Sleep. We all need it, and most of us don’t get enough of it. And even if we get the average recommended amount (the good old 8-hour dosage), that takes up about a third of our lives overall. But why do we sleep, from an evolutionary standpoint? The fact that it’s so widespread in the […]
Philip Donkersley, Lancaster University How important are bees and what will happen when they go extinct? Is there research into what is killing them? I’ve been told it’s weed killers… – Tink, aged 18, Cornwall, UK. Bees – including honey bees, bumblebees, and solitary bees – are very important because they pollinate food crops. Pollination […]
Thomas Moynihan, University of Oxford It is 1950 and a group of scientists are walking to lunch against the majestic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. They are about to have a conversation that will become a scientific legend. The scientists are at the Los Alamos Ranch School, the site for the Manhattan Project, where each […]
Today, August 12, is World Elephant Day. Even though these largest existing land animals are loved, revered and respected by people and cultures around the world, they are actually close to the edge of extinction. The escalation of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity are just some of the threats to both […]
Matt Hayward, University of Newcastle and Joseph K. Bump, University of Minnesota Indian tiger numbers are up, according to one of the most detailed wildlife surveys ever conducted. Tiger populations have risen by 6%, to roughly 3,000 animals.
Hydroelectric dams act as obstacles for wildlife, especially migrating salmon. The Whooshh Fish Transport System, also known as the “salmon cannon,” gives fish a much-needed boost over dams so they can swim upstream to spawn.
Now we’re living on a warm, hospitable planet. As Carl Sagan has said “That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.” We, humans, are the unquestionable rulers of our little oasis in a hostile universe. But […]
Wildlife crossings over (and under) the highways could make animals (both wild and domesticated) and people safer. Our expanding network of roads are interrupting and fragmenting the territories of wild (and also domesticated) animals who need to cross our roads in search of food, water, mates, and shelter. Many are routinely struck and killed by […]
Heidi Pearson, University of Alaska Southeast As the prospect of catastrophic effects from climate change becomes increasingly likely, a search is on for innovative ways to reduce the risks. One potentially powerful and low-cost strategy is to recognize and protect natural carbon sinks – places and processes that store carbon, keeping it out of Earth’s […]
Almost every human condition can be linked back to your genes. The list of genetic conditions is lengthy. Diseases like muscular dystrophy, Crohn’s disease, birth defects like spina bifida, and some cancers just barely scrape the long list of ailments that can be passed from one generation to the next. And, it seems that many […]