The San Pedro Mezquital River is the last free-flowing river in Mexico’s western Sierra Madre. Octavio Aburto

Hydropower dams can harm coastal areas far downstream

Thousands of hydropower dams are under construction around the world. New research shows that by cutting off sediment flow, these dams can have big ecological effects on far-off bays and deltas.
Students hug after a ceremony at Tufts University May 3. The ceremony celebrated 58 students who are the first in their family to receive a college degree. Anna Miller/Tufts University

This commencement speech had nothing but questions

At a special commencement ceremony for first-generation college graduates, a dean gave a speech made up of nothing but questions.
The crests (bright) and troughs (dark) of waves spread out after they were produced. The picture applies to both light and sound waves. Titima Ongkantong

A new type of laser uses sound waves to help to detect weak forces

Most people are familiar with lasers. But what about a laser made with sound rather than light? A couple of physicists have now created one that they plan to use for measuring imperceivable forces.
A school of juvenile bocaccio in the midwaters of Platform Gilda, Santa Barbara Channel, Calif. Scott Gietler

Retired oil rigs off the California coast could find new lives as artificial reefs

Californians love their coast and strongly oppose offshore drilling. Will they support converting old oil rigs to artificial reefs – a policy that benefits both marine life and oil companies?

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If trainers start stretching Lebron James’ muscles to match the textbook values of the general population, he may start jumping like the general population. Philip Anloague, University of Dayton

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