Summertime means summer fieldwork for many academic scientists, but some researchers skip the far-flung places in favor of urban habitats close to home.
A week before the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, an omen washed up on its beaches. The appearance of the oarfish, a ribbon-like, deep sea fish has long been perceived as a warning that seismic activity is on the way. This fish has become a feature of speculation as to whether they can be used to predict an incoming earthquake.
A recent NYTimes article highlighted research identifying the existence of two elephant species in Africa. This is an important discovery not only for conservation purposes, but also because the researchers at Harvard, the University of Illinois and the University of York used new DNA sequencing technology that gives a much fuller picture of a critter's DNA.
Some mysteries can be solved if you just know what you're looking for -- and where to find it.
The July 2 edition of the journal Science features a profile on reseacher Dolores Piperno, who perfected microscopic methods to trace the earliest evidence of corn among early peoples of in southern Mexico. Rather than focusing on the plant evidence of corn cobs, which put the date of the earliest domestication of corn at about 6,200 years ago, Piperno and her team looked for tiny bits of evidence among tools that might have used with corn.
What a joy it was last fall when NOAA Ocean Explorer announced that researchers had discovered new coral reefs in the Gulf. These are not tropical reefs; they are in the cold, dark depths of the sea. They are comprised of Lophelia pertusa, a stony coral found in deep, dark near-freezing waters.