Geoff Brumfiel

Geoff Brumfiel appears in the following:

Gerbils Likely Pushed Plague To Europe in Middle Ages

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Shifts in climate in the Middle Ages likely drove bubonic plague bacteria from gerbils in Asia to people in Europe, research now suggests. Rats don't deserve all the blame.


'Weird' Fern Shows The Power Of Interspecies Sex

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Two species of fern that diverged 60 million years ago are as evolutionarily distant as, say, elephants and manatees. Nonetheless, the two species recently produced a hybrid, say astounded botanists.


Navy Funds A Small Robot Army To Study The Arctic

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The U.S. Navy has completed the largest robotic survey of the Arctic ever attempted. Warming waters are absorbing more sunlight and melting more ice there each summer, the gizmos and gliders suggest.


Charles Townes, Laser Inventor, Black Hole Discoverer, Dies At 99

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Physicist Charles Townes died Tuesday. He was a key inventor of the laser and won the Nobel Prize for his discovery in 1964. But his career didn't end there.


Critics Worry Nuclear Reactor Deal With India Has A Dark Side

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The administration says the reactors are good for the climate, good for American industry and for strengthening ties with India. But some worry the deal also has a dark side.


X-Rays Open Secrets Of Ancient Scrolls

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Scientists have used a particle accelerator to read ancient scrolls without unrolling them. The breakthrough could potentially be used to decipher hundreds of texts.


Scientists Say The NFL's 'Deflate-Gate' Isn't All Hot Air

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Two scientists say the New England Patriots could have gained some advantage from deflating a ball in Sunday's game. But was it worth the risk?


Do Fictional Geniuses Hold Back Real Women?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A new study finds that the academic disciplines most associated with "geniuses" are also the fields in which women are underrepresented.


Look Out, This Poker-Playing Computer Is Unbeatable

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Forget chess. Poker may be even harder for a computer. But a software program has now "solved" a variant of Texas Hold'em, the bot's creators say. And nothing can keep it from winning.


SpaceX Plans A Perfect Landing

Monday, January 05, 2015

The space firm will send a supply capsule into orbit, and then try a new way to recover the part of the rocket that carried it. If it works, the cost of going to space could be reduced dramatically.


A Vanished Jetliner Still Haunts Families Of The Missing

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Months after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared from radar screens, families of the lost passengers and crew struggle to cope. Many are unwilling to declare their loved ones dead.


Birds Of A Feather Aren't Necessarily Related

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Geneticists have revised the evolutionary tree of birds, revealing some unlikely relationships.


Glenn Close Ends 20-Year Broadway Hiatus With 'A Delicate Balance'

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Close stars as a suburban matron in a revival of Edward Albee's 1966 play. She tells NPR about the timelessness of Albee's play and getting a nosebleed in the middle of a recent matinee.


Oh, Snap! NASA Promises Best Photo Yet Of Faraway Pluto

Monday, December 08, 2014

A spacecraft on its way to Pluto has just woken up from hibernation. By next month, scientists expect to have the first good pictures of the dwarf planet. All of the others have been, well, crummy.


Lots Of Work Remains After Successful Orion Launch

Friday, December 05, 2014

NASA successfully launched and landed a test version of its next-generation Orion spacecraft on Friday morning. The unmanned test is the first for the follow-on to the shuttle.


NASA To Test Orion Spacecraft For Long Future Missions

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

NASA plans to launch an unmanned capsule named "Orion" from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday. NASA hopes that Orion will one day carry astronauts beyond Earth's orbit and even to Mars.


NASA Prepares To Test New Spacecraft (That You've Likely Never Heard Of)

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

The new vehicle, named Orion, is designed to carry humans into deep space. But most Americans aren't aware it exists.

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Astronauts Will Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner In Space

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Two NASA astronauts are aboard the International Space Station. Turkey is on the menu but not pumpkin pie. NASA can't make pumpkin pie in space because the crust doesn't come out right.


Comet Lander's Big Bounce Caught On Camera

Monday, November 17, 2014

An orbiting spacecraft caught the Philae lander bounding on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The lander sent home some scientific data before its batteries ran out.


Pentagon Plans To Spend Billions Upgrading Nuclear Program

Friday, November 14, 2014

After a major investigation into America's nuclear forces, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says that he will be investing billions of dollars into the system, and changing to the way it's managed.