Science & Media

Coal Dust Darkens the Climate Picture

As coal mining is likely to become less regulated under President Trump, scientists are looking for ways to better measure the impact of the resulting coal dust on the climate. Near one mine in the Arctic, researchers found coal dust reduced snow’s reflectivity by up to 84 percent, contributing to warming.

Undark Podcast #11: Bullet Proof

Reporter Lynne Peeples discusses the health and environmental risks posed by the use of lead bullets — and the reasons they’re still so widely used. Also, Seth Mnookin on the anti-vaccine movement and storyteller Hillary Rea on what it’s like to be a standardized patient for medical students.

Issue of Choice Dogs Obamacare Opponents

Opponents of Obamacare often claim that its repeal will expand consumers’ choices surrounding health care and insurance decisions. But dismissals of all the ACA mechanisms that aid private insurers has boxed in politicians casting about for a plan to replace the law. The outcomes could box in consumers too.

Trump Warms to Health Insurance for All

President-elect Trump recently veered away from the standard Republican position on Obamacare, suggesting that he wants it repealed but simultaneously replaced. Still, his goals range from coverage for the neediest to coverage for all, and a new plan for funding quality health care remains unclear.

Minding the Gun Law Gap

Federal law requires criminal background checks on people obtaining guns in stores, pawn shops, and from other licensed dealers. More than a dozen states also require background checks for privately exchanged guns. A new survey finds that the overall rate of background checks is higher in those states.

Undark Podcast #10: The Helminth Hackers

Our 10th podcast explores the small community of scientists and freelance self-experimenters investigating the use of parasitic worms in the treatment of a variety of autoimmune disorders. Also on tap: fake news and the strange sensory phenomenon known as Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR).

Undark Podcast #9: The Flint Water Crisis

Join our podcast host David Corcoran as he discusses Undark’s recent deep dive into the continuing problems with water in Flint, Michigan — and around the country — with Steve Friess. Also: journalism in the age of Trump and how public opinion is formed about genetically modified organisms.

Noam Chomsky on Trump, Climate Change, and Journalism

Renowned linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky predicted the rise of a figure like Donald Trump six years ago. Journalists, pollsters, and pundits, on the other hand, dismissed that possibility until it became a reality two weeks ago. In a short video, Chomsky weighs in on this and other topics.

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