Howard Hardee

Howard Hardee

Reporter, Mind & Behavior and Technology

Howard Hardee, based in Madison, Wisconsin, covers Technology and Mind & Behavior for The Academic Times. Previously, Howard covered mis- and disinformation as an election integrity reporter at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and as a local news fellow for First Draft, a global fact-checking organization. An award-winning reporter with a decade of experience, he holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and in 2017 was honored as an environmental reportage fellow at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta, Canada.

Researchers have tracked down a part of the brain that goes haywire in rats when they crave drugs. (Pixabay/sipa)
Researchers have tracked down a part of the brain that goes haywire in rats when they crave drugs. (Pixabay/sipa)French researchers have linked abnormal activity in a specific part of the brain to compulsive cocaine seeking in rats, identifying a potential biomarker for addiction and method of treatment through deep brain stimulation.

A very tiny brain probe could help scientists gather more mouse data. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
A very tiny brain probe could help scientists gather more mouse data. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)A new brain probe small enough to fit on a mouse without impeding its movements that can be left in place for weeks at a time could be a significant technological advance in neuroscience, providing reams of previously unavailable data on brain activity, according to the scientists who developed the device.

A new paint promises to be whiter than white. (Unsplash/Yoann Siloine)
A new paint promises to be whiter than white. (Unsplash/Yoann Siloine)In October, a team of researchers at Purdue University rolled out the world's whitest paint, touting its ability to reflect the sun's heat from rooftops, sending it back into outer space. Now, they're back with a whiter, more reflective paint that could potentially ease our reliance on air conditioning and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Could a spiderweb waltz be far behind this? (Unsplash/Eyasu Etsub)
Could a spiderweb waltz be far behind this? (Unsplash/Eyasu Etsub)The music of another culture or era often gives listeners a perspective outside their own — but what about music from another species? Seeking insight into how spiders sense the world, researchers have transposed the complex structures of spiderwebs into listenable sounds for humans.

We are judged by our voices whether the listener is aware of it or not. (Pixabay/Levente Lenart)
We are judged by our voices whether the listener is aware of it or not. (Pixabay/Levente Lenart)Research has suggested for decades that the sound of a person's voice affects how they are perceived by others, though whether these impressions are accurate hasn't been well established. A new study offers the strongest evidence to date that vocal pitch is predictive of at least some personality traits, such as dominance, extraversion and sociosexuality.

The old-fashioned blood pressure cuff may soon be a thing of the past. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
The old-fashioned blood pressure cuff may soon be a thing of the past. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Most attempts at improving blood pressure-monitoring devices have been variations of the inflatable cuffs that compress patients' arms. But a new device developed by researchers at the California Institute of Technology could provide accurate, ongoing and noninvasive measurements of "absolute" blood pressure — all without the cuff's familiar yet unpleasant squeeze.

Keto diets may have benefits beyond the waistline. (Pixabay/Zuzyusa)
Keto diets may have benefits beyond the waistline. (Pixabay/Zuzyusa)The highly popular ketogenic or "keto" diet, which restricts carbohydrates in favor of high-fat foods, could help ease the severity of alcohol withdrawal and reduce dependence on drug treatments, suggests a small study from the National Institutes of Health.

Robot "swarms" have just about unlimited potential. (Douglas Blackiston)
Robot "swarms" have just about unlimited potential. (Douglas Blackiston)Robotics experts have long marveled at the swarm intelligence of ants and termites working together toward common goals. Now, new research demonstrates that computer-designed, biologically based organisms known as xenobots could wield that power to serve humans.

Future battlefields may look very different. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Future battlefields may look very different. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)Researchers have identified a novel approach to creating and building artificial muscles that could bring real-life technology into the realm of science fiction.

Hard rock and hip-hop fans might need to build their own streaming playlists. (AP Photo/Owen Sweeney)
Hard rock and hip-hop fans might need to build their own streaming playlists. (AP Photo/Owen Sweeney)The recommendation features of music-streaming platforms such as Pandora and Spotify have revolutionized how people find new songs and artists. But listeners with niche interests — particularly those who enjoy high-energy forms of rock and rap — are poorly served and "rarely receive relevant recommendations," a new study suggests.

Aerobic exercise might help kidney patients. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Aerobic exercise might help kidney patients. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)A new meta-analysis suggests that aerobic exercise could help alleviate the often grueling symptoms of hemodialysis, including depression, fatigue and cramps, advancing researchers' understanding of the relationship between exercise and treatments for kidney failure.