A dairy barn in Waitsfield, Vermont, built circa 1890.
Barns are practical buildings, designed to safeguard farm animals and equipment. Why are so many of them painted to stand out from the landscape?
We wanted to find out which biological phenomena are crucial for pattern formation and which are just incidental. These sorts of questions can be answered with mathematical modelling.
Through the wonders of chemistry, molecules can be rearranged to completely transform color.
Erick Leite Bastos
A simple chemical reaction turns the red pigment of beets into a new, nontoxic blue dye.
Focus and Blur/Shutterstock
Exposure to the sun every other day produces more skin pigment than sunbathing every day – but protection is still vital.
Cyanobacteria filled the ancient oceans and used chlorophyll to harvest the sun’s energy.
Did you recently hear news that Earth’s oldest pigments were hot pink? That’s not quite right. When they were in living bacteria a billion years ago, they were performing photosynthesis – and green.
Interdisciplinary research led to the discovery that three historic books were covered in a layer of arsenic.
Subbing new risks for the current dyes’ dangers?
Less-toxic hair dye would be a great invention. But discounting the risks that come with nanoparticles could undermine other efforts to protect human health and environmental from their effects.
Detail from Katsushika Hokusai, The great wave off Kanagawa (Kanagawa oki namiura), (1830–34), from the Thirty-six views of Mt Fuji (Fugaku-sanjū-rokkei)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Felton Bequest, 1909 (426-2)
Hokusai’s Great Wave is the enduring image of Japanese art. Less well known is the story of its primary pigment - Prussian blue - which was created in a lab accident in Berlin and sparked ‘blue fever’ in Europe.
The study looked at helping redheads to tan and protect them from the sun. But the redheads were mice, not humans.
A US study into whether a new drug can give us a tan without going into the sun generated headlines around the world. Here’s what the study really says.
Here’s the science behind the amazing colours we should see on British trees this year.
Selina, right, and her friend Mwanaidi play together in a Tanzanian classroom. Children with albinism are very vulnerable to attack, mutilation and murder.
Children living with albinism are very vulnerable to attack, kidnapping, mutilation and murder. In Tanzania, fear is keeping many children away from school and costing them an education.
Jay Matternes/Wikimedia Commons
Scientists have shown how tiny organic tissue remnants in fossils correspond to the pigments in the animals’ original skin and hair.
Enjoy the color while you can before climate change makes a mess of this too.
One of nature’s most spectacular events occurs every autumn, when the leaves of hardwood trees burst into brilliant color before falling to the ground. These autumnal displays in the eastern United States…