Getting the results of a genetic test can be a bit like opening Pandora's box. You might learn something useful or interesting, or you might learn that you're likely to develop an incurable disease later on in life.
Modern scientists trying to understand climate change are engaged in an unlikely collaboration — with two beloved but long-dead nature writers: Henry David Thoreau and Aldo Leopold.
The authors of Walden and A Sand County Almanac and last spring's bizarrely warm weather have helped today's scientists understand that the first flowers of spring can continue to bloom earlier, as temperatures rise to unprecedented levels.
Whether crustaceans feel pain is generally something people try not to think about while munching on a crab cake or a lobster roll. Few of us would like to think that our dinner suffered during preparation, but still, we can't help but be a little curious.
Millions of acres of marginal farmland in the Midwest — land that isn't in good enough condition to grow crops — could be used to produce liquid fuels made from plant material, according to a study in Nature. And those biofuels could, in theory, provide about 25 percent of the advanced biofuels required by a 2007 federal law.
But there are many ifs and buts about this study — and, in fact, about the future of advanced biofuels.
Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 4:09 pm
It never seemed to be in the same place twice. After stumbling on to it by accident during my undergrad days, I seemed to lose its location time and time again. But it was easy to lose, just a door on 19th Street (or was it 17th?) between 5th and 6th Avenue. The door led to a cramped hallway and locked stairwells. Then came an ancient, cranky elevator that took you up to the 3rd floor (or was it the 4th?) and spilled out onto an empty, poorly lit hallway. It always felt creepy, like I was there for a drug deal.