Horse Trading on Afghanistan, Libya

President Obama will urge British Prime Minister David Cameron not to withdraw troops from Helmand, Afghanistan on his European tour, but Cameron wants more help fighting Gaddafi in return.

What's the Latest Development?

President Obama will arrive in London tomorrow to begin discussions with British Prime Minister David Cameron. Top on the agenda will be Afghanistan, where both nations have committed major military resources to fighting the Taliban and establishing a democratic government. Obama will lobby for a continued British presence in the Hemland province and in return, Cameron is expected to ask for more American support in N.A.T.O. operations again Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi, a military campaign currently led by Britain and France.

What's the Big Idea?

What is the future of the so-called "special relationship" between the U.S. and Britain at a time when its foreign wars have lost the public's faith? Will the U.S. commit itself to an open-ended military operation in Libya, which is already subject to "mission creep", for the sake of maintaining another one in Afghanistan? And can Britain deliver what the U.S. wants militarily as it prepares to make deep cuts in its military budget? A series of unenviable questions face the two leaders as they contemplate the meaning of the Arab Spring and what role the West should play in it, if any. 

3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

Northwell Health
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
  • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
  • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Keep reading Show less

Permafrost is melting 70 years earlier than expected in Arctic Canada

It's a "canary in the coalmine," said one climate scientist.

MARK RALSTON/Contributor
Surprising Science
  • A team of researchers discovered that permafrost in Northern Canada is melting at unusually fast rates.
  • This could causes dangerous and costly erosion, and it's likely speeding up climate change because thawing permafrost releases heat-trapping gasses into the atmosphere.
  • This week, Canada's House of Commons declared a national climate emergency.
Keep reading Show less

Has a black hole made of sound confirmed Hawking radiation?

One of Stephen Hawking's predictions seems to have been borne out in a man-made "black hole".

Image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Surprising Science
  • Stephen Hawking predicted virtual particles splitting in two from the gravitational pull of black holes.
  • Black holes, he also said, would eventually evaporate due to the absorption of negatively charged virtual particles.
  • A scientist has built a black hole analogue based on sound instead of light.
Keep reading Show less

Watch scientists melt a satellite part to save us from space junk

Not every part of a satellite burns up in reentry. Considering the growing number of satellites in orbital space, that's a big problem.

Technology & Innovation
  • Earth's orbital space is getting more crowded by the day.
  • The more satellites and space junk we put into orbit, the greater a risk that there could be a collision.
  • Not all materials burn up during reentry; that's why scientists need to stress test satellite parts to ensure that they won't become deadly falling objects.
Keep reading Show less