Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 4:03 pm
Meteorologists are used to people faulting their weather predictions. But when Georgia's Gov. Nathan Deal called Tuesday's crippling winter storm "unexpected," he drew responses from several forecasters. One answer came from the head of the American Meteorological Society, who also lives in Georgia.
Neanderthals died out long ago, but their genes live on in us. Scientists studying human chromosomes say they've discovered a surprising amount of Neanderthal DNA in our genes. And these aren't just random fragments; they help shape what we look like today, including our hair and skin.
These genes crept into our DNA tens of thousands of years ago, during occasional sexual encounters between Neanderthals and human ancestors who lived in Europe at the time. They show up today in their descendants, people of European and Asian descent.
Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 3:32 pm
I bought Francisco Lima his first taste of freedom in decades.
It was 2004, and Brazil was starting to confront one of its most distressing problems: slavery. I was in northern ParΓ‘ state, in the Amazon, observing a special police unit that raided slaveholding farms and firms and liberated workers like the 74-year-old Lima.
Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 1:51 pm
In his yearly report (pdf) to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the country's spy chief says one of the top threats facing the United States is the unauthorized leak of classified information.
In his threat assessment report, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, listed "insider threats," alongside cyber attacks and terrorism.
On Jan. 9, people in and around Charleston, W.Va., began showing up at hospitals: They had nausea, eye infections and some were vomiting. It was later discovered that around 10,000 gallons of toxic chemicals had leaked into the Elk River, just upstream from a water treatment plant that serves 300,000 people. Citizens were told not to drink or bathe in the water, and while some people are now using water from their taps, many still don't trust it or the information coming from public officials.