Discarded cigarette butts, the most common environmental waste product, attract egg-laying mosquitoes. (Wikimedia Commons)

Cigarettes kick butt in mosquito control

June 28, 2015

What happens to the 6 trillion cigarettes smoked around the world every year? About two-thirds of them end up tossed into the environment. Besides being non-biodegradable, smoked cigarette butts contain 7,000 chemicals, including at least 69...


Image courtesy of Scanadu: https://www.scanadu.com/scout/

Antibodies: Bringing on the Age of Star Trek Medicine

June 9, 2015

When the original series of Star Trek introduced the medical tricorder back in the 1960s, it was utter science fiction. Nobody had any idea how such a handheld device able to diagnose a plethora of medical...



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Video of the Week: Climate music

May 28, 2015

Since people started making regular, reliable measurements of air temperatures in the late 1800s, the Earth has warmed by about 0.85 degrees Celsius–or 1.53 degrees Fahrenheit–on average. This trend is mainly driven by human activities that...


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Fighting Skin Cancer with Vitamin B3

May 20, 2015

May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, so what better time to announce the results of a promising new study by Australian researchers: An inexpensive vitamin pill reduced new occurrences of the most common types of...


Neanderthal maxilla. Credit: Joan Costa/Spanish National Research Council

Did Neanderthals Divide Labor by Gender Roles?

May 11, 2015

Cross-posted with the permission of Dr. Nathan Lents from his The Human Evolution Blog.   It is not uncommon among social mammals to engage in division of labor between the sexes. Female lions do all of the...


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2015 – The International Year of Light

May 5, 2015

  Most of us rarely think about light since it is a constant presence in our lives – from the abundant rays of sunshine during a morning commute, to the bulbs that illuminate a darkened room...


Warm waters in the Pacific Ocean have disrupted marine ecosystems and North American weather. (Credit: NOAA)

Of sardines, sea lions, and “the blob” in the Pacific

April 17, 2015

If you’ve been following the news about the Pacific Ocean, there’s a lot going on these days. First, there have been the heartbreaking deaths of thousands of starving sea lion pups along the California coast. Then,...


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), shown in pink. Photo credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

MRSA meets its medieval match

April 8, 2015

In his 1945 Nobel Prize speech, Alexander Fleming warned that misusing antibiotics would lead to resistance in microbes. Fast forward 70 years and zoom in on MRSA: It’s contagious, it’s dangerous, and it resists the antibiotics...