The latest news from science and technology.

Science, technology, and life.
May 18 2005 1:03 PM

Girls With Guns

And other news from science and technology.

Latest Human Nature columns: 1) Grandma vs. a clump of cells. 2) The evolution of creationism. 3) Why GPS tracking is good for felons. 4) No steroids in football, but let them eat steak. 5) Why pro-lifers fear the morning-after pill. 6) If steroids are cheating, why isn't LASIK? 7) Jews vs. Catholics in the stem-cell debate. 8) The case for raising the retirement age.

The Air Force is pushing to weaponize space. Programs are in the works to 1) make radio waves lethal, 2) build planes that "strike from halfway around the world in 45 minutes," 3) use blimps and mirrors to aim lasers at earth targets, and 4) fire heavy-element cylinders "striking at speeds of about 7,200 miles an hour with the force of a small nuclear weapon."

William Saletan William Saletan

Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.


U.S. military associations are fighting restrictions on women in combat. A new bill would tighten the official ban. A retired general says it's too hard to enforce the ban strictly, since troops can now be attacked anywhere.

Scientists are debating  the evolutionary logic of the femaleorgasm. Some think it motivates women to have sex; others think it improves sperm retention; others think it's "phasing out." Latest theory: Nature gives all human embryos the neural basis for orgasm because this promotes reproduction in boys. For girls, it's a happy byproduct.

Fake acupuncture works as well as the real thing at averting headaches. Researchers suspect a placebo effect or "physiological effects of needling."

Antibodies to nicotine help people quit smoking. At high levels, they nearly double the percentage of smokers who quit for at least half a year. The next step is to make a vaccine.

The military is funding projects to help soldiers regrow limbs, stop feeling pain, and function without sleep, food, or oxygen. A new book called Radical Evolution  discusses the research.

A CIA flying drone killed an al-Qaida operative in Pakistan. The drone was "operated from a secret base hundreds of miles" away. The Air Force will buy 59 more drones over the next five years and arm them with up to 3,000 pounds of precision-guided munitions.

Major drugstores will movemore than 100 cold medicines behind the counter to help stop methamphetamine production. The medicines include Advil, Benadryl, Contac, Claritin, Motrin, Sudafed, and Tylenol products. The companies want uniform policies because they can't keep track of new state laws on these products.

Congressional Republicans are proposing to raise the retirement age for Social Security. One committee chairman indicates some manual laborers might be exempted. Scholars point out that Americans now spend one-third of adulthood in retirement. (For Human Nature's take, click here.)



Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.


Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
Sept. 29 2014 11:45 PM The Self-Made Man The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
Dear Prudence
Sept. 29 2014 3:10 PM The Lonely Teetotaler Prudie counsels a letter writer who doesn’t drink alcohol—and is constantly harassed by others for it.
  Double X
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
Future Tense
Sept. 29 2014 11:56 PM Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation Humankind has lots of great ideas for the future. We need people to carry them out.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 29 2014 11:32 PM The Daydream Disorder Is sluggish cognitive tempo a disease or disease mongering?
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.