Number of Navajo homicides on rise
New FBI statistics show the vast Navajo Nation saw a sharp increase in the homicide rate in 2013 and finished the year with 42 slayings. The number of people killed on the Navajo Nation increased from 34 in 2012, representing a per-capita murder rate of 18.8 per 100,000 people — four times the national rate. About 180,000 people live on the reservation that spans 27,000 square miles in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. It's a place where culture and language thrive but where jobs are scarce, alcoholism is among the greatest social ills, and cycles of violence and lack of access to basic necessities can stifle people's spirits. When those factors combine, "you're always going to find higher crime rates," said McDonald Rominger, head of the FBI's office in northern Arizona. "There's a correlation."
Take-home fertility test for men ready
Two former Sandia National Laboratories scientists have come up with what they say is a take-home fertility test for men, the Albuquerque Journal reported. Researchers Greg Sommer and Ulrich Schaff created a portable test kit for gauging a man's sperm quality that could be available to consumers as early as 2015. "It allows men to test and track their fertility from the comfort and privacy of their own homes," Sommer said. "It's a portable, easy-to-use diagnostic system with the accuracy of a clinical lab test." They said technology they helped create during their time at Sandia was the basis for the device.
Dinosaurs take a five-year break
The Fossil Hall at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington is now closed for a long-planned — and, officials say, long-overdue — five-year, $48 million renovation. Most of its specimens won't reappear until 2019, when the massively popular exhibition space is scheduled to reopen at the world's second-most-visited museum. "Five years feels short, to be honest," said Siobhan Starrs, the Natural History Museum's exhibition project manager, whose team started taking down the first of more than 2,000 specimens on Monday morning.