Given their adaptation to cold climes and their advanced, albeit under-appreciated, skills, how were Neanderthals beaten out by their human counterparts? The answer lies in a combination of culture and genetics that enabled the successful radiation of humans.
Kyle Frischkorn, Author at State of the Planet
Is it an album cover for a 1980s hair band, or a thin section micrograph of precious minerals? A model of ice streams in glacial lakes, or a 3D laser light show from a dance club? This past week at the third annual Research as Art exhibit at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, scientists traded in lab coats and goggles for artist smocks and easels as they demonstrated that when the line between science and art is allowed to get tenuous, the results are anything but.
A new initiative of the Smithsonian Institution is building a frozen library cataloging snippets of plant tissue from every species on the planet.
Paleontologists Are Unzipping Our Genes
Recently, paleontologists have used genomics to delve into the lives of ancient humans. These studies have capitalized on futuristic techniques to reveal the genealogy, travel plans and sex lives of our ancestors.
While renowned for the penguins, Antarctica is perhaps equally well known for what it doesn’t have: basically, anything else. But scientist Steven Chown says the view that the icy continent lacks life is “simply not true.”
Last week a study published in Nature pulled the veil on a branch of the bacterial tree of life that has evaded detection for nearly a century and a half. The study used cutting edge genome sequencing and savvy bioinformatics techniques to make this remarkable discovery.
In a study published last week, Lamont post-doctoral scholar Heather Ford and coauthors used 4 million-year-old fossils from the Pliocene to reconstruct the physical features of the Pacific Ocean that would have shaped the environment during a critical juncture in Earth history.
Any researcher can attest to the fact that a scientific figure is worth more than a thousand words. Rarely do we take a step back to consider the inherent artistry in the figures created to convey the science.
I grew up outside of Chicago and I wasn’t a Boy Scout, so sometimes I feel like I missed out on learning the type of practical—albeit rarely used—skills that would have garnered merit badges. Now that I’m nearing the conclusion of my fourth research expedition at sea, I think I have amassed a few badge-worthy tricks.
I’m writing from where L’Atalante is currently parked, 18S 170W, right in the middle of a giant, anomalously high sea surface chlorophyll patch. Such a high concentration of chlorophyll—a pigment that helps photosynthetic organisms harvest energy from sunlight, and the one that’s responsible for the green color of plants—can mean but one thing in the ocean: a phytoplankton bloom.