Topics by Christopher Joyce
The small projectile points seem to be 14,500 years old, the oldest direct evidence of people in America. The weapons appear to be as old or older than points made by the Clovis, who were thought to be the first in the Americas.
Endurance athletes sometimes say they're "addicted" to exercise, and research suggests that may not be an overstatement. "Our brains have been sort of rewired from an evolutionary sense to encourage these running and high aerobic activity behaviors," one researcher says.
U.S.-based solar panel manufacturers say inexpensive panels from China are hurting their business and want a tariff slapped on the imports. But other parts of the industry, such as installers, say the cheaper panels are driving a solar power boom in the U.S.
Researchers presented a group of professional violinists with a set of violins and asked them to play and then determine which were made by the famed Italian violin-maker Stradivari. The results surprised everyone.
As the world's population tops 7 billion people, population experts are worried about inevitable increases in cars, computers, bigger homes and a drain on resources. In an effort to combat this, one California homebuilder is producing small, energy-efficient houses.
Analyzing the tweets of millions of users suggested cross-cultural, Earth-wide trends in peoples' moods across days and weeks: We're more positive in the morning and late evening. The results point to new ways that academic research might tap into social media.
Discovered in 1902 by the "Indiana Jones" of fossil hunters, the first Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton fascinated the public. It was sold off during World War II, but a lone rib bone remained forgotten in the archives of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Now, a century after it was unearthed, T. rex is finally whole.
The recent discovery of a woolly rhino skull on the Tibetan Plateau suggests that the rhino was one of the few animals that was prepared for the Ice Age when it came along. Scientists wonder which isolated places on Earth today will be the cradle of evolution for the next big environmental change.
Researchers tracked the movements of cell phone users through their SIM cards in Haiti during the cholera epidemic. Their study shows that cell phone data could help doctors and others better provide relief during a disaster or epidemic.
The revolution in Libya has strangled the country's oil exports for months. Even after the current conflict is settled, restarting production and distribution of the high-quality oil, which makes up 2 percent of the world's supply, will take years.
As more details emerge about the damage at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, governments around the globe are reassessing nuclear power. Japan and Germany have cancelled plans to build new reactors and are searching for alternative sources of power.
The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 not only changed the lives of people in Ukraine, it put a radioactive stain on the continent. Today, the costs of the accident are still coming due.
By measuring the shape and size of the bones in dinosaur and reptile eye sockets, scientists say they've determined which animals hunted by night. Flying pterosaurs were largely day-living, while velociraptors stalked their prey by night.
No country is more familiar with nuclear peril than Japan. One might think then that people in Japan would be traumatized by the calamity at the nuclear power complex in Fukushima. But the reality is more nuanced than that — even the most horrible events fade from cultural memory.
Many of the biggest oil suppliers are in harm's way as political strife besets North Africa and the Middle East. At the same time, worldwide demand for oil is up, which means gas prices are rising.
Tomcod fish found in rivers in New York and New Jersey evolved to handle dangerous chemicals that were dumped in the river between 1947 and 1976, a study finds. The fish aren't "mutants," though — some had genetic resistance that allowed them to tolerate the PCBs and dioxins that entered the water.
Declining catches of striped bass may not always be due to overfishing. Researchers say a periodic weather pattern in the North Atlantic may be responsible for the low fish numbers. And understanding how it works may help set fishing limits in the future.
Earthquake engineers say many casualties in the Haiti earthquake could have been avoided if buildings had been built better. So now engineers are trying to improve construction standards as the country rebuilds. But they face two key challenges: poverty and corruption.
Around the Nation
Plug-in electric cars are in showrooms and on the highways, but there's currently no convenient way to recharge them. Electric grid engineers are now trying to build an infrastructure to handle the cars' erratic demand for electricity.
The hits and the highlights from WGBH
Stay in the know about upcoming shows, special events, discounts, and more!