brian wischer

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Environment: News & features

Why do zebras have stripes? Scientists have the answer

There have been many explanations for the zebra’s impressive stripes. New research strongly suggests that they have evolved to deter parasitic flies.<p>The zebra’s striped coat is simultaneously extraordinary and stunning. So wondrous, in fact, that many people have imagined it to be evidence of God’s …

NASA suspends contact with Russia over Ukraine crisis

Work on International Space Station will continue<p>Citing Russia’s ongoing violations of Ukraine’s sovereign and territorial integrity, NASA told its officials today that the agency is suspending all contact with Russian government representatives. In an internal NASA memorandum obtained by <i>The Verge,</i> …

NASA weighs the ethics of sending astronauts into space for years

Since NASA launched MAVEN on a yearlong mission to Mars at the end of last year, the organization has been thinking about sending more people into space for longer periods of time. To prep for these kinds of missions, NASA asked the Institute of Medicine, the health division of the National Academy …

Incredible Maps Capture the Genetics and Connections of the Brain

On April 2, 2013, the Obama administration announced an ambitious project to map the activity of every neuron in the human brain by 2023. One year later, we are starting to see the amazing results.<p><b>Scientists cannot hope to prevent or cure neurological disease</b> without a solid understanding of what …

Serial-Killing Star System Waits In A Galaxy Graveyard In The Furnace Constellation

Sixty million light years from Earth, the galaxy known as NGC 1316 sits among the remains of the many galaxies it has mercilessly murdered in the last billions of years.<p>Peering at the far-off galaxy through telescopes like Hubble and the ‘scopes at the European Southern Observatory’s La Silla site …