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Thursday, December 5, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: rock doc


The Rock Doc: Researchers hunt for road salt alternatives

As you watch the falling snow, do you marvel at the beauty of the scene or dread driving to work on icy pavement? Most of our nation’s roads get at …


The Rock Doc: Did climate play role in collapse of populations?

Climate is always changing. That’s one truth that stands out from the record around the world of natural samples of Earth materials, tree rings, ice layers and so much more. …


The Rock Doc: Northwest-grown Glee wheat ‘bred to bake bread’

Earlier this year I went to a fundraiser where I bought a bag of Glee flour. Glee is a variety of hard red spring wheat that was developed at Washington …


The Rock Doc: Study of nuclear forensics helps fight crime

As a kid, I read the Sherlock Holmes stories and the mysteries of Agatha Christie. As an adult, I wrote four mysteries that focused on a Quaker heroine solving crimes …


The Rock Doc: Antibiotics must be used carefully

It’s astonishing to think about, but when my grandfather was born, tuberculosis was the No. 1 cause of death in our country. Worse still, one in five children didn’t live …


The Rock Doc: Seize the day and visit a park

This is the time of year to get outdoors and observe Mother Nature in all her glory. With a simple field guide to trees or birds and a Sunday afternoon …


Power grid hidden marvel of engineering

Think about the most complicated machine you’ve dealt with in the past year. Was it a beeping monitor tethered to a high-tech device in an emergency room? Or was it …


The Rock Doc: Kitchen stoves offer a lesson in carbon control

My elderly aunt recently came into some money. She decided – very generously – to send part of it to each of her nieces and nephews. This gave me the …


The Rock Doc: Nutrition labels in for change

While I have been dinking around for months, trying to lose five pounds, two of my friends have gotten serious about weight loss. Each of them is down 50 pounds. …


Rock Doc: GPS monitors help scientists predict volcanic eruptions

There are two main things most people would like to know about particular volcanoes: When is the next eruption and how big will that eruption be? Scientists in Iceland have …


The Rock Doc: Carrots, sticks to help you kick smoking

Thirty years ago, I was a light smoker. After several failed attempts to quit, I was able, for some reason, to go cold turkey and finally be done with tobacco. …


The Rock Doc: Mental health treatment gets boost from feds

When I was a kid, Jimmy Carter was in the White House. His wife, Rosalynn, was quite an active first lady. She sat in on official meetings held by her …


Rock Doc: Old drug offers new hope for quitting alcohol

Alcoholism runs in part of my family. I lost a grandfather to it, and a couple of others in the family have been affected by it to greater or lesser …


The Rock Doc: Growth rings track more than the age of trees

As every schoolchild knows, counting the growth rings in a tree tells you how old the tree is. But some samples of wood can tell you even more than age. …


The Rock Doc: Capitol Christmas Tree data could help us improve tradition

I know we are still only in Advent. But at this point in December, my mind starts to turn toward Christmas. It just can’t be helped, especially with all the …


Rock Doc: Miners’ mercury still makes mark on environment

When I was a younger and more sprightly woman, I spent part of my life investigating unusual hot springs in rural California. They were salty and quite stinky springs out …


The Rock Doc: Working together may be the key to weight loss

We all know the basic medical facts: We should make healthy choices about what we eat and incorporate exercise into our busy lives. Most of the science of weight loss …


The Rock Doc: Cascadia earthquake could bring severe damage to West Coast

“It’s 8:16 on a chilly, wet morning. … You’ve just arrived at work and are pouring a cup of coffee when you become aware of a low rumbling noise. Within …


The Rock Doc: Elephants’ recognition skills may be on point

I don’t know the full heritage of my mutt from the pound, Buster Brown by name. Buster was listed as a “Lab mix” by the humane society, but my vet …


The Rock Doc: Brucellosis research might help fight other diseases

Normally, when a bacterium invades your body, it’s surrounded and engulfed by a white blood cell. If all goes well, the white blood cell kills the bacterium. But a few …


Rock Doc: Indonesian volcano may have caused 13th-century cooldown

When I was a child, I read a lot of murder mysteries. At a young age, I favored the books featuring Miss Marple by Agatha Christie. When I was a …


The Rock Doc: Poker players, you got to know how to hold ’em

Experienced poker players know the basic odds of drawing the card they need to build a better hand. They also are good at estimating if their hand is likely to …


The Rock Doc: JFK sent us to the moon and far beyond

When I was a baby in the early 1960s, President John F. Kennedy famously said we should put a man on the moon within the decade. I was in grade …


Rock Doc: Raw poultry doesn’t need rinsing

Cooking is part necessity, but it’s also partly cultural. The way we cook says a lot about the societies we live in and the traditions that influence our families. I …


Research shows oxygen could have caused prehistoric growth

Many scientists would say life on Earth has a complex but single blueprint. For example, many animals have left hand and right hand parts that are mirror images of each …


Rock Doc: Family dogs’ forebears mean lives are shorter

It’s just a fact: Most of us outlive our dogs. Indeed, for people who are dog owners throughout their lives, a lot of grieving is guaranteed. Fido No. 1 dies, …


The Rock Doc: Sun’s pole swap will ramp up Northern Lights

This week all the globe enjoys roughly 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of night. The “reason for the season” relates to Earth’s orbit around the sun. During summertime, …


The Rock Doc: Ticks found to be source of new virus

When my dog and I walk along the Snake River during the warm seasons of the year, we can both come home with a tick or two. I’m used to …


Rock Doc: Beef moving off the range, into the laboratory

It sounds like science fiction when you first hear about it, but some people see it as a way of addressing both animal welfare issues and environmental concerns. I’m talking …


Rock Doc: Science is not a mountain, it’s a playground

“Knowledge is a big subject. Ignorance is bigger. And it is more interesting.”