Smith created arguably the first geologic map. (Public domain, Scan by the Library Foundation, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library)

January 23, 2015

A Historic Map Turns 200 Years Old

Geologic maps represent the flashier side of earth science. They depict in vibrant colors and funky shapes the rocks and sediments that cover our planet — materials which are often decidedly duller in reality. But though...

SONY DSC

January 20, 2015

Copper shines in fight against germs

From centuries-old time capsules to modern medical centers, copper shines as the metal of choice to preserve and protect. Case in point:  A time capsule first buried in 1795 by Paul Revere and Samuel Adams was...

Nicolaus Steno Portrait

January 9, 2015

Nicolaus Steno: An Unlikely Geology Genius

Portrait of Nicolaus Steno as a bishop. Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons Nicolaus Steno could not have guessed that he would one day be known as a father of modern geology on the fateful day in October...

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December 29, 2014

Telomeres, Stress, and the Mediterranean Diet

Just as you must wrap the ends of a strand of dental floss around your fingers in order to clean between your teeth, chromosomes of eukaryotes (the kind of life that includes humans) must have slack...

Global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations from Oct. 1 through Nov. 11, as recorded by NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2. 
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

December 20, 2014

A Year in Review: Scientific Advancements of 2014

As we wrap-up another year, it seems appropriate to take some time to think about the scientific advancements made in the past twelve months. From landing on comets to discovering new species in the deepest parts...

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December 17, 2014

Wolverines Give Insight into the Evolution of Greed

Cross-posted with the permission of Dr. Nathan Lents from his The Human Evolution Blog.   Greed is often defined as the intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food. Although we usually associate this unseemly...

The rare western glacier stonefly lives in Glacier National Park and thrives in its icy streams. (Credit: Joe Griersch, USGS)

December 12, 2014

A cold-loving insect confronts a warming world

Today marks the end of two weeks of climate negotiations in Lima, Peru, where world leaders gathered to address the growing threat of climate change. Much of the conversation at the UN conference revolved around the...

Claude Monet. London, Houses of Parliament. The Sun Shining through the Fog, 1904, in the Musée d'Orsay , Paris. (Public Domain)

December 3, 2014

The Great Smog of ’52: Environmental Disasters in History

Fog as thick as pea soup is nothing new to Londoners. But on December 5, 1952, a dense, grimy cloud of fog descended on London, immobilizing the city and causing more than 4,000 deaths over a...

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November 23, 2014

New Genes for Your Potatoes

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...

November 19, 2014

Video of the Week: A Year in the Life of Earth’s Carbon Dioxide

Sometimes it is easy to forget we are all members of a unified environment on Earth and actions in one area affect many others.  In this new NASA computer model, though, scientists provide a comprehensive understanding of how...