Science & Technology



Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS

California lawmakers reject proposal to curb well-drilling where nearby wells could run dry

LOS ANGELES — Over the past several years, California’s water managers have seen a pattern emerge in farming areas of the Central Valley: Even as declining groundwater levels have left thousands of residents with dry wells and caused the ground to sink, counties have continued granting permits for agricultural landowners to drill new wells ...Read more

Daniel A. Varela/Miami Herald/TNS

Fish kill reported in Biscayne Bay. Blame it on last week's heavy rains

MIAMI — If you’re in some spots in Biscayne Bay during the weekend, you might be greeted with an unpleasant sight: dead fish floating on the surface.

That’s the unfortunate aftermath of the relentless rain that South Florida experienced last week — and a reminder of much larger fish kills that have plagued Biscayne Bay in the past few ...Read more

E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/TNS

To hear the cicadas sing, enthusiasts travel from near and far

During an afternoon stroll around Morton Arboretum, near Chicago, Maria Malayter’s Apple Watch buzzed twice with an unusual notification. The screen warned her of a “loud environment” with sound levels reaching 90 decibels as cicadas chorused on the treetops.

Exposure to such levels for over 30 minutes can cause permanent hearing damage, ...Read more


NASA, Boeing delay Starliner crew's return from station again

NASA and Boeing Co. are adjusting the timeline for the return of the Starliner crew from the International Space Station, the space agency said in a blog post.

The crew will no longer return from the space station on the scheduled date of June 26 to avoid clash between Starliner’s undocking and landing and a series of planned International ...Read more

Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Ethylene oxide emissions from 2 plants could have raised cancer risks for Illinois residents, report shows

People living near two Lake County industries could face significantly greater risks of developing certain cancers, according to a new federal study based on monitoring of ethylene oxide pollution in surrounding neighborhoods.

Emissions of the highly toxic gas from Vantage Specialty Chemicals in Gurnee were responsible for long-term cancer ...Read more


Archaeologists find 18th century artifact at Colonial Michilimackinac

DETROIT — Archaeologists this week made an intriguing find this week at Michigan's Colonial Michilimackinac, Mackinac State Historic Parks officials said: an 18th century brass trade ring.

Researchers with the archaeological program at the Mackinaw City museum identified the piece as a trade good sometimes known as a "Jesuit Ring," parks ...Read more

Ringo Chiu/ZUMA Press Wire/TNS

A full 'strawberry moon' will light up the sky Friday night. Here's when to see it

LOS ANGELES — Mark your calendars and turn to the sky — there will be another exciting celestial event Friday night, right after the start of summer.

The full moon, called a “strawberry moon” because of its pink or reddish hue, is expected to appear right after the summer solstice, which marks the onset of summer and the longest period ...Read more

Julio Cesar Aguilar/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Alberto today, Beryl tomorrow. Will the next big storm have your name?

Meteorologists dubbed it "Alberto," the first named storm of the 2024 Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico hurricane season.

Alberto made landfall as a tropical storm Thursday near the Mexican port of Tampico, causing floods and at least four deaths.

Why was it called "Alberto"?

That happened to be first on an alphabetical list of names for ...Read more

Traffic engineers build roads that invite crashes because they rely on outdated research and faulty data

“Can you name the truck with four-wheel drive, smells like a steak, and seats 35?”

Back in 1998, “The Simpsons” joked about the Canyonero, an SUV so big that they were obviously kidding. At that time, it was preposterous to think anyone would drive something that was “12 yards long, two lanes wide, 65 tons of American Pride....Read more

Olivier Mornin/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

California lawmakers are trying to regulate AI before it's too late. Here's how

For four years, Jacob Hilton worked for one of the most influential startups in the Bay Area — OpenAI. His research helped test and improve the truthfulness of AI models such as ChatGPT. He believes artificial intelligence can benefit society, but he also recognizes the serious risks if the technology is left unchecked.

Hilton was among 13 ...Read more

Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Saving the woodrats: Zoo raises endangered species for wild release

BALTIMORE -- Inside a hallway of the veterinary hospital at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, a popular new program plays 24/7 on a computer screen.

They call it “Woodrat TV,” said Erin Grimm, the zoo’s mammal curator.

On camera is a singularly important Allegheny woodrat, whose job it is to help repopulate her species, which is threatened ...Read more

Howard Lipin/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

An energy bill boosting nuclear power heading to Biden's desk

Democrats and Republicans don’t agree on much on Capitol Hill these days, but they just passed bipartisan legislation to promote the growth of future nuclear power plants — and President Joe Biden is expected to sign it into law.

What’s called the ADVANCE (Accelerating Deployment of Versatile, Advanced Nuclear for Clean Energy) Act aims ...Read more

Spencer Platt/Getty Images North America/TNS

Baltimore sues Coke, Pepsi and other producers of plastic, citing pollution concerns

Baltimore City filed suit Thursday against several companies that produce plastics, arguing they should foot the bill for cleaning up plastic pollution on city streets and in the city’s bodies of water.

The suit was filed against large, multinational companies such as Coca Cola, Pepsi and Frito Lay, which use plastic packaging for sodas, ...Read more


SpaceX ends nearly 2-week lull with Space Coast launch

ORLANDO, Fla. — A late scrub due to weather on Tuesday that also took a Wednesday attempt off the board continued SpaceX’s Cape Canaveral launch attempt woes of late, but it finally managed a liftoff on Thursday, going close to 13 days between launches from the Space Coast, the longest run since late 2022.

It was not for a lack of trying, ...Read more

How to stay safe during lightning storms – summer is the highest-risk season

As the weather warms, people spend more time outdoors, going to barbecues, beaches and ballgames. But summer isn’t just the season of baseball and outdoor festivals – it’s also lightning season.

Each year in the United States, lightning strikes around 37 million times. It kills 21 people a year in the U.S. on average.

...Read more

Ferns and flowers bribe helpful ant defenders with nectar, but ferns developed this ability much later – our study shows why

Look closely at a plant in your local park, your garden or even your kitchen, and you’re likely to see some damage. Whether a caterpillar has chewed away part of a leaf or a mealybug is sucking on sap, animals are constantly feeding on plants.

Of course, herbivory, or plant predation, is not ideal for a plant’s survival. So plants...Read more

Extreme heat can be dangerous for runners, cyclists and anyone spending time outdoors: 6 tips for staying safe

When summer starts with a stifling heat wave, as many places are seeing in 2024, it can pose risks for just about anyone who spends time outside, whether they’re runners, people who walk or cycle to work, outdoor workers or kids playing sports.

Susan Yeargin, an expert on heat-related illnesses, explains what everyone should think ...Read more

Stephen Dunn/Hartford Courant/TNS

Mysterious, sacred land in Long Island Sound, 'gem' of nature, up for monument status. Where it stands

HARTFORD, Conn. — While it’s been slow, there’s definitely been progress in the efforts to preserve the mysterious island in the middle of Long Island Sound, say advocates on both sides of the body of water between Connecticut and New York.

The latest move is a bill in Congress sponsored by U.S. Rep. Nick LaLota, R-N.Y., who represents ...Read more


Invasive, shelled creature seen in popular Georgia lake, experts warn. What to know

An invasive, shelled creature was spotted in a popular Georgia lake, as experts warn the public of potential environmental and health risks.

The creature, a Chinese/Japanese Mystery Snail, was found during routine sampling on Lake Lanier.

But the one snail sighting was only the beginning.

“While we initially hoped that this was an ...Read more

Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Only 8% of California rivers and streams have gauges measuring flow, study finds

In the face of climate change and worsening cycles of drought, California water managers have been increasingly focused on the precise tracking of water resources. Snowpack in the Sierra Nevada is measured with sensors and aerial images, reservoir levels are electronically logged, and the movement of water through aqueducts is apportioned based ...Read more