A kingfisher’s beak inspired the design of high-speed trains in Japan, through the process of ‘biomimicry,’ or human imitation of nature.
From kingfishers to dandelion seeds and bone tissue, natural organisms are the source of many radical human innovations in technology and medicine.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard died of complications from ALS on July 27, 2017, at his home in Kentucky.
To the recently deceased playwright, the nation's greatest tragedy was its move from an agricultural society to an urban, industrial one.
Just because we can edit genes in human embryos, should we?
A world first study shows CRISPR can remove a target gene from early stage human embryos. But with the advance in science come weighty ethical dilemmas.
Dancing sunlight patterns reflected onto an interior ceiling from a wind-disturbed external water surface.
Research shows that bringing nature indoors, in the form of movement created by light, wind and water, makes occupants calmer and more productive. It also could promote interest in sustainable design.
Walden Pond. Ekabhishek/Wikimedia Commons
Henry David Thoreau might appear to be very ill-adapted for the modern West – but his writing contains some striking lessons for the modern world.
Once the coat around the seed is moistened, the embryo cells expand and burst out in a process called germination.
A seed contains nearly everything a tree needs to get growing. Just add a dash of water, a bit of warmth and the right location, and you'll be seeing green in no time.
The Whanganui River, seen here, is now a person under New Zealand law.
New Zealand just conferred personhood upon the Whanganui River, giving it standing to legally defend its rights. Can this novel strategy save the environment?
Partula snails were driven to extinction in the wild by introduced predators.
Before we decide to eradicate or control an invasive species, like carp, we need plenty of scientific evidence and independent assessments first.
‘This is our patch.’
They're not just a pretty spring sight – behind the scenes, bluebells are ruthless competitors.
A fern repeats its pattern at various scales.
Fractals are patterns that repeat at increasingly fine magnifications. They turn up in the natural world and in artists' work. Research suggests they contribute to making something aesthetically appealing.
Not what most Egyptians see when they look out their windows.
The pastiche-style poster art ubiquitous in Egyptian houses and businesses reveals how locals imagine far-off landscapes, idealise nature and define beauty.
saiko3p / shutterstock
We need environmentally-adjusted measures that don't just focus on material goods.
Simply being exposed to nature can help children better cope with stress.
Exposure to nature plays a positive role in brain development by providing children with opportunities to take risks, discover new things, and be creative.
The natural world favours resilience over efficiency – so why don't humans?
BBC/Planet Earth II
Rather than opting for an apocalyptic rhetoric or messages of fear, Planet Earth employs a 'positive' narrative that can generate a bigger impact.
© Trustees of the Natural History Museum
The way humans see and engage with the natural world is anything but natural.
Should the public pay to read research?
The public pays for academic research and then again to read the published results of that research. A new initiative proposes a radical Open Access model. Can it work?
The forest around Lake Waikaremoana in New Zealand has been given legal status of a person because of its cultural significance.
An anthropologist argues for new ways to value sacred landscapes.
We’ve left our mark on the planet in many ways.
Yes, humans hold awesome power over the rest of the planet, but nature will always fight our attempts to 'tame' the natural world.
Time spent outdoors makes us happier and healthier – and 'synthetic nature' may be able to replicate some of the effect.