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Stories tagged: science


Skagit Regional Health to offer robotic-assisted surgery

Using two tiny mechanical claws, community members tested out Skagit Regional Health’s new robotic surgery system by unwrapping Starburst candies and moving around mini-rubber rings.


UPDATED: Sun., Aug. 19, 2018, 1:56 p.m.

Science says: ‘The warmer it is, the more fire we see’

The years with the most acres burned by wildfires have some of the hottest temperatures, an Associated Press analysis of fire and weather data found. As human-caused climate change has …


Ask Dr. Universe: Did dinosaurs actually roar?

Mammals such as lions and bears roar. But it’s likely that dinosaurs, which were not mammals, had other ways of communicating.


Mars making a brilliant pass near Earth this week

Look to the south or southeast sky after dark during the next week or so and you will see the brightly beaming, rust-colored planet Mars.


Ask Dr. Universe: Frisson’s cause remains unknown

It turns out that the experience of getting chills when we listen to music actually has a scientific name: frisson. That’s what I found out when I met up with …


EPA proposal to limit science studies draws opposition

Democratic lawmakers joined scores of scientists, health providers, environmental officials and activists Tuesday in denouncing an industry-backed proposal that could limit dramatically the scientific studies the Environmental Protection Agency considers …


Late-life high blood pressure may harm the brain, study says

Decades ago, hundreds of nuns and priests made an extraordinary decision: They agreed to donate their brains upon death to science, hoping to help solve mysteries about Alzheimer’s and other …


Ask Dr. Universe: What happens when we sleepwalk?

WSU sleep researcher Hans Van Dongen and his team observe lots of different sleep behaviors at the Sleep and Performance Research Center. He said there are really two main types …


Ask Dr. Universe: Why do lizards lose their tails?

The main reason a lizard loses its tail is to defend itself. When a lizard detaches its tail, the tail whips around and wiggles on the ground.


UPDATED: Wed., June 20, 2018, 10:24 p.m.

Spark Central nonprofit receives $100,000 grant

The Washington Women’s Foundation gave a grant of $100,000 to Spark Central, a Spokane nonprofit, on Wednesday. The money will go toward teaching innovative technologies like programming, robotics and media …


Meat 2.0? Clean meat? Spat shows the power of food wording

If meat is grown in a lab without slaughtering animals, what should it be called? That question has yet to be decided by regulators, but for the moment, it’s pitting …


Ask Dr. Universe: Why do stink bugs stink?

Stink bugs use smell as a defense against predators.


Spiders can float in the air, and scientists just figured out how they lift off

Records of spider ballooning go back centuries. But scientist have struggled to understand how the arachnids generate lift. One physicist proposed that they use electrostatic forces to take to the …


WSU research off to space

Two remote-manned laboratories – expected to aid local research – are destined for the International Space Station and will launch into orbit Sunday.


A scientist calculated the ludicrous strength of Marvel villain Thanos

Based on a recent “whimsical by design” analysis, Northeastern University engineering professor Steven Cranford calculated that Thanos is powerful enough to dead lift the RMS Titanic.


Ask Dr. Universe: Why do worms come out when it rains?

Worms come to the surface to move around, but exactly why they do it or where they are headed remains a bit of a mystery. Still, scientists have some interesting …


Ask Dr. Universe: Clothing offers its own recycling challenges

WSU researcher Hang Liu imagines a different future for our used clothes. In her lab, she and her team are coming up with creative ways to recycle cotton into a …


UPDATED: Fri., April 27, 2018, 4:30 p.m.

The science behind ‘the munchies’: WSU researcher aims to help cancer, anorexia patients with pot

Jon Davis is “hotboxing” rats for a purpose: to figure out why people who smoke marijuana experience hunger. The research, which Davis hopes to publish soon, is just part of …


UPDATED: Fri., April 20, 2018, 11:55 a.m.

N. Atlantic right whales will be extinct in 25 years, scientists say – unless we act now to save them

For years, spring has signaled the return of North Atlantic right whales – one of Earth’s most endangered species – to Cape Cod Bay. But lately the imperiled animals have …


Ask Dr. Universe: What happens to our trash?

The average human who lives in the U.S. creates about 4.83 pounds of trash each day. Many people don’t really see much of it, though.


A battle of cosmic proportions: WSU, biotech firm sue each other over new apple variety

With millions of trees already planted across the state, the outcomes of the dueling lawsuits seem unlikely to affect consumer availability of the Cosmic Crisp, a flavor-packed hybrid between the …


WSU researchers look to fish for insight on human skull development

Fish research at Washington State University could lead to advances for human health by increasing the knowledge of some developmental disorders that cause facial deformities.


Ask Dr. Universe: Where did the first nerves come from?

While the human body has many parts made up of lots cells, some living things are actually just one little cell – an amoeba or a bacteria, for example.


UPDATED: Sun., April 1, 2018, 8:38 p.m.

Chinese space station mostly burns up as it re-enters atmosphere

Chinese space authorities say the defunct Tiangong 1 mostly burned up upon re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere in the central South Pacific.


Ask Dr. Universe: How come broccoli is good for you?

When we chew or cut broccoli, we damage the plant tissues and a new compound forms. It’s actually this compound in broccoli that gives off that, well, unique broccoli smell. …


Can a 1-year-old reason like a scientist? Yes, new research concludes.

In intriguing research, a team of scientists may have discovered the earliest age at which a person can reason logically: 12 months.


Ask Dr. Universe: Create your own sunset at home

You can try all kinds of fun experiments at home. It really all depends on what you are curious about. Lately, I’ve seen some really great sunsets and started wondering …


Ask Dr. Universe: Cows have different moos for different situations

Ask Dr. Universe column for Feb. 26, 2018.


Ask Dr. Universe: Video games can help us learn

Ask Dr. Universe column for Monday, Feb. 19, 2018.


In a surprising study, scientists say everyday chemicals now rival cars as a source of air pollution

In a major study released Thursday, a team of government and university scientists say that the nature of air pollution is changing dramatically as cars become cleaner – leaving personal-care …