A Scientist Takes On Gravity

A Scientist Takes On GravityItís hard to imagine a more fundamental and ubiquitous aspect of life on the Earth than gravity, from the moment you first took a step and fell on your diapered bottom to the slow terminal sagging of flesh and dreams.

Amazon River Dolphins Being Slaughtered for Bait

Amazon River Dolphins Being Slaughtered for BaitThe bright pink color gives them a striking appearance in the muddy jungle waters. That Amazon river dolphins are also gentle and curious makes them easy targets for nets and harpoons as they swim fearlessly up to fishing boats.

Now, their carcasses are showing up in record numbers on riverbanks, their flesh torn away for fishing bait, causing researchers to warn of a growing threat to a species that has already disappeared in other parts of the world.

Amazon Storm Killed Half a Billion Trees

Amazon Storm Killed Half a Billion TreesA violent storm ripped through the Amazon forest in 2005 and single-handedly killed half a billion trees, a new study reveals.

The study is the first to produce an actual tree body count after an Amazon storm.

An estimated 441 million to 663 million trees were destroyed across the whole Amazon basin during the 2005 storm, a much greater number than previously suspected.

World Cup 2010: Octopus to retire after successful World Cup

World Cup 2010: Octopus to retire after successful World CupPaul, the English-born octopus turned mystic sensation is going to retire after correctly predicting the outcome of as many World Cup matches as he has legs, including last night's final.

The intuitive invertebrate will "step back from the official oracle business," said Tanja Munzig, a spokeswoman for the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany where Paul resides.

Insects as Model Animals

Insects as Model AnimalsJeremy Niven spends his days at Cambridge University running locusts across ladders and through mazes, trying to figure out how bugs think. Dr. Niven, 34, studies the evolution of brains and neurons in insects and other animals, like humans. We spoke during a break in last month's World Science Festival in New York, where he was a guest presenter, and then again later via telephone. An edited version of the two conversations follows: