Science & Technology



Summer swimming season may be over, but you can still get swimmer's ear – and you don't even need to go in the water

Many forms of ear infections strike children and adults alike, but among the most common is acute otitis externa, also known as swimmer’s ear.

About 10% of Americans will experience swimmer’s ear during their lifetimes. Adults are affected more commonly, and children only rarely, generally ages 5 to 12.

But you don’t ...Read more

What is a wetland? An ecologist explains

Wetlands are areas of land that are covered by water, or have flooded or waterlogged soils. They can have water on them either permanently or for just part of the year.

Whether it’s year-round or seasonal, this period of water saturation produces hydric soils, which contain little or no oxygen. But this doesn’t mean that they are ...Read more

Abdul Majeed/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Commentary: Climate change is nudging us toward the next pandemic

The threat of climate change conjures certain scenes: Smoke billowing from a forest aflame. Smothering heat clinging to the distorted asphalt of a densely packed street. Glaciers breaking off into a rising sea. Another scenario should be equally terrifying but is harder to envision: a virus leaving the animal that has played blind host for an ...Read more

Indigenous defenders stand between illegal roads and survival of the Amazon rainforest – elections in Brazil and Peru could be a turning point

The Ashéninka woman with the painted face radiated a calm, patient confidence as she stood on the sandy banks of the Amonia River and faced the loggers threatening her Amazonian community.

The loggers had bulldozed a trail over the mahogany and cedar saplings she had planted, and blocked the creeks her community relied on for ...Read more


From sleep habits to pets, Amazon devices are learning more. Much more

Amazon is using tech to get even closer to its customers.

It introduced a new sleep tracker, Halo Rise, that learns breathing patterns and senses room conditions to help users optimize sleep. Astro, its home robot, will soon be able to recognize doors, windows, pets and furniture in a user's home.

A new iteration of Blink, its home-security ...Read more

Builder of quantum computers opens research and development facility in Boulder

Atom Computing, a California-based startup that builds quantum computers, opened its largest research and development facility in Boulder on Wednesday.

The new location marks a win for Colorado’s growing quantum industry, which is centered around the Denver-Boulder area. Other players in the market include Boulder-based ColdQuanta, Quantum ...Read more

Southern resident orca pod falls to lowest number in 46 years

SEATTLE — Only 73 southern resident orcas that live along the coast of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia remain as of July 1, according to the latest census from the Center for Whale Research.

In the last year, three whales died — K21, K44 and L89. Meanwhile, two calves were born in February and April.

The census found the L pod, ...Read more

Why is Russia sending oil and gas workers to fight in Ukraine? It may signal more energy cutoffs ahead

Russia’s effort to conscript 300,000 reservists to counter Ukraine’s military advances in Kharkiv has drawn a lot of attention from military and political analysts. But there’s also a potential energy angle.

In its call for reservists, Russia’s leadership specifically targeted oil and gas workers for the draft. One might ...Read more

We tend to underestimate our future expenses – here's one way to prevent that

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

When asked to estimate how much money they would spend in the future, people underpredicted the total amount by more than C$400 per month. However, when prompted to think about unexpected spending in addition to typical expenses, people made much more accurate ...Read more


Review: ‘Splatoon 3’ finally puts it all together in Nintendo’s best take on shooters

“Splatoon” has been Nintendo’s most successful original franchise of the past 10 years. It’s a series that came out of necessity as the rise of competitive shooters left the company with a hole in its gaming portfolio. Nintendo needed to fill it, but the big question was: How would the developers create a family-friendly shooter and ...Read more

Billy Blume/Dreamstime/TNS

Five dangerous social media challenges including the deadly ‘Blackout’ stunt

Cold medicine, milk crates and even laundry detergent: These may seem like everyday household products to most of us but they have featured in viral social media challenges in the past few years.

These are the five most dangerous stunts:

Blackout challenge

Probably the most deadly of them all, the “blackout challenge” entails cutting ...Read more

Rossman, James/Jim Rossman/TNS

Jim Rossman: No, you really don’t need to run antivirus software

This week a reader had a question is about antivirus software.

“I recently replaced my 12-year-old computer with my granddaughter's 3-year-old gaming desktop when she updated to a new device.

Question: My granddaughter used Windows Defender for protection, as her opinion is Norton Antivirus works too much like a virus and had a bad ...Read more


Gadgets: IOGEAR’S new UpStream Game Capture Adapter with Party Chat for 4K streamers features easy setup

Finding the right computer accessory to solve a problem, work correctly and do what you want it to do, along with being simple to set up, isn’t always as easy as it seems.

IOGEAR’S new UpStream Game Capture Adapter with Party Chat for 4K streamers is that, and it costs less than its competitors. Full disclosure, I’m not a gamer (never ...Read more

Sally Anscombe/Getty Images North America/TNS

Social media challenges pose dangers to even the most well-adjusted kids, experts say

A recent FDA warning about the latest social media challenge to go viral has brought renewed focus on the dangerous trend that endangers impressionable children and teens.

The need for affirmation on social media heightened by peer pressure can lead to dangerous consequences, as stunts like eating a Tide detergent pod, holding one’s breath ...Read more


How ‘Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope’ makes the right improvements

“Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle” was one of those games that I never wanted to end. The surprisingly fantastic title from Ubisoft Milan and Ubisoft Paris put a whimsical and flexible bent to a strategy genre that was stubbornly rigid and punishing.

It was a breath of fresh air that adeptly combined the chaos sown by the Rabbids and the ...Read more


How to get more value from your smartphone

By some estimates, Americans spend as much as three hours a day on their smartphone, if all touches are added up.

The value users receive from their phones, however, can depend on how much that person understands what's available, or possible, with that device.

We talked with cellular service, app developers and device management executives ...Read more

Alex Kormann/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

This company is bioengineering pig kidneys and livers for possible transplant into humans

In an Minnesota lab, clear containers hold pig kidneys and livers that scientists hope will someday be transplantable in humans.

Miromatrix Medical, a biomedical firm based in the Twin Cities suburb of Eden Prairie, is exploring the scientific area known as xenotransplantation.

Xenotransplantation is a blanket term for a wide range of ...Read more

Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Low Lake Mead reveals prehistoric volcanic ash, potential risks, study says

LAS VEGAS — Boats and bodies aren’t the only things revealing secrets at Lake Mead.

Newly exposed rock at Lake Mead has revealed that the Las Vegas Valley could be impacted by volcanic ash from neighboring states.

A UNLV study published in the Geological Society of America found that the exposed rock, which hasn’t been visible since the ...Read more

Judge approves $100 million Google privacy deal. Here's how much Illinois residents will get

Illinois residents who filed claims for a cut of Google’s $100 million class-action settlement over alleged violations of state privacy law could receive checks of about $154 each.

Cook County Circuit Judge Anna M. Loftus granted final approval of the settlement Wednesday. She granted preliminary approval of the agreement in April.

The ...Read more

Hurricane Ian: When the power grid goes out, could solar and batteries power your home?

Hurricane Ian’s catastrophic winds and flooding are likely to bring long-lasting power outages to large parts of Florida. The storm is the latest in a line of hurricanes and extreme heat and cold events that have knocked out power to millions of Americans in recent years for days at a time.

In many disaster- and outage-prone areas, ...Read more