Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 12:50 pm
The scene in Mali's capital, Bamako, shows what used to be a familiar sight: an African capital in chaos, with drunken soldiers firing into the air and looting government buildings in the wake of a coup.
Military coups were dishearteningly common for people in Africa and Latin America during the 1960s and '70s, as governments fell to opportunistic military men.
But that trend had been slowing in the past two decades, as more and more governments began to hold regular elections.
A new romantic comedy opens in theaters this week, and it stars a scientist as the likeable, and only slightly nerdy, main character. The film's writer and director, former scientist Valerie Weiss discusses Losing Control, and why she made the shift from lab bench to big screen.
Though the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf entered the market to fanfare, the battery-powered cars haven't been selling as quickly as hybrid models such as the Toyota Prius. Industry experts discuss electric car technology, from batteries to charging stations, and what it might take to encourage drivers to make the shift.
At age 11, actor Alan Alda asked his teacher what a flame was. He received a confusing answer: "oxidation." In the spirit of better communicating science, he's created the "Flame Challenge," a contest in which scientists do their best to define a flame. Eleven-year-olds from around the world will judge the entries.
As part of an NIH-funded project, Bradley Smith, associate dean for creative work, research and graduate education at the University of Michigan, posted a collection of optical images and MRI scans of human embryos to the web. Intended for a clinical audience, Smith talks about the unexpected response he got from the public.
The complexity, scale and sliding timetable for implementation of the federal health overhaul make it tough to figure out exactly what's happened so far. To help you sort through some key provisions, here's a scorecard.
In effort to add pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad, the European Union has announced new sanctions on a dozen Syrians, including Assad's wife, his mother, sister and sister-in-law.
"I cannot say to you in strong enough terms how much we are concerned about what's going on in Syria," said Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, according to CNN. "I'm really worried about the escalating spiral of violence there.
The White House has made its choice for who should lead the World Bank. Jim Yong Kim is currently the president of Dartmouth University. He's a physician and a global health expert and something of a surprise to people who've been watching this process.
Here is President Obama at the White House this morning.