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Massive nursing degree scheme leads to hunt for 2,800 fraudulent nurses

Enlarge / A critical care nurse assists a patient. (credit: Getty | Katherine Frey/The Washington Post) More than 2,800 people may be working as nurses under false pretenses after allegedly buying a fake diploma for between $10,000 and $15,000 from a massive Florida-based scheme recently busted by federal investigators. State and federal...

Teasing out the secret recipes for mummification in ancient Egypt

Enlarge / Illustration of an embalming scene in an underground chamber. (credit: Nikola Nevenov) Most of what we know about ancient Egyptian mummification techniques comes from a few ancient texts. In addition to a text called The Ritual of Embalming, Greek historian Herodotus mentions the use of natron to dehydrate the body in his...

Won’t somebody please think of the insects?!

Enlarge / This butterfly is also referred to as the Cairns Birdwing. (credit: Jodi Jacobson) Nearly 17 percent, or 22.5 million square kilometers, of the world’s land now falls within protected areas. Countries have established laws that safeguard these parcels of land—or in some cases, aquatic areas—to ensure that the natural ecosystems...

Virgin Orbit receives another small investment from Branson—and it’s worrisome

Enlarge / LauncherOne arrives on the runway at Long Beach Airport for a fit check with Cosmic Girl in October 2018. (credit: Virgin Orbit/Greg Robinson) This week, Virgin Orbit formally notified investors that it has raised an additional $10 million from Virgin Investments Limited, an investment firm owned by Sir Richard Branson. Exactly...

Two decades after the Columbia disaster, is NASA’s safety culture fixed?

Enlarge / During the launch of space shuttle Columbia in 2003 a chunk of foam fell off the external tank and struck the orbiter's left wing. (credit: NASA) Leaden skies and chilly air greeted Milt Heflin 20 years ago today when he pulled into the large parking lot outside Mission Control at Johnson Space Center in Houston. Although...

The audacious rescue plan that might have saved space shuttle Columbia

Enlarge / What might have been. (credit: Lee Hutchinson / NASA / NOAA) February 1, 2023: One of the most tragic events in the history of space exploration is the loss of the space shuttle Columbia and all seven of her crew on February 1, 2003—a tragedy made worse because it didn’t have to happen. But just as it is human nature to look...

US still has the worst, most expensive health care of any high-income country

Enlarge / A woman watches white flags on the National Mall on September 18, 2021, in Washington, DC. Over 660,000 white flags were installed here to honor Americans who have lost their lives to COVID-19. (credit: Getty | Chen Mengtong) Americans spend an exorbitant amount of money on health care and have for years. As a country, the...

How to tell if your cats are playing or fighting—and whether it’s a problem

Enlarge / Kittens engage more frequently in reciprocal wrestling ("play-fighting") compared to adult cats, a new study found. (credit: Getty Images) Anyone with more than one cat in the house knows that the occasional spat or outright cat fight is going to happen. But sometimes it can be tricky to determine whether cats are fighting...

The next de-extinction target: The dodo

Enlarge / The Nicobar pigeon, the dodo's closest living relative, is quite a bit smaller and capable of flight. (credit: Samuel Hambly / EyeEm) Colossal is a company that got its start with a splashy announcement about plans to do something that many scientists consider impossible with current technology, all in the service of creating...

Biden to end US COVID-19 emergency declarations on May 11

Enlarge / US President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (credit: Getty | Chris Kleponis/Bloomberg) President Joe Biden plans to end two national emergency declarations over the COVID-19 pandemic on May 11, which will trigger a restructuring...

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