Bees: how important are they and what would happen if they went extinct?

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 […]

The end of the world: a history of how a silent cosmos led humans to fear the worst

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 […]

20 Amazing Elephant Facts

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 […]

How Earth Could Die – 9 Horrible Ways

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 make animals and people safer

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 […]

Sea creatures store carbon in the ocean – could protecting them help slow climate change?

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 […]

Is Cloning the Future of Genomics?

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 […]