Science & Technology



Science explains why refrigerators sap the flavor from ripe tomatoes

If you're one of those people who puts tomatoes in the fridge, you are going to want to stop. Now.

Sure, chilling a tomato will keep it looking fresh for a longer period of time than if you left it on the counter, but it will also drain all that earthy, slightly grassy, distinctive tomato taste right out of the fruit. (And, yes, tomato is a ...Read more

Wild monkeys make sharp stones that look like human tools, study finds

It does not pay to underestimate a monkey with a rock. Scientists studying the stone-smashing habits of bearded capuchin monkeys in Brazil have found that the primates inadvertently produce stone flakes that look very similar to the flakes used as cutting tools by early humans.

The findings, published in the journal Nature, could throw a new ...Read more

NASA satellite spots remains of Mars lander

A NASA satellite in orbit around Mars appears to have spotted the remains of a European probe that crash-landed on the Red Planet on Wednesday.

New pictures taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show a large, dark elliptical spot on the Martian surface that was probably made by the European Space Agency's Schiaparelli lander, NASA said ...Read more

Scientists may have a cure for jet lag: temporary oxygen deprivation

A new study in mice suggests an unlikely cure for jet lag: oxygen deprivation.

When the animals breathed air with about one-quarter to one-third less oxygen than usual, they adapted to a six-hour time change more rapidly than mice that breathed regular air, according to a report published Thursday in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Oxygen is ...Read more

Spreading the word on earthquake risks

LOS ANGELES -- It's one of those coping skills that come with living in earthquake country: Putting the risk out of your mind until that moment you feel the shaking.

But this form of denial is being challenged -- thanks to social media and a push by some seismic safety experts to spread the word when the risk of an earthquake increases.

...Read more

Pediatricians group issues new recommendations on children's media use

Before she had her son, Sara Yeasted did not imagine that "Finding Nemo" and "Toy Story" would be regular features in their evenings.

"When I was pregnant I was totally against television -- I thought I was always going to be doing puzzles or something," said Yeasted, of West Deer, Pa., as her 2-year-old son dived under a bridge at the Ross ...Read more

European Mars satellite enters orbit to cheers, but fate of lander is unclear

Wednesday turned up a mixed bag so far for the European Space Agency's ExoMars 2016 mission: The agency's Trace Gas Orbiter successfully entered orbit around the Red Planet, even as the fate of its Schiaparelli lander remained unknown.

"We need more information," Paolo Ferri, head of ESA's mission operations department, said at mission control ...Read more

Wild monkeys make sharp stone tools, but they might not realize it, scientists say

It does not pay to underestimate a monkey with a rock. Scientists studying the stone-smashing habits of bearded capuchin monkeys in Brazil have found that the primates inadvertently produce stone flakes that look very similar to the flakes used as cutting tools by early humans.

The findings, published in the journal Nature, could throw a snarl ...Read more

Troy Wolverton: Lithium battery dangers mean Samsung recall won't be last

A faulty battery has cost Samsung a pile of money and tarnished its reputation.

But the Korean electronics giant wasn't the first company forced to recall a product due to batteries that had a tendency to catch fire -- not by a long shot. And it almost certainly won't be the last.

That's because the same type of batteries that powered Samsung'...Read more

Tech Q&A: How to fix an iPhone touch-screen disabled by a software upgrade

Q: I've updated my iPhone 6 Plus to the iOS 10 operating system. But it has caused the phone's touch-screen to be disabled most of the time, which meant I couldn't open apps, answer calls or send texts or emails. I restored the phone using iTunes, but it didn't help. What can I do?

--Morgan Stewart, Metairie, La.

A: Problems like yours have ...Read more

5,000 years ago, rodents were apparently considered food in part of Europe

The European palate may not always have been so sophisticated.

This week, researchers report the first evidence of ancient Europeans snacking on rodents at least 5,000 years ago.

The discovery suggests that rodents such as mice and voles have not always been mere pests hellbent on annoying humanity throughout its history: They may have been a ...Read more

Q&A: No, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is not dead — but it is in trouble

Perhaps you've heard that the epic, 1,400-mile-long Great Barrier Reef in Australia has died.

Perhaps you have read its obituary by writer Rowan Jacobsen on the website Outside Online.

But before you start mourning the loss of what Jacobsen calls "one of the most spectacular features on the planet," the community of scientists that study coral...Read more

Why infants pay more attention to people who speak their native language

As anyone who's tried to befriend a baby knows, the very young are a tough crowd. In response to your solicitous babble, a baby might lock eyes with you. Just as likely, though, she'll stare insistently into an empty distance, spit up, or dispatch you with a wail of protest.

New research suggests that babies are highly selective -- ...Read more

China to send 2 astronauts to space station

BEIJING -- China plans to launch two astronauts into space on Monday morning, state news agency Xinhua reported.

The Shenzhou 11 spacecraft will take off from the Jiuquan space center in Inner Mongolia. It will dock with China's second experimental space lab, Tiangong 2, within two days, Xinhua said Sunday. Tiangong 2 was launched last month.

...Read more

European-Russian spacecraft begins descent to Mars

MOSCOW -- The landing module of a European-Russian spacecraft detached from its satellite Sunday and began its descent to Mars.

The module, Schiaparelli, is expected to reach the planet's surface Wednesday, the European Space Agency said on its website.

Meanwhile, the satellite -- called the Trace Gas Orbiter -- will remain in orbit to ...Read more

Asking you to change passwords makes it easier to hack the system

WASHINGTON --Reset your password. Update your anti-virus program. If such demands irritate you, you may have computer "security fatigue."

It's been studied by behavioral scientists and computer security experts. It happens when users are bombarded with security warnings and demands for compliance. As a result, the studies show, three-quarters ...Read more

Web Buzz: Find Paris' budget-friendly restaurants

Delicious meals in Paris for 10 euros or less? Why, yes, there are plenty of choices.


What it does: A resource for discovering budget-friendly restaurants in Paris.

What's hot: The restaurants are presented in a photo gallery format with quick info printed on the photo (location, type of restaurant and when to grab ...Read more

How to counter extremist views: Try agreeing with them

How do you get people with extreme beliefs to change their minds, or at least open them a little?

It may sound counterintuitive, but a new study suggests that instead of arguing with them, you might try agreeing -- with great enthusiasm.

As anyone living through the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign knows, verbal arguments are rarely effective ...Read more

Federal agencies ban Samsung Note 7 smartphones from airplanes

Federal regulators issued an emergency order Friday banning the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone from airplanes.

The U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said the phones can't be carried on flights to, from or within the United States. Passengers ...Read more

Tiny craters, big impact: The moon's surface may be more dynamic than once thought

If every scar has a story, the moon has quite the tale to tell. Scientists using cameras onboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter have found 222 new craters -- and discovered striking blast patterns caused by the shrapnel flung out from such violent impacts.

The findings, described in the journal Nature, could help researchers better ...Read more