Sometimes you need to slow things down to figure out what’s going on. At a molecular level, slowing things down requires some pretty specialized equipment: lasers.
Picture it: A giant (like, seriously giant) tray full of bacteria. Billions and billions of bacteria just growing and spreading. A germaphobe’s worst nightmare? Nah. These bacteria (like most bacteria) are not only harmless, they’re providing new insights into how evolution works.
Seen one solid, you’ve seen them all, right? Of course not. In fact, researchers recently developed a whole new type of solid that might be the key to future technologies, from clean energy to more powerful smartphones and computers.
Fins, wings, and…fractions? Find out how simple measurements revealed a striking convergence among animals as varied as whales, birds, and sea butterflies. (Wondering what a sea butterfly is? We were, too. Lucky for you, the answer is in the Bite.)
Researchers, with a little help from fireflies, are developing new tools for studying cancer by applying their knowledge of electronegativity and bonding.
What do a bat, a pig, a mouse, and an opossum have in common? In this lesson plan students will explore both the structural and genetic homology of tetrapods!
Researchers have been tracking E.coli through 60,000 generations to answer a fundamental question: How does natural selection work in a constant, stable environment?
What do aching knees, a sore back, diabetes, and poor eyesight have in common, besides being, well, common? You’ll find out in this lesson, but here’s a hint: it has something to do with evolution.
Quantum physics is behind advances in digital cameras and cell phones, so it must also be able to explain the basics, right? Wrong. It turns out that classical physics doesn’t always work in the quantum world.
Using DNA analysis, researchers were able to effectively trace the evolution of HIV backwards in time to find the common ancestor of HIV samples circulating among humans today. Why is that important? Because the lessons they learned about how the virus changes and spreads may help us to stay one step ahead of HIV in the future.
What separates the gold medal sprinters from the casual weekend jogger…besides the intense training, of course? Thanks to a careful analysis of human runners and good old-fashioned physics, we now have a pretty good idea.
How do you design a robot that can swim efficiently under water? Scientists are studying the physics behind dolphin movement for the answer! (And if you’re wondering why scientists are designing robots that can swim efficiently under water… this lesson covers that, too.)
Tanning mice. Yep. You read that right. Mice with tans are at the center of this story of how researchers are looking into drugs that can trick our cells into tanning without the sun.
Modern computer modeling unveils something surprising about a classic example of evolutionary convergence and divergence: the Anolis lizards of the Caribbean.
Newton’s laws don’t only apply here on Earth. The most basic of physics principles are helping astronomers to understand strange phenomena lightyears away.