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‘Great Pause’ Among Prosecutors As DNA Proves Fallible : NPR

It seemed the labs were using an outdated protocol for calculating the probability of DNA matches in “mixtures”; that is, crime scene samples that contain genetic material from several people. It may have affected thousands of cases going back to 1999. At first, they assumed the update wouldn’t make a big difference — just a refinement of the numbers. But when a state lab reran the analysis of a DNA…

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The Satellite That Took This Incredible Photo Almost Didn’t Leave Earth

The camera’s first good image came back a month ago, which was cutting things a little close for the July 16 moon crossing (NASA released the images on Wednesday), according to Szabo. “We were very much aware that the moon would be passing in view, and we worked very hard for it,” he says. The next opportunity to catch the passing won’t come until sometime next year. “The beauty of…

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Here’s What Happens in the Hour After You Drink a Can of Coke (and What Happened to Me When I Tried It)

As a kid, I remember liking the famous “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” commercial. As a teenager, I remember seeing a series of Coke ads in the summer, with the theme of “It’s too hot, look at these pictures of happy people in the snow, buy a Coke,” and then 6 months later I remember seeing commercials with the theme “It’s too cold, look at these happy…

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The Importance of Writing Skills in Tech-Related Fields

Good writing skills are valuable, even in the world of STEM. How is it that students interested in careers in technology don’t understand that writing skills are a crucial part of their future success? What’s more, in my life as a writing coach, I’ve noticed that this aversion sometimes extends well past the undergraduate years and into the master’s and Ph.D. levels. In an effort to underscore the importance of effective…

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Pluto Flyby

When I was about 10, I wrote to NASA and got a big packet of color magazines and newsletters on the Space Shuttle and Voyager missions. I loved staying up late watching live PBS coverage of the flybys of Jupiter, and Saturn. At some point I wrote again asking for more stuff, but I got a response saying those materials were now only for educators. I was in college for…