Climate change, deforestation, and other threats put a huge portion of wildlife at risk. An international team of scientists have finished a new atlas map that highlights the location of 10,000 reptile species, and shows areas in need of better protection.
Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson is tired of how people deal with hurricanes and wants scientists to look into ways to turn storms into sources of energy. It's an ambitious goal, but one that may not be achievable with our current technology.
There may be no bigger question than whether we are alone in our solar system. As our spacecraft find new clues about the presence of liquid water now or in the past on Mars, the possibility of some kind of life there looks more likely. On Earth, water means life, and that’s why the exploration of Mars is guided by the idea of following the water.
A team of Israeli researchers has shown through computer modeling how life-forming molecules could be created inside of collapsing bubbles. These results could allow us to understand how cellular life took root on Earth.
Scientists have sequenced the genome of a tiny worm that belongs to a group of exclusively asexual species. This group originated approximately 18 million years ago—making it one of the oldest living lineages of asexual animals kn
On the tree of life, humans share a branch with a diverse array of creatures, all with one thing in common: a backbone. This single shared characteristic is enough to group us with dogs, fish, and lizards, in a group called a phylum; this is repeated throughout Earth’s organisms, connecting all of life’s diversity into one tree.
Researchers may have found the trigger that allowed Earth's atmosphere to oxygenate in rocks billions of years old. The findings indicate that oxygenation was "waiting to happen," and that a single triggering event enabled the massive atmospheric change.
In a palace intrigue worthy of George R R Martin, a new study has shown that some bee workers are queenslayers who will rise up and kill their queen if she produces the wrong sort of male offspring. The throne can then be seized by one of her daughters, who will produce the right kind of male heirs – ensuring the survival of the bloodline.
There’s been a devastating trail of destruction and flooding along the east Atlantic coast in the last few weeks following Hurricane Harvey and now Hurricane Irma. The latter, currently moving across Florida, is the strongest sustained hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic outside the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.
Zealandia made global headlines earlier this year when scientists announced that it counts as a new continent. Now it is coming under closer scientific scrutiny. We are currently halfway through an expedition to drill into this vast underwater plateau of continental crust, and we can already reveal that Zealandia’s geography changed more dramatically and more recently than anyone had thought.
Seafood is an essential staple in the diets of people around the world. Global consumption of fish and shellfish has more than doubled over the last 50 years, and is expected to keep rising with global population growth. Many people assume that most seafood is something that we catch in the wild with lines, trawls and traps. In fact, aquaculture (aquatic farming) accounts for just over half of all the seafood consumed worldwide.
Antarctica is a vast icy wasteland covered by the world’s largest ice sheet. This ice sheet contains about 90% of fresh water on the planet. It acts as a massive heat sink and its meltwater drives the world’s oceanic circulation. Its existence is therefore a fundamental part of Earth’s climate.
Each of our senses gives us a unique view of our world. Our visual system detects parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, revealing movement, brightness and color, but also a smile or a tear. Our auditory system registers changes in pressure, but also allows us to hear the crash of ocean waves or the smoky contralto of Billie Holiday. To appreciate the flavor of food and drink, recognize the perfume of the first spring flowers or detect the danger of a gas leak, we rely upon our olfactory (smell) and gustatory (taste) systems.
The use of biofuels helps reduce human greenhouse gas emissions. That’s one reason why some petroleum companies offer petrol containing up to 10% ethanol (a biofuel). But if we are to have any real chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change, it is not enough to reduce our emissions; we must put the process into reverse.
DNA sequencing technology is helping scientists unravel questions that humans have been asking about animals for centuries. By mapping out animal genomes, we now have a better idea of how the giraffe got its huge neck and why snakes are so long. Genome sequencing allows us to compare and contrast the DNA of different animals and work out how they evolved in their own unique ways
Plate tectonics has shaped the Earth’s surface for billions of years: Continents and oceanic crust have pushed and pulled on each other, continually rearranging the planet’s façade. As two massive plates collide, one can give way and slide under the other in a process called subduction. The subducted slab then slips down through the Earth’s viscous mantle, like a flat stone through a pool of honey.
Imagine a future in which buildings tower miles over the streets below, tourists take day trips to the edge of our atmosphere, and multiple space stations can be spotted drifting across the night sky. To make this sci-fi vision a reality, we will need to create new kinds of structures that are lightweight but still strong and tough.
Our cities have now been named as the saving places of a planet in crisis. And yet we cannot decide on the principles that make for a good city. Everybody has a view, but some views are more sustainable than others.