Nature & Biology

Marine life typically thrives in the tropics – so why do whales prefer the poles?

 Marine life typically thrives in the tropics – so why do whales prefer the poles?

Life in the sea isn’t easy. Talk to most people about the ocean and they are likely to imagine a tropical scene with a stretch of golden sand and warm, clear water. The reality is often quite different – the marine environment can be a surprisingly cold place.

I’ve Always Wondered: is rain better than tap water for plants?

 I’ve Always Wondered: is rain better than tap water for plants?

You might have noticed how bright green your plants look after rain. Or you may have been watering your garden this summer, over many hot days and weeks. So, which water is best for your plants? The stuff that falls out of the sky or the water that comes out of the tap?

Live cargo: How scientists pack butterflies, frogs and sea turtles for safe travels

 Live cargo: How scientists pack butterflies, frogs and sea turtles for safe travels

Scientists who work with live organisms often have to move them between locations. This requires knowing what conditions creatures can tolerate well, and also can involve some unusual packing challenges. Here three researchers explain how they transport butterflies, sea turtles and endangered frogs safely between labs and the outdoors.

Cool Tech: Internet of Trees maps the health of trees online

Cool Tech: Internet of Trees maps the health of trees online

Industrial engineers from ‘Technologiecampus Gent ‘(KU Leuven) have developed a module that allows them to map the health of trees online. Using this module trees in a city or park can be monitored online.

Carcasses of tiny animals sealed off by a one kilometer thick ice layer found on Antarctica

Carcasses of tiny animals sealed off by a one kilometer thick ice layer found on Antarctica

Scientists have found remnants of small creatures in Antarctica under a deep layer of ice. The remains were found in mud that was brought up through a borehole. The findings might tell us something about the possibility of life on icy planets or moons

Can genetic engineering save disappearing forests?

Can genetic engineering save disappearing forests?

Compared to gene-edited babies in China and ambitious projects to rescue woolly mammoths from extinction, biotech trees might sound pretty tame. But releasing genetically engineered trees into forests to counter threats to forest health represents a new frontier in biotechnology.

For the first time ever scientists succeeded to grow plants on the Moon

For the first time ever scientists succeeded to grow plants on the Moon

According to the Chinese space agency CNSA there are plants growing on the Moon for the first time ever. Seedlings of a cotton plant to be precise, the seeds where taking to the moon by the Chang’e-4 probe.

When pets are family, the benefits extend into society

When pets are family, the benefits extend into society

There is a growing global trend to consider pets as part of the family. In fact, millions of people around the world love their pets, enjoying their companionship, going for walks, playing and even talking to them. And there is evidence suggesting that attachment to pets is good for human health and even helps build community.

How forensic science has helped rediscover forgotten apples

 How forensic science has helped rediscover forgotten apples

It’s been a good year for apples. Across Europe the apple harvest is the biggest it has been for a decade. But the handful of apple types you see on supermarket shelves only tells part of the story. There are actually 7,500 varieties of eating apple grown all over the world, and growers and scientists are making efforts to conserve and extend this.