Science articles and news.

Unless we reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the current warming from climate change may drive a dramatic shift in vegetation within the next 100-150 years, according to new research. The change could match the one seen as the last ice age came to an end and the planet warmed, researchers say.Continue Reading

While some scientists have suggested we need to protect half of Earth’s surface to preserve most of its species, new research indicates that quality, not just quantity, is vital for effective conservation efforts. “There’s a lot of discussion about protecting ‘Half Earth’ as a minimum to protect biodiversity. The challengeContinue Reading

Researchers have discovered a gene that can protect elephants from cancer. An estimated 17 percent of humans worldwide die from cancer, but less than five percent of captive elephants—who live for about 70 years, and have about 100 times as many potentially cancerous cells as humans—die from the disease. “ThisContinue Reading

We make snap judgments of others based not only on their facial appearance, but also on our pre-existing beliefs about how others’ personalities work, according to a new study. The research, which appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, underscores how we interpret others’ facial featuresContinue Reading

MHS: I went in thinking it was an interesting hypothesis that there was a Norse trading post in Baffin Island. First, I performed an initial physical analysis of the material, which included spun sinew, spun yarn, woven textiles, and raw wool of unknown species. Second, I needed to date it.Continue Reading

Trace metals in the atmosphere have a hefty impact on marine life, according to a new paper. The sources of these aerosol particles include volcanoes, wildfires, and desert dust, and the burning of fossil fuels. After being spewed up and undergoing chemical reactions in the atmosphere, they often make theirContinue Reading

New research shows that pathogens that incubate at higher temperatures are more infectious. Yet the computer models that predict the spread of epidemics from climate change—such as crop blights or disease outbreaks—may not be taking into account this important factor when predicting their severity. The study, published in Ecology, findsContinue Reading

Researchers have developed a technique that offers new insight into “cellular memory.” The cells in our body divide constantly throughout life. But how do cells remember whether to develop into a skin, liver, or intestinal cell? It’s a question that has puzzled scientists for many years. With the new research,Continue Reading

In the 19th century, the “rain follows the plow” myth was a justification for settling the Great Plains. The cultivation of semi-arid to arid land was said to increase rainfall by moistening the soil and humidifying the atmosphere. Subsequent research debunked this myth, though large discrepancies still existed between modelContinue Reading

Even if we achieve the carbon emissions reductions that the Paris Agreement calls for, there is the risk of the planet entering “hothouse Earth” conditions. A “hothouse Earth” climate will in the long term stabilize at a global average of 4-5°C higher than pre-industrial temperatures with sea level 10-60 mContinue Reading

Scientists are officially debunking the myth that megalodon sharks still exist. The whale-eating monsters became extinct about 2.6 million years ago. “I was drawn to the study of Carcharocles megalodon’s extinction because it is fundamental to know when species became extinct to then begin to understand the causes and consequencesContinue Reading