Where scientists previously assumed a harsh transition from reef life to deep-sea life, scientists have found a ‘missing link’ in oceanic life: the rariphotic zone. Between 150m-300m below the surface, this ‘twilight zone’ in the Caribbean houses a ‘deep sea reef’, complete with 30 new invertebrate species and 71 new species of reef fish. It was previously thought that reef fish couldn’t survive this deep, and their presence is a surprise to everyone. Continue reading Who lives in the Twilight Zone under the sea?
Progressive blindness has been reversed in two patients with age-related macular degeneration, also known as AMD. AMD is a leading cause of blindness in people over 50. AMD damages the central portion of the retina, called the macula, which decreases vision over time, and can lead to blind spot formation. Phase 1 clinical trial results highlighting the effectiveness of a stem cell-based therapy were published … Continue reading Promising results for a treatment for blindness
We cannot predict how long we each live, but can our genes? For as long as longevity has been a desirable good, it has never been equally distributed across humanity, not even within families. The role of heritable traits in longevity is still debated. Previous genomic studies have reported a low heritability for longevity. However, inadequate sample sizes prevent these studies from examining the influence of … Continue reading Crowdsourced Data Helps Scientists Construct the World’s Largest Family Tree
For as long as humans have conceived of making hybrid organisms, an ethical debate has been waged over whether or not we should. The pros and cons are vast and poignant. Each new scientific advancement towards making hybrids stokes the fire of controversy. This year, researchers presented work at a conference detailing the most recent hybrid: a sheep-human chimera. To create these chimeras, scientists used … Continue reading Scientists have created sheep that are 0.01% human
Naked mole rats are a peculiar species in the animal kingdom for a number of reasons. These wrinkled rodents are immune to cancer, insensitive to pain, and capable of surviving for up to 18 minutes in zero-oxygen environments. Recently, researchers have discovered that in addition to these peculiarities, naked mole rats — unlike all other mammalian species — simply do not age. In 1825, British … Continue reading Naked Mole Rats: An Exception to the Rule
Two bears and a mountain lion suffered extreme burns to their paws during the California wildfires in December. Treating the animals with the traditional procedures was proving difficult, so vets turned to an experimental treatment: fish skin bandages. Amazingly, the bears and lion healed in a fraction of the time it would have taken otherwise and have already been released.
Continue reading Fish skin “bandages” rapidly heal burned bears and a mountain lion
My name is Ian Hill. I am from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where I was born and raised. My passion for biology began in the gardens of my family members. My grandmother was a passionate flower gardener, the head of a local garden club, and my dad grew some of the best tomatoes I have ever eaten. It wasn’t until my high school chemistry class that … Continue reading Ian Hill