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From where does opposition to depictions of Muhammad arise? Bazuki Muhammad/Reuters

Why there’s opposition to images of Muhammad

After the violent attacks on Charlie Hebdo – the French satirical weekly that routinely published caricatures of Muhammad – many are wondering: are depictions of Muhammad actually forbidden in Islamic…
Understanding microbial activity in rhizosphere – the critical zone where plant roots, microbes and minerals interface – is critical to promoting plant health. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Tapping the ‘plant microbiome’ to improve farming and plant health

People are increasingly aware of the link between the trillions of microbes that live within our bodies and human health. Studies have found that a healthy population of bacteria, or a microbiome, in a…
Will the India meeting be as successful as the one in DC? Larry Downing/Reuters

US and India mark historic day with Obama visit

President Barack Obama will be the first US president to visit India on Republic Day on January 26, as well as the first sitting US president to visit India twice. During his three day symbolic visit President…
We’re making progress. POOL New/ Reuters

Most Americans want diplomatic engagement with Iran

In his State of the Union address, the President’s core message was that the US has emerged strong from the twin crises caused by the 2001 terrorist attacks and the 2008 global recession. And the challenge…
The Patriots ran away with the AFC Championship. What did deflated footballs have to do with it? USA Today Sports / Reuters

Football physics and the science of Deflategate

News reports say that 11 of the 12 game balls used by the New England Patriots in their AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts were deflated, showing about 2 pounds per square inch (psi…
Beyond Silicon Valley MOOC Meet-Up, Athens, Greece, June 11, 2014. Yiorgis Yerolympos

MOOCs and meetups together make for better learning

Everyday, thousands of students around the world perch themselves in front of computer screens in homes, libraries, coffee shops, and Internet cafes to take a massive open online course (MOOC). It’s no…
In Samuel Roth’s time, there was no Constitutional protection for expression deemed subversive, obscene or indecent. Columbia News

An American Charlie Hebdo?

In 1957, publisher Samuel Roth spent his 63rd birthday in federal prison. His appeal denied by the United States Supreme Court, he would end up serving every day of his five year sentence. The crime? He…
One more SOTU to go Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The State of the Union 2015 – theater, traditions, politics

Editor’s note: “The state of the union is good,” and the attitude of President Barack Obama in his annual speech to Congress was upbeat. Good economic news and no more election campaigns were the backdrop…
Here’s what’s on the agenda. POOL New/ Reuters

The State of the Union 2015 – a closer look at the president’s ‘ambitious agenda’

Editor’s note: “The state of the union is good,” and the attitude of President Barack Obama in his annual speech to Congress was upbeat. Good economic news and no more election campaigns were the backdrop…
Many former NFL players face the future with despair: the years after retirement can include an array of physical and financial woes. USA Today Sports/Reuters

Is there life after football for NFL pros?

The cascade of woes that have befallen former NFL players has stunned fans and casual observers. Former NFL stars Junior Seau and Dave Duerson committed suicide. All-pro Warren Sapp went bankrupt after…
Generics aren’t always so cheap. Pill bottles via bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock

Why are some generic drugs getting so expensive?

More than eight out of every 10 prescriptions dispensed in the US is generic. This growth is due to a large number of top-selling drugs going off patent over the past decade, as well as innovations in…
The director of the Paris mosque, Dalil Boubakeur, in the front line Stephane Mahe/Reuters

The cycle of anti-Muslim discrimination in France is likely to worsen

Muslims in France and the French host population are locked in a discriminatory equilibrium. This is the conclusion, summarized in our soon-to-be published book, of a six-year research program that investigates…
China’s President Xi, front and center, doesn’t mind sharing the stage. Reuters

President Xi’s Chinese dream means a more multi-polar world

China begins 2015 as the world’s largest economy, in terms of purchasing power parity, a key milestone in the country’s rise. And one that likely will herald a change in how China engages with the rest…
Hurricane Sandy pummeled cities along the east coast in 2012, causing billions of dollars of damage. Shutterstock

The economic cost of climate change: time for new math

Climate change is as much an economic problem as an environmental one. The effects of climate change, such as damage from more severe weather or health problems from higher temperatures, will impose a…