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Scientific Agenda

Speedy train technology finds new food safety niche

WASHINGTON — Magnetic levitation technology is the darling of mass transit: High-speed trains floating above magnetic tracks can sweep passengers along smoothly at 300 miles per hour.

Ancient Mayans inspire modern fade proof dye

WASHINGTON — Physicists have created a dye that promises to last for a thousand years. The secret to this extraordinary durability?

Stonehenge timber twin revealed in shovel-less dig

For years, mystery and intrigue has surrounded Stonehenge, the massive Neolithic or Copper age (3,000-2,000 BC) circular stones standing out in the middle of the English countryside where Dr.

R136a1: Monster star too big to be true?

Astronomers say they have uncovered the most monstrous star yet seen — far more massive than some had thought possible — deep in the Tarantula Nebula, a brightly glowing region of hydrogen gas in a small companion galaxy to the Milky Way.

Tour de France records and doping

Every year the Tour de France intrigues scientists along with cyclists — raising questions such as how many calories the human body needs to ride 100+ miles a day and also pedal up the sides of steep mountains.

Shedding light on mysterious synchronized fireflies

WASHINGTON — For two weeks every June, busloads of visitors gather in the Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee for a sight that scientists once believed to be impossible: thousands of fireflies blinking in near-perfect unison, like strings of Christ

Science and politics in the birthplace of the Enlightenment

PADOVA, Italy — I came to Italy to talk about science and politics — but as I leave Padova, I am struck by how each generation from Galileo’s to my own must defend science, democracy and freedom of thought, as a moral imperative.

Java jolt: How coffee and cream blend is eye opener for researchers

WASHINGTON — Physicists from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut and from the University of Bath in the U.K. took a close look downward into their mugs to find out exactly how cream actually blends with the coffee in a cup when stirred.