Volcanoes Feed the Planet with Nutrients
October 13, 2022
A powerful volcano last January was followed by a phytoplankton bloom. What's the connection?
Microbes Travel the Globe
February 23, 2021
The tiniest of life forms are able to traverse continental distances on wings of the wind.
Another Big Science Fail Over Pollution
June 5, 2020
Is plastic polluting the world's oceans? Yes, but not nearly as much as hundreds of studies had claimed. Measure, don't assume!
The Best Science Follows Design
July 30, 2018
Sir Francis Bacon emphasized that you will know good science by its fruits. Here are good examples of fruitful research that took inspiration from nature's designs.
Tiny Life Benefits the Whole World
April 19, 2018
Some very small organisms can produce global effects, such as the tiny crustaceans that stir the oceans every night. What would the oceans be like without life? If minerals, gases and nutrients had to mix by diffusion, the process would be very slow. Wind and currents could help somewhat. Now, Houghton et al., publishing in […]
Doubts About Dates and Climate
February 4, 2017
New findings cast doubt on scientists' ability to be certain about their consensus views.
You Wouldn't Want to Live on "Earth's Cousin"
July 24, 2015
Despite the hype about another Earth-like exoplanet, Kepler 452b would not be as habitable as Venus.
The Silent Underground Network
December 15, 2014
Under your feet in the woods is a vast communication network where information technology keeps the ecosystem functioning.
To Be Habitable, a Planet Needs Inhabitants
June 6, 2014
In a chicken-or-egg conundrum, astrobiologists are asking whether inhabitants are needed to make a planet habitable.
Fungi Shed Light on Deep Biological Mysteries
November 20, 2011
Fungi are among the least studied and least understood organisms. Elevated from plants to their own kingdom in 1969, they are extremely diverse yet difficult to observe, since many species cannot be grown in the lab. The gaps in our knowledge of the fungi are being filled by new efforts to catalog them, but one of the most interesting findings may come from analysis of their genomes. A new study shows that introns (intragenic regions) are more dynamic than previously thought.