The stats for 2014 have been compiled and shark attacks and fatalities are down worldwide. The numbers are truly tiny. Why do we fixate on this vanishingly rare possibility?
Multiple fluorescent proteins illuminate the cells in a human brainstem.
Jeff Lichtman/Harvard University
First found in jellyfish, but now inserted into all kinds of organisms, GFPs illuminate biological structures and processes that researchers otherwise couldn't see.
Too bad this picture’s not scratch n sniff.
OK, it doesn’t smell great. But skunk cabbage has a unique secret weapon to help it be one of the first plants to emerge from the snow at the end of winter.
Cannonball Jellyfish in the Gulf of California.
Yazmin Flores for GCMP
In a changing climate, ocean populations sometimes rise and fall in unpredictable waves. Scientists, managers and fishers must make economically and ecologically sound decisions based on long-term outlooks.
Are you afraid of the dark matter?
European Southern Observatory
Every 30 mil years, Earth has to deal with more comet crashes from space and more intense geological activity from within. Dark matter may be the culprit in these episodes that can cause mass extinction.
Tablets and smartphones in the classroom are new enough that there’s not a clear consensus on their usefulness.
Bibliotecas Municipais da Coruña
As technology becomes more prevalent in classrooms from preschool to grad school, the concern is that it's all flash, no substance.
Decreasing funding for fruit-fly research will hurt people, not flies.
These insects are so much more than just the scourge of fruit bowls everywhere. They're a key model system for all kinds of research that teaches us about our own brain and body systems.
A powerful new genetic engineering technique allows scientists to precisely cut out and replace DNA in genes.
Jennifer Doudna/University of California Berkeley
Leading researchers have called for a ban on using a precise gene-editing technology on humans. How can CRISPR advance science and why is it raising concerns?
CRISPR-Cas systems provide a new way to target pathogenic bacteria, without some of antibiotics’ downsides.
CRISPR-CAS9 image via www.shutterstock.com.
A naturally-occurring system discovered in bacteria holds promise as a way to fight pathogens – very specifically and without the risk of antibiotic resistance.
Silver can be an effective antibacterial when treated in special ways.
Silver image via www.shutterstock.com.
Joint replacement surgery comes with a big risk of infection. New implant technology that can release silver ions inside the body could help – and without increasing antibiotic resistance.
Magnets have mysterious powers – now shown to influence heat and sound.
Magnet image via www.shutterstock.com.
Sound waves are made of particles called phonons. New research shows they're affected by magnetic fields, with researchers able to steer heat magnetically.
Tsimane hunter with prey after a successful hunt. How are his hormones responding?
Levels of a male sex hormone known to influence aggression and a "love" hormone that promotes bonding both rise in traditional hunters headed home after the kill. What's going on?
Smartphones mean games are always at hand – but are they crushing candy or learning a new language?
We're hardwired to love finding patterns, solving puzzles, mastering challenges. Business, education, health, marketing and other fields tap into these drives via game elements to help us hit goals or change behavior.
A conceptual variable-rate fertilization system that would use sensors to determine how much fertilizer to apply in real-time.
R Sui and J A Thomasson
Precision agriculture harnesses technology to help farmers grow more food using less water, fertilizer, pesticide, fuel and labor.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is just one scientist celeb who already unofficially does the job of a science laureate.
A bill before congress would create a science laureate position akin to the poet laureate for poetry. But some science stars are already essentially doing the job now.
Would anyone like a slice of my π pie?
3/14 on the calendar approximates the first three digits of the mathematical constant π. Math nerds will celebrate with baked goods, but π is a deeper, nobler entity.
Artist’s reconstruction of the giant filter-feeding anomalocaridid
Aegirocassis benmoulae from 480 million years ago.
Marianne Collins, ArtofFact
A 480 million year old fossil recently unearthed in Morocco fills in some of the evolutionary story for arthropods, members of the largest animal phylum on Earth.
A leatherback sea turtle pauses for air on its long migration.
Connie Merigo (NMFS Permit #1557-03)
How do these massive sea turtles stay on target as they migrate hundreds of miles through featureless open ocean?
Modern cattle in Kenya.
Steven Goldstein, Washington University St. Louis
New research upends the previous theory that tsetse flies – and the disease they carry – were the main reason the spread of livestock domestication in Africa stalled out for a thousand years.
Still a few kinks to be worked out.
We can already track plenty of body data, but to really make a difference, wearables need to consistently collect clinically valuable information that can be used to improve health.
Coral reefs, the rain forests of the sea.
A new ecology study doesn’t focus on how people degrade the environment. Instead, it untangles the way physical factors in a pristine ecosystem drive the biology of what lives there.
With emerging technology comes great responsibility.
Robot image via www.shutterstock.com.
The World Economic Forum's new list of the Top Ten emerging technologies reminds us that the promise of innovation comes with responsibilities.
A love of science and a lifetime of work don’t guarantee a successful job hunt.
Woman image via www.shutterstock.com.
A lifetime of study and preparation are no guarantee of success for PhDs when they hit the job market. Things can and should be improved.
Who’s missing from the STEM picture?
Lab image via www.shutterstock.com
Even when women and minorities earn STEM degrees, they don't take the next step into gainful employment at the same rates as white men.
The 3 to 2 FCC vote favored Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposed net neutrality rules and will regulate broadband providers more heavily than in the past.
This open internet debate isn't the first time the government has wrestled with the question of how to apportion rights between private media owners and the public.