Dogs Understand an Average of 89 Unique Words And Phrases, New Research Shows

The way dogs have come to understand the nuances of human language is incredibly impressive for an animal that doesn’t speak words itself. Just a fraction of a second after we start saying a word – like ‘walk’ or ‘treat’ – dogs can predict and respond to what we are trying to say. To some … Read more