60-Second Science

Science news and technology updates from Scientific American. Leading science journalists provide a daily minute commentary on some of the most interesting developments in the world of science.

Plants Dominate the Planet's Biomass (8/2018)

About 80 percent of Earth's biomass is plant life, with humans about equal to krill way down the heft chart.    

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Solar Eclipse of 2017 Boosted Science Interest (8/2018)

The Michigan Scientific Literacy Survey of 2017 found that last year's total solar eclipse got Americans more interested in celestial science.   

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Crickets Carve Tools to Amplify Their Chirps (8/2018)

The insects fashion and use "baffles"—sound controllers—made of leaves to produce sound more efficiently. Jason G. Goldman reports.

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Computerized Chemical Toxicity Prediction Beats Animal Testing (8/2018)

Researchers programmed a computer to compare structures and toxic effects of different chemicals, making it possible to then predict the toxicity of new chemicals based on their structural similarity...

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Better Data Could Mean Better Dating (8/2018)

Both men and women tended to pursue mates just 25 percent more desirable than themselves—suggesting they are "optimistic realists." Christopher Intagliata reports.

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To Evolve Baleen, Lose Your Teeth First (8/2018)

Whale ancestors probably never had teeth and baleen at the same time, and only developed baleen after trying toothlessness and sucking in prey.

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Corn Variety Grabs Fertilizer from the Air (8/2018)

A variety of corn from Oaxaca, Mexico, has aerial roots that harbor nitrogen-fixing bacteria, allowing the corn to suck nitrogen straight from the air. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

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Birds Learn Safety from Other Kinds of Birds (8/2018)

Birds become good at avoiding danger by eavesdropping on the alarm calls of other birds—and the learning occurs without even seeing their peers or predators. Christopher Intagliata...

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Microbes Share Your Morning Metro Commute‚Ä® (8/2018)

An analysis of the Hong Kong metro found microbes, including some with antibiotic resistance genes, freshly disperse throughout the system each day. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

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Oh Say Can You See Subtle Details? (7/2018)

Different people have differing aptitudes for observing small changes and particular features.

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