This tag is associated with 44 posts

First Transplant using Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: Treating Blindness

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have enormous potential for being used in tissue transplants and therapies. Why is this? It’s because iPSCs can be made using virtually any cells from a person’s body — such as skin or fat samples that wouldn’t be missed. (And since they’re the patient’s own cells, the immune system should … Continue reading »

Getting Your Hands Dirty through Citizen Biology

Do you like to bird watch using your backyard bird feeder? Or maybe you have fun going bug hunting at a local nature preserve. However you enjoy taking in the natural world around you, there may be a way you can help scientists with important research at the same time! It’s thanks to citizen science, … Continue reading »

Using Silkworms to Make More than Silk

We have a long history with the silkworm (Bombyx mori), which was native throughout Asia and thought to have been domesticated more than 5,000 years ago in China to make silk. Silkworms today are biological silk-producing machines, the products of thousands of years of careful breeding. Silk production is now a multi-billion dollar industry, with … Continue reading »

Ebola: What Is It and What Do You Have to Worry About?

Ebola has been in the headlines a lot lately, mostly because the current outbreak is the largest one we’ve ever seen. There have also been people transported into the United States who were infected, raising concerns about an Ebola outbreak happening in the country. However, while Ebola is a terrifying disease, it is unlikely to … Continue reading »

The Chikungunya Virus is in the U.S.: Get to Know the Virus

Have you heard of the chikungunya virus? The virus (pronounced chik-en-gun-ye) was discovered in 1952 in Africa, and has been slowly making its way around the world… although the pace has been quickened in recent years. The first U.S. case was reported just earlier this month, on July 17, 2014, and a second case soon … Continue reading »

Magnetoception and Changing Geomagnetic Poles

You may have heard the news that the Earth’s magnetic field (also called the geomagnetic field) is changing. (The field itself is created by the molten iron in the Earth’s outer core and other factors.) Specifically, it’s been significantly weakening over the last 200 years (by about 15%), and the geomagnetic North pole has been … Continue reading »

Citizen Biology

Are you not a scientist by training but you’d like to help scientists do real research? Or maybe you are a scientist and would like to aid others in doing more investigations in your spare time. Whatever your background, there are actually many ways that you can now do real scientific research in your spare … Continue reading »

An Ancient Whale Graveyard’s Culprit: Toxic Algae

In 2010, the fossilized skeletons of several large marine animals were discovered in Chile during a highway-expansion project. After studying the fossils, scientists discovered that the animals had actually been stranded over time, some 6-9 million years ago, during four distinct events. What caused the repeated mass strandings and deaths? The most likely culprit turned … Continue reading »

How Oxygen Helped Life to Flourish

About 4.5 billion years ago, our planet formed. Around a billion years later, the first life forms appeared, which were mostly single-celled microbes, and this is pretty much how life was on our planet for billions of years. Then, about 540 million years ago (or some three billion years after those microbes first appeared), multicellular … Continue reading »

Millions of Dead Sea Stars

I hesitated writing about this story because researchers really do not seem to know at all what is causing this catastrophe, yet, but doing science is primarily about solving mysteries – it’s really part of the scientific process. What exactly is the story? As you may have heard, potentially millions of sea stars (also known … Continue reading »