Charles Pickerell

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The Greatest Animal War - Issue 17: Big Bangs

Battles fought 542 million years before today helped fuel a blast that brought humans and most animals into existence. The great Cambrian Explosion …

Our poor sleeping habits are filling our brains with neurotoxins

We’ve known for some time that sleep is important for the restoration and strengthening specific functions in the brain linked to memory, regulating emotions, decision-making, and even creativity. But scientists are now discovering the processes through which sleep also cleans the brain like a …

The Brain

See the top 10 new species of 2015 – in pictures

A cartwheeling spider and a dinosaur dubbed the ‘chicken from hell’ are among the 10 most amazing creatures chosen by scientists from over 18,000 species new to science in the last year. Find out more on the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry website

The doomsday vault: the seeds that could save a post-apocalyptic world

Set in an Arctic mountainside, the Svalbard seed bank contains the world’s most prized crops. But a row has erupted over whether this is the best hope of feeding the world after a catastrophe or just an overpriced deep freeze<p>One Tuesday last winter, in the town nearest to the North Pole, Robert …

Hundreds of millions of acres of world's forest could be lost by 2030, say WWF

Conservationists identify 11 hotspots that could sustain 80% of protected global forest losses over the next two decades<p>Hundreds of millions of acres of forest could be lost in the next two decades in less than a dozen global hotspots for deforestation, conservationists have warned.<p>Research by …

World's Oceans Are Worth $24 Trillion, According To WWF

What price do you put on coral reefs, marine fisheries, or global wind power? The direct and intangible benefits that we gain from the world’s oceans …

Conservation

Photosynthesis (or Gimme Some Sugar) « Drawing Flies

The following is a comic book story about photosynthesis. It was posted one page at a time and feedback from educators and researchers helped guide …

Photosynthesis

Our Brain Sees Known Words As Pictures

Given the fact that writing is a relatively recent invention, scientists are keen to understand how we read and recognize words as our brains cannot …

The Brain

Dozens Of Scientific Papers Withdrawn After Peer-Review Fraud Uncovered

Scientific Publisher BioMed Central has withdrawn 43 papers, and is investigating many more, over what it calls the “fabrication” of peer reviews. …

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Parasite Causes Cannibalism In Shrimp

Parasites can do all sorts of weird and disturbing things to their hosts. They can turn rats, and maybe even humans, into daredevils, make crickets …

Biology

Breastfeeding raises IQ… and some worrying questions

A recent study suggests that the longer a baby is breastfed, the more intelligent and successful they become. While the research itself may be fine, there are so many variables around these issues that simplistic associations can distort people’s understanding, and even cause harm.<p>Bed sharing with …

Malaria May Be Driving Evolution of Blood Type

Malaria is a deadly disease that, according to the World Health Organization, infects roughly 200 million people annually and kills more than half a …

Biology

Chameleon colours 'switched by crystals'

<b>Swiss researchers have discovered how chameleons accomplish their vivid colour changes: they rearrange the crystals inside specialised skin cells.</b><p>It was previously suggested that the reptiles' famous ability came from gathering or dispersing coloured pigments inside different cells.<p>But the new …

Zoology

Homeopathy not effective for treating any condition, Australian report finds

Report by top medical research body says ‘people who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments’<p>Homeopathy is not effective for treating any health condition, Australia’s top body for medical research has concluded, after undertaking an extensive review of …

Scientists Can Now Read Your Memories

Researchers have mapped rats’ memories, and humans could be next.<p>Scientists may have cracked the code of memories by successfully tracing how they …

The Brain

Signs of spring 'shifting' in trees

<b>Scientists say signs of spring are appearing earlier in woodlands because of temperature rises in past decades.</b><p>They predict that climate change will alter the order in which different trees start to grow leaves, with long-term implications for the survival of some woodland plants.<p>A 200-year-old …

Climate Change

Drug-Resistant Malaria Detected In India

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that kills over 600,000 people each year, predominantly children in sub-Saharan Africa. Though a significant …

Functional Leg Muscle Developed From Stem Cells

There are hundreds of individually-named skeletal muscles in the human body, each positioned in a specific place to allow the body to move in …

Scientists Identify Brain Expanding Gene In Humans

As humans, we know we are pretty unique: We are the most dominant species on Earth and our big brains are something worth boasting about. After all, …

Blind Man Now Able To See Shapes Thanks To Bionic Eye

If there is one thing we don’t seem to be able to get enough of, it is emotional YouTube videos showcasing the moment someone’s life changed for the …

Life 'not as we know it' possible on Saturn's moon Titan

Liquid water is a requirement for life on Earth. But in other, much colder worlds, life might exist beyond the bounds of water-based chemistry.<p>Taking …

Classroom Ideas

Human Body Ingredients via imaginaryfoundation: 'The average human has approximately 100 trillion cells and each cell is made of approximately 100 …

Gene that makes human brain unique identified by scientists

Key DNA strand propels neuron growth in brain’s region central to reasoning, language and sensory perception<p>A strand of DNA that lies at the heart of what makes humans unique in the animal kingdom has been identified by researchers in Germany.<p>Scientists in Dresden found a gene that drives the …

Is The Dress blue and black or white and gold? The answer lies in vision psychology

Underlying the Great Dress Debate of 2015 is a fascinating example of how the brain interprets the world around us<p>Would you like to have an argument with your colleagues this fine Friday? Just ask them what colour the dress above is. Some people say white and gold, whereas others claim it’s clearly …

Killer frog disease: Chytrid fungus hits Madagascar

<b>A devastating disease that has wiped out amphibians around the world has been discovered in Madagascar, scientists report.</b><p>A survey has found that the chytrid fungus is present in numerous sites, although it is not clear whether it is infecting frogs yet.<p>The island is home to 500 frog species, and …

Zoology

Nature and Sex Redefined - we have never been binary

A recent article in Nature suggests that biologists ‘now think’ the idea of two sexes is inaccurate; in fact, says Vanessa Heggie,for decades biologists have been at the forefront of campaigns against this simplistic understanding of sex<p>A recent article in <i>Nature</i> claims that biologists ‘now think’ …

Do teenagers have genetically weak sperm?

A new study by scientists at the University of Cambridge claims teenage sperm is genetically weak, but is the claim credible?<p>Teenage boys already have plenty to worry about: spots, girls and the size of their “thing”, as Adrian Mole might have put it. Does the problem of having genetically weak …

Limpet teeth found to be strongest natural material

Scientists say structure of teeth could be reproduced in high-performance engineering to make Formula One cars, boats and planes<p>Scientists believe they may have found the strongest natural material known to man – the teeth of the humble limpet, which could be copied to make the cars, boats and …