by Jordan Wilkerson figures by Shannon McArdel The United States emits an immense amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it is extremely likely that the rising global temperature trends since the mid-20th century is dominantly due to human activity. No scientific organization of national or international standing disputes this. Furthermore, the US Department of Defense has … Continue reading Reconsidering the Risks of Nuclear Power
Antibiotics are powerful drugs used to treat bacterial infections. Recently, however, a growing number of bacterial infections have developed resistance to many commonly used antibiotics. In fact, the World Health Organization has pegged antibiotic resistance as one of the world’s biggest threats to global health! Bacteria acquire antibiotic resistance by changing in a way that reduces drug effectiveness. In a recent article, a research team … Continue reading New technology lets researchers visualize the evolution of antibiotic resistance
Plants, like animals, require a circulatory system that allows water and nutrients to move throughout them. While animals do this by a pump (the heart), plants do this by a system of tubes, found within the stem. This image is a cross section of a Lily of the Valley plant that depicts these systems. The purple and yellow raised structures seen on the right constitute … Continue reading Shoots and Ladders
The Drosophila neuromuscular junction is a beautiful and yet powerful model synapse for in vivo studies of development, physiology, cell biology and plasticity. This illustration by Saskia Van Vactor shows a field of ventral longitudinal body wall muscles in red, as if stained with phalloidin to highlight filamentous actin, the main protein building block of muscle. Against this background, several branches of intersegmental nerve extend … Continue reading Branched synaptic arbor in fillet
The 2004 discovery of a 1-meter-tall, ancient human (named Homo floresiensis, and nicknamed “the hobbit”) sparked great interest in the scientific community, but until recently only a single fossil had been found. Last month, however, scientists discovered another fossil on the Indonesian island of Flores, only 74 kilometers from the original dig. In an article published in the journal Nature, researchers described the fossil, which … Continue reading Human evolution. Discovery of fossils in Indonesia provide further evidence for “hobbit-like” ancient humans.
by Saman Hussain figures by Daniel Utter All living organisms have developed ways to move to places that are beneficial for them. Even tiny organisms like bacteria need to move towards food sources. Finding food becomes much easier if information from the environment is used to help in the search. For example, if you are looking for free pizza in your workplace, relying on randomly … Continue reading Nature’s Living Magnets: An unexpected tool to treat disease
In the year 2000, the Earth’s spin axis made a sudden turn towards the east. While some shifts in the geographical pole occur regularly and are well understood, this sudden shift required a new explanation. According to teams from UT Austin and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), climate change is the driving force behind the north pole’s wayward path. In 2013, the team from … Continue reading Climate Change Makes the Earth Wobble