Underwater Gardening: Coral Reefs and Aquaculture Animals Citizen Science Environment Oceanography 

Underwater Gardening: Coral Reefs and Aquaculture

By Shayna Keyles Twitter @shaynakeyles Instagram @shaynakeyles Our oceans are home to most of the world’s biodiversity, and 25 percent of its diversity thrives in coral reefs—that’s about two million species that call the reefs their home. But as reefs suffer the effects of climate change and globalization (several Caribbean reef-building species are now considered endangered), their ecosystems suffer, too. Fish colonies that provide food for coastal communities dry up, and the natural barriers that the reefs create become less effective, leading to more destruction in the wake of tropical…

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Astronomy Photos 

A Trip to Totality: Experiencing the 2017 Solar Eclipse

By Jeff Goldberg @jeffagoldberg For a while, I was conflicted about the effort to see the solar eclipse either in totality—which would require significant travel time—or at the 75-percent coverage I could get in my backyard. A couple of weeks ago, however, I decided I wanted to be part of the full experience of totality and committed to making the journey. For me, the closest point on the path of totality was Carbondale, Illinois. I purchased my solar glasses and a solar filtration sheet for my camera and started planning to…

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Shortfin Mako Shark under Threat Animals Oceanography 

Shortfin Mako Shark under Threat

By Kate Stone The shortfin mako shark is the fastest shark in the world. Its top cruising speed has been recorded at 40 kilometers per hour (kph), or 25 mph, with bursts of up to 74 kph, or 46 mph. Because shortfin makos are so fast, collecting accurate data about them has been especially difficult. Fortunately, new real-time satellite tracking technology has enabled researchers to gather much more accurate information about these amazing sharks. Unfortunately, the data is shockingly grim: shortfin mako sharks are being killed in fisheries at a…

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Coral Gardening Effectively Restores Staghorn Corals Biology Environment Oceanography 

Coral Gardening Effectively Restores Staghorn Corals

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore Staghorn corals (Acropora cervicornis)—a threatened species that resembles deer antlers—are effectively restored by coral gardening, a process that involves cutting coral fragments from healthy, wild donor colonies, rearing the coral fragments in underwater nurseries, and outplanting or reattaching onto degraded reefs, finds a study conducted in the Caribbean. The study demonstrates that current restoration methods are very effective, that no excess damage is done to donor colonies, and that once outplanted, the corals behave like wild colonies. Stephanie Schopmeyer, a coral biologist at the University of…

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Biology Education Science Policy 

The “Google Manifesto”: Bad Biology, Ignorance of Evolutionary Processes, and Privilege

By Agustin Fuentes, PhD, University of Notre Dame There are biological differences between the sexes, including average body size and upper body strength, and aspects of reproductive physiology. There is also a range of gendered differences in behavior and perception as contemporary societies structure developmental patterns and expectations differently for boys and girls. But there are more biological similarities than differences, and more gender overlaps than discontinuities, between males and females—we are the same species after all. These differences and similarities can, and do, play roles in shaping performance on specific tasks by individuals…

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Do Wandering Bees Help Spread Disease? Animals Biology 

Do Wandering Bees Help Spread Disease?

By Emily Rhode @riseandsci Given the continued growth of the human population, it’s no surprise that our behaviors impact plants and animals. But what might be alarming are the ways we harm these species. Habitat loss and pesticide use have been shown to have devastating effects on pollinator populations worldwide, but researchers from the University of Toronto have found a new and unexpected way that humans are killing off bumblebees. And according to their study, the potential for bee deaths will only get worse as our demand for pollinated crops…

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Shelf Life Video: Time Travel to Stars Astronomy Videos 

Shelf Life Video: Time Travel to Stars

With the help of high school students, scientists at The American Museum of Natural History are creating an online catalog of stars’ distances and relative positions. This video is another in the Shelf Life series from the American Museum of Natural History.   Since the early 17th century, thanks to the use of telescopes, astronomers have been able to draw detailed star maps. However, because the Earth wobbles on its axis, today we see the stars in a slightly different position than in the past. So, students and scientists are…

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Bee-coming a Beekeeper: An Interview with Andy Zaayenga Animals Environment 

Bee-coming a Beekeeper: An Interview with Andy Zaayenga

By Cathy Seiler @cyc55 Andy Zaayenga was “that guy” who introduced himself to new girlfriends by warning them about the 11-foot boa constrictor he kept as a pet. Not being okay with Andy’s love of all types of animals was a relationship dealbreaker. But despite Andy’s affinity to creatures big (especially in the case of the boa constrictor) and small, Andy’s career took him away from the animals and towards the inanimate. He’s spent most of his career repairing, selling, and developing automated solutions (a.k.a. robots) that doctors use to…

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Citizen Science Education 

SciGirls Offers Real STEM Role Models for Young Girls

By Shayna Keyles Twitter @shaynakeyles Instagram @shaynakeyles As a young girl, I loved watching Bill Nye’s experiments, Steve Irwin’s expeditions, and Michio Kaku’s explanations of the universe. These men made science look cool and exciting. But they also reinforced the idea that science was less accessible for girls like me, who weren’t physically fit enough to be an astronaut or confident enough with numbers to be a theoretical physicist. The closest thing I had to a female scientist role model was Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus, but the…

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Chemicals Used on Almond Trees Linked to Bee Deaths Animals Botany Environment 

Chemicals Used on Almond Trees Linked to Bee Deaths

By Emily Rhode @riseandsci Americans have a serious obsession with almonds. In 2016, 1.2 million metric tons were grown worldwide, and 80% of that was grown in California alone. As our taste grows for the protein-packed nut, a looming crisis threatens not only the almond crop, but the global food industry as a whole. Over the last decade, honeybee populations, which are necessary for sustaining a healthy almond industry, have been steadily declining. The reasons for the decrease are not fully clear. What if our rabid consumption of this tasty…

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