Sparking wonder and promoting curiosity is something I think and write a lot about. For instance wrapping up AAAS 2016, AAAS 2017 and SciComm Camp. Curiosity sparks internal motivation to explore out the world, or one small part of it, at least. We’re here for too little time to experience it all. A curious culture – open to … More In Defense of Curiosity and Science.
This is a guest post by Kimberly McCoy. If you’ve ever seen a tree trunk frothing like a dog with rabies, don’t worry, it won’t bite. I recently came across a tree that had a white, bubbling liquid oozing slowly from its bark, and no idea what it was. I saw these two oozing river … More Odd Oozing From The Trees
In what are now the Northern coastal oceans started getting greener ~65 million years ago, around the time when most dinosaurs went extinct. A distant relative of grasses was put on the evolutionary path to colonize the oceans. This new colonizer may have been the result of something plants routinely do to form new species: … More A Flowering Plant Under the Sea.
Nature published an astonishing paper this week with an estimate of the number of trees that live on Earth (1, link goes to Nature’s release describing the work & a great video): 3,040,00,000,000 trillion (± 96,000,000,000 billion/0.096 trillion 95% confidence intervals). That’s a lot of cellulose (the most abundant molecule in plant cell walls & most abundant … More 3,040,000,000,000 Trees
This week, I’m taking a break from the cutting edge science and am going to talk about getting outside to walk in a natural, green setting. The Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, VT has a network of trails with some outdoor exhibits, including the planet walk. Starting from The Sun, the planets are laid out … More Nature walk.
What to make of Junk DNA A few weeks ago, science writer Carl Zimmer wrote (and literally bled in T. Ryan Gregory’s lab) a column in the New York Times exploring “junk” DNA. It’s a really good piece that also hits on how scientists have been arguing for a long time about what’s adaptive, what’s random, … More A small plant genome and “junk” DNA.