320px-Windswept_tree_TdP

September 29, 2016

Image of the Week: Krummholz Tree Growth

If you’ve ever hiked up a mountain to the tree line or explored the subarctic regions of the world, you’ve likely seen trees with serious deformations. Some trees are stunted, gnarled masses of branches close to...

image_4374

August 10, 2016

New techniques to resolve old speculations: Who’s really responsible for Piltdown Man?

When the topic of ethics comes up in science classes, many educators rely on a gold-standard example of one instance when “science” went very wrong: That of Charles Dawson and Piltdown Man. (We refer to it...

This model of a woolly mammoth is on display at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, Canada. (Credit: FunkMonk via Wikimedia Commons)

August 1, 2016

Thirst may have doomed the last mammoths on a tiny Alaskan island

Woolly mammoths flourished during the last ice age, when they tromped across North America and Eurasia grazing on tundra plants. These massive animals disappeared from both continents between 14,000 and 13,200 years age, unable to withstand...

An artist’s impression of the planet (lower-left) as it faces the three stars in its system. (Credit: ESO/L. Calçada/M. Kornmesser)

July 25, 2016

Astronomers discover a planet surviving in a strange system with three suns

At just four times’ the mass of Jupiter and a mere 580°C—hot enough to melt lead—a recently-discovered exoplanet is one of the smallest and coldest planets found outside our solar system. But what makes it really...

Do bees have regional accents? This is the question that Cardiff University researchers are setting out to answer, according to a July 15 press release. (Wikimedia Commons)

July 19, 2016

The buzz about nature vs. nurture in animal communication

Researchers at Cardiff University in Wales are buzzing about honeybee communication as they seek to discover if bees have regional accents. Bees have a repertoire of about 10 sounds that communicate different messages. Among these, their...

Gambian Mudskippers

July 13, 2016

Fish, robots, and math help scientists understand how early animals crawled onto land

A robot named MuddyBot and six tiny fish have helped American scientists figure out how the first tetrapod animals moved from oceans onto land about 360 million years ago. According to the study published this month...

Aedes aegypti mosquito

July 10, 2016

Gene drives: Application of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing to combat insect-borne diseases

Lions and tigers and bears may be dangerous, but when it comes to killing humans the record goes to a much smaller animal. It’s the mosquito and it’s got public health officials pretty worried this summer...

Visionlearning logo

July 4, 2016

New Visionlearning Design Launched

We’re excited to announce the launch of a redesigned Visionlearning site. It has a fresh look, but with the same excellent content for teaching and learning science. One new feature you’ll see on the site are...

Streptococcus pyogenes

July 3, 2016

CRISPR craze: Applications of genome editing

CRISPR-Cas9 genetic editing is in the news a lot, especially in connection with concerns that it will usher in an era of designer babies. The capability for editing the genome of human embryos for non-medical purposes...

640px-Varroa_destructor_on_honeybee_host

June 27, 2016

New insights into a tiny mite’s appetite may help scientists protect honeybees

For the tiny Varroa mite, a honeybee colony is like a buffet with all your favorite foods. There are tender pupae, newly-emerged adults, middle-aged nurse bees, and grizzled, three-week-old foragers. With all those options, which bee’s...