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    How materials science has changed humankind — for better and worse

    The Alchemy of UsAinissa RamirezMIT Press, $27.95 Humans have continually wielded materials, from steel to silicon, in new ways to send technology leaping forward. But those technologies have unintentionally molded our bodies and society, materials scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez argues in The Alchemy of Us. Increasingly precise clocks — based on steel springs and then […] More

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    Turning human bodies into compost works, a small trial suggests

    SEATTLE — Human bodies make great worm food. That’s the conclusion of pilot experiments with six dead bodies that were allowed to decompose among wood chips and other organic material. The results, presented February 16 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, suggest that composting, also called natural organic […] More

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    This year’s SN 10 enjoy the journey, not just the discovery

    After nearly four years of painstaking work, in 1902 Marie Curie produced one-tenth of a gram of radium chloride from several tons of uranium ore. It took her another eight years to isolate pure radium. The effort won her a second Nobel Prize and cemented her legacy as one of science’s most tenacious minds. “One […] More