Citizen Scientists Invited to Identify Plants Botany Citizen Science 

Citizen Scientists Invited to Identify Plants

By Kate Stone @GotScienceOrg Pl@ntNet is a citizen science project and an app that helps you identify plants, thanks to the camera of your smartphone. The app recognizes more than 13,000 species around the world. We recently spoke with Rémi Knaff, community manager for the project, about plant identification and citizen science. GotScience: Who can use this plant identification tool? Knaff: The app can be used by anyone who is interested in plants or wants to be part of a citizen science project. The app uses crowdsourced data to give…

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Ongoing Human Evolution Revealed in Data Biology Health 

Ongoing Human Evolution Revealed in Data

By Kate Stone @GotScienceOrg When I was about nine years old, a young schoolmate demanded to know, “If evolution is real, then why isn’t it happening now?” Being nine and not a biologist, I wasn’t prepared to answer this question. And yet, it was a question that I’ve heard echoes of in the years to follow. Now, a research team at Columbia University has conducted a large-scale study of genetic data and revealed how humans are evolving. In a study analyzing the genomes of 210,000 people in the United States…

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The Salamander-Algae Symbiotic Relationship Animals Biology Videos 

Shelf Life Video: The Salamander-Algae Symbiotic Relationship

What happens inside a Salamander egg? How does the embryo interact with its environment? Find out in this video, which is another in the Shelf Life series from the American Museum of Natural History.   Scientists collect Salamander egg masses to investigate the symbiotic relationship between embryos and algae. The two organisms exchange substances that help each other to thrive in their environment. Researchers are increasingly interested in how the microorganisms that are inside and on our bodies interact with us throughout the course of our lives and affect our physiology. GotScience…

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Debunking the aurora myth: What actually causes an aurora? Astronomy 

Debunking the aurora myth: What actually causes an aurora?

By Kristine Romich, Aurorasaurus intern A common misconception about the aurora is that it’s formed by particles streaming straight from the sun.  This graphic, published by USA Today, offers an explanation that’s probably similar to one you’ve heard before: The graphic focuses primarily on the solar wind, or the continuous flow of plasma — a high-temperature mix of charged particles — from the sun.  But while the solar wind is essential to understanding auroras, there are other factors involved in creating these celestial light displays. By only considering the solar…

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How Can Kids Become Citizen Scientists? Citizen Science Education 

How Can Kids Become Citizen Scientists?

By Shayna Keyles Twitter @shaynakeyles Instagram @shaynakeyles Picture a scientist. Who comes to mind? I’ll bet they’re at least a college graduate, an adult with expertise, with plenty of research and experience under their belt. It’s true that professional scientists are people who have accumulated years of specialized expertise in scientific fields, which enables them to focus their research and use advanced tools and data collection methods to achieve goals. But that doesn’t mean science is limited by age or education. In fact, anyone can be a scientist, average citizens…

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Dinosaurs of Ghost Ranch Animals Paleontology Videos 

Shelf Life Video: The Dinosaurs of Ghost Ranch

Dinosaurs’ fossils have attracted paleontologists to the Badlands of Ghost Ranch, NM, since 1881. Here, they have found the best place to find early carnivorous dinosaurs in the world. This video is another in the Shelf Life series from the American Museum of Natural History.   After being unearthed, dinosaurs’ bones are very delicate, and paleontologists need to take really good care of them. Once they are safely brought to the Museum of Natural History, they are ready to be analyzed. By looking at dinosaurs’ fossils, researchers can figure out…

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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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