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How we determine who’s to blame

Using eye-tracking technology, cognitive scientists have obtained the first direct evidence that people use a process called counterfactual simulation to imagine how a situation could have played out differently to assign responsibility for an outcome.

You would not ask a firefighter to perform open-heart surgery: Understanding ‘collective intelligence’

The concept of 'collective intelligence' is simple -- it asserts that if a team performs well on one task, it will repeat that success on other projects, regardless of the scope or focus of the work. While it sounds good in theory, it doesn't work that way in reality, according to a researcher.

To keep Saturn’s A ring contained, its moons stand united

For three decades, astronomers thought that only Saturn's moon Janus confined the planet's A ring -- the largest and farthest of the visible rings. But after poring over NASA's Cassini mission data, astronomers now conclude that the teamwork of seven moons keeps this ring corralled.

Flexible ‘skin’ can help robots, prosthetics perform everyday tasks by sensing shear force

Engineers have developed a flexible sensor 'skin' that can be stretched over any part of a robot's body or prosthetic to accurately convey information about shear forces and vibration, which are critical to tasks ranging from cooking an egg to dismantling a bomb.

Cancer: New compound targets energy generation, thereby killing metastatic cells

Researchers have identified an enzyme that supports the survival and dissemination of metastatic cells, and developed a synthetic compound that targets the enzyme and kills the metastatic cells in mice with cancer.

Preservation for the (digital) ages

Researchers working with classicists and computer scientists have developed a method to preserve digital humanities databases. The preservation strategy allows scholars to re-launch a database application in a variety of environments -- from individual computers, to virtual machines, to future web servers -- without compromising its interactive features.

Study reshapes understanding of climate change’s impact on early societies

A new study linking paleoclimatology -- the reconstruction of past global climates -- with historical analysis shows a link between environmental stress and its impact on the economy, political stability, and war-fighting capacity of ancient Egypt.

Scientists determine source of world’s largest mud eruption

More than 11 years after the Lusi mud volcano first erupted on the Indonesian island of Java, researchers may have figured out why the mudflows haven't stopped: deep underground, Lusi is connected to a nearby volcanic system.

Looking for microbe ‘fingerprints’ on simulated Martian rocks

Scientists are searching for unique bio-signatures left on synthetic extraterrestrial minerals by microbial activity. A new paper describes investigations into these signatures at a miniaturized 'Mars farm' where researchers can observe interactions between the archaeon Metallosphaera sedula and Mars-like rocks. These microbes are capable of oxidizing and integrating metals into their metabolism.

The head of the U.S.’s largest mosquito control program has science on her side

Jodi Holeman

And thank goodness for that.

There are more than 3,000 kinds of mosquitoes in the world, and if Jodi Holeman could, she'd catch one of each.
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