Senior writer-editor at National Geographic. Adjunct professor at NYU-DC. Retweets are notifications. Typos unintended. Burma shave.

Monkeys Steer Wheelchairs With Their Brains, Raising Hope for Paralyzed People

news.nationalgeographic.com — Dan Vergano Published November 18, 2014 WASHINGTON, D.C.-Experimental wheelchairs and exoskeletons controlled by thought alone offer surprising insights into the brain, neuroscientists reported on Monday. Best known for his experimental exoskeleton that helped a paralyzed man kick the opening ball for June's World Cup in Brazil, Duke University neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis presented the latest "brain-machine interface" findings from his team's "Walk Again Project" at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

Astronomers Cheer 'Audacious' Landing on Comet

news.nationalgeographic.com — Dan Vergano Published November 12, 2014 TUCSON, Arizona-Scientists packed into a hotel conference room erupted in celebration Wednesday morning on word of the first soft landing of a spacecraft on a comet. Primed by early views of the comet, the successful landing promises answers to vexing mysteries about these icy visitors from deep space.

Now You See Them: 'Magic Islands' Appear on Saturn's Moon Titan

news.nationalgeographic.com — Dan Vergano Published November 11, 2014 TUCSON, Arizona-Two new "magic islands" have joined one reported last year on Saturn's giant moon Titan, Cassini spacecraft observations showed on Monday. The features add to a puzzling vanishing act playing out on the frozen world's seas.

The Rule for Success in Science Movies: Make It Personal

news.nationalgeographic.com — Dan Vergano Published November 7, 2014 Famed physicist Stephen Hawking is the focus of a new biopic that opens Friday in U.S. theaters, but the work on black holes that made him one of the leading scientists of his generation isn't the star.

Will Virgin Galactic's Crash End Space Tourism?

news.nationalgeographic.com — Dan Vergano Published October 31, 2014 The crash of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo experimental space plane on Friday, which killed one test pilot and severely injured another, may have wrecked the future of space tourism. "For the industry, the joyride is over," says attorney Michael Listner of the Space Law and Policy Solutions space law firm.

40-Year-Old Russian Engine at Heart of Rocket Investigation

news.nationalgeographic.com — Dan Vergano Published October 29, 2014 The fiery destruction of an Antares rocket left behind a launch pad covered in debris and questions about the rocket's use of refurbished Soviet-era engines. Investigators combed through the wreckage of the "catastrophic anomaly," as NASA's Rachel Kraft termed it Wednesday morning, the day after the crash at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

Asteroids Offer Stepping-Stones to Mars, Expert Says

news.nationalgeographic.com — Dan Vergano Published October 29, 2014 Nearby asteroids are humanity's ticket to Mars, says a planetary scientist who's calling for an ambitious survey to map ones that could serve as stepping-stones to the red planet.

Highest Stone Age Campsite Reveals Grit of First Americans

news.nationalgeographic.com — Dan Vergano Published October 23, 2014 Paleo-Indian hunters ventured high into the Andes Mountains as early as 12,800 years ago, as much as two thousand years sooner than previously thought. The finding, reported Thursday in the journal Science , suggests that South America's first inhabitants raced across the continent rather than spreading slowly to its remotest corners.

45,000-Year-Old Bone Pinpoints Era of Human-Neanderthal Sex

news.nationalgeographic.com — Dan Vergano Published October 22, 2014 Unearthed by an ivory carver from a Siberian riverbank, a man's 45,000-year-old thigh bone reveals when people first mated with Neanderthals, an international genetics team reports Wednesday. The Ust'-Ishim man's thigh bone is the oldest human bone found so far outside of Africa and the Middle East, according to the report in the journal Nature .

Search Widens for Nepal Blizzard Survivors

news.nationalgeographic.com — Dan Vergano Published October 17, 2014 The death toll continues to mount following a deadly blizzard and avalanches in Nepal's Himalaya, but by Friday, hundreds of missing trekkers had been rescued. At least 28 people have died in the blizzard and avalanches that struck Nepal on Tuesday, according to the Nepal Mountaineering Association.
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Nov 24, 2014

RT @cgseife: Is the president of the Abell Foundation deceiving his board and potential investors? New blog post: charlesseife.blogspot.com/2014/11/is-abe…

Nov 22, 2014

"Why is it that the sciences look like a feminist nirvana compared with the economics profession..." bloombergview.com/articles/2014-…

Nov 21, 2014

Review science book mailbag: Octopus: The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea by Katherine Harmon Courage

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