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Scientific Agenda

Looking for extra dimensions by measuring gravity at the microscopic level

WASHINGTON — Scientists know how gravity works at big distances — the inter-planetary or inter-stellar range — but does it work the same way at the inter-atomic range?
A variety of tabletop experiments are trying to explore this issue.  Already som

PZ Myers on how much science should accommodate religion

Find a public debate about the intersection of science and religion and you also can expect to find PZ Myers, a biology professor at the University of Minnesota Morris.
This month, Myers debated author Chris Mooney over questions of how far science

Upcoming science-related events on ‘sustainable’ topics

Many, many years ago, I took pains to avoid using the word “sustainable” in my stories about science, agriculture and urban development — for the same reason I didn’t use the jargon teachers and professors fling around in education-speak.

Genetically modified crops limit corn borer, U study reports

While environmental scientists continue to assess the full impact of genetically-modified crops, a new University of Minnesota study concludes they’ve seriously set back one insect: the European corn borer.
No Midwestern farmer will mourn this deve

Nobel Prize in chemistry awarded for palladium work

Three scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing tools that allow chemists to readily build complex carbon molecules from simpler ones — a key to fielding new classes of pharmaceuticals, materials, and new types of ultr

‘Wonder material’ graphene wins scientists 2010 Nobel Prize in physics

It’s not often that materials as humble as Scotch tape and the stuff of pencil lead yield a Nobel Prize in physics, but they play a key role in a discovery honored in the 2010 award, announced Tuesday in Stockholm.
Two Russian-born physicists at th

Imitation black hole seen on Earth

WASHINGTON — Astrophysics deals mostly with things that are so distant — thousands or billions of light years away — that we can’t ever hope to see them up close.

Upcoming science-related events

Here are some upcoming science-related events.
Nobel focus on food
The annual Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College in St.

Why many environmentalists will fight Germany’s green energy plan

FRANKFURT — Angela Merkel’s German cabinet Tuesday ratified an ambitious blueprint for moving the country toward a low-emission energy future that calls for ending centuries of reliance on fossil fuels.
The plan calls for developing renewable energ

U.S. losing brainpower advantage in science and technology

WASHINGTON  — The United States’ ability to compete globally in science and technology is on a “perilous path,” said a new report delivered last week on Capitol Hill to a bipartisan group of policymakers, industry leaders, and academics.

New book attempts to explain string theory

WASHINGTON — Reality comes in layers.
Everything we see in the world around us, scientists tell us, is made of atoms and combinations of atoms called molecules. Atoms are themselves made of tiny particles — electrons, protons, and neutrons.

More upcoming local science-related events

Here’s another rundown of upcoming local science-related events.
Grandfather of green
Germany’s “grandfather of green building” is coming to town to talk about eco-cities and designs that make a community healthy for the long haul