New Genes for Your Potatoes

November 23, 2014

Over the years, we’ve gone to great lengths to make fried potato foods healthier. Potato chip makers don’t fry them in animal shortening anymore, for example, and many companies have given up using vegetable shortening (made...


To Be a Nobel Laureate, or Not to Be

November 6, 2014

The Nobel Prize Committee recently announced their 2014 Awards, including  Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner in Chemistry,  Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano andShuji Nakamura in Physics, and John O’Keefe and the other half jointly to May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser  in...

Green anole

Florida Lizards Show that Evolutionary Change can be Rapid

November 3, 2014

Cross-posted with the permission of Dr. Nathan Lents from his The Human Evolution Blog.     Green anole Small lizards called anoles are found throughout the Caribbean islands and nearby mainland areas. The coastal and swamp regions of...

Autumn leaves in Connecticut. (Credit: Ragesoss, Wikimedia Commons)

Autumn leaves herald changes in carbon dioxide concentrations

October 31, 2014

Autumn leaves in Connecticut. (Credit: Ragesoss, Wikimedia Commons) Autumn is a season of tranformations. In the eastern United States, leaves tumble through a kaleidoscope of copper and crimson colors. In the west, rivers of golden Aspen...

Weapon shaft in Yukon ice patch (Credit: Yukon Government)

Warming world uncovers frozen past

October 24, 2014

What’s that smell? If you are on an ice patch in the Yukon Territory in Canada, the answer might be millennia-old caribou dung. Weapon shaft in Yukon ice patch (Credit: Yukon Government) In 1997, sheep hunters...

Colorful gum drops

The Science of Sugar

October 19, 2014

With Halloween just around the corner, candy is on the brain. So it’s fitting that the American Chemical Society has chosen “The Sweet Side of Chemistry–Candy” as the theme for this year’s celebration of National Chemistry...

The iridescent blue leaves of Selaginella. Courtesy of The Royal Society.

It’s not easy being blue (for plants)

October 10, 2014

Scientists have found tropical plants that perform “delayed greening,” a process of postponing the development of chlorophyll to protect young leaves from predators and potential UV damage. Interestingly, researchers have also found a few trees with blue...