An Unexpected Forest Helper: Mistletoe
December 31, 2012
Long thought a tree-killing bane, parasitic mistletoe appears to do much more good than harm to a forest ecology.
Red Blood Cells Are Frisbees, Tanks and Wheels
December 30, 2012
Cells as commonplace as red blood cells still keep researchers wondering how they perform their job so well.
Astronomy Grab Bag
December 29, 2012
For year's end, here's a clean-out of astronomy articles—from planetary science to cosmology—to motivate further inquiry.
Nose Has Gain Control
December 28, 2012
Sound engineers know how to use gain control to avoid “redlining” or saturating the signal while amplifying weak but important signals. Your nose knows that trick, too. The sense of smell is complex because of the tremendous variety of odorant molecules that must be interpreted. Molecules that trigger signals in the initial neurons trigger a […]
Eugenics in Space
December 27, 2012
To "keep evolution on a favorable track," spacefaring humans may want to cull bad genes, a futurist says.
Skin Uses Master Control
December 26, 2012
It would be hard to see how evolution would deal with a story about skin development. Maybe that's why it was barely mentioned.
Carol of the Birds
December 24, 2012
Can birds make you happy? Some scientists think so, but why? There seems to be a connection between seeing birds in their natural habitat and a person’s sense of well-being, reported Science Daily. Whether that is true may be a function of the setting and species of bird (buzzards, ostriches probably not rating as high […]
Titan Is as Titan Does
December 23, 2012
Saturn's giant moon Titan keeps revealing mysterious dynamics in the here and now, leaving interpretation to fallible scientists who sometimes predicted otherwise.
Intelligence Is Not a Quotient
December 22, 2012
Can your intelligence be reduced to a number on a linear scale? That would be highly misleading, a research study concluded.
The Holly and the I.D. – News from Epigenetics
December 21, 2012
Holly leaf shape may be due to epigenetic control – one of several recent developments in the field of epigenetics.
The Evolution of Boxing
December 20, 2012
A new story is making the rounds: the human hand evolved to punch others' lights out.
Globular Clusters Look Young and Old: Is This Scientific Explanation?
December 19, 2012
Globular clusters supposedly all formed at the same time long ago, but some look young. How do astronomers rescue the belief that they are ancient groupings of stars?
Hindcasting the Grand Canyon: Geologist Rejects Dam Breach Theory
December 18, 2012
A geologist rejects the idea that an ancient lake spilled and carved Grand Canyon, but maybe he misrepresents the theory. Besides, how can geologists "hindcast" an unobserved event without philosophical assumptions?
Eye Retina Is Analog-to-Digital Converter
December 17, 2012
Before you see, your retina has done multiple digital transformations on the incoming signal.
Ediacarans Not Related to Cambrian Animals
December 16, 2012
Two surprises come from a re-analysis of classic Ediacaran fossils from Australia: they're unrelated to Cambrian animals, and they may have lived on land.