The cutting EDGE of genomics

The Enabling Discovery through Genomic Tools (EDGE) program seeks to deepen our understanding of the relationship between genomes and phenomes Researcher Amy Hastings collects data on milkweed. 2017 EDGE program / Credit: Anurag Agrawal, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University One of the greatest impediments to advancing humankind's understanding of the relationship between genomes and phenomes, … Continue reading The cutting EDGE of genomics

Lessons in Love?

Whether it’s yeast, frogs or birds, biology offers us lessons in love, mating and marriage Valentine’s Day usually drives saccharine stories of lovesick cuddly mammals, kissing gouramis swimming fin-in-fin in a cozy aquarium, or real-life love bugs joined together at the tarsi. But this year, some recent NSF-funded biology projects are making us want to shed … Continue reading Lessons in Love?

Science that even ‘spooks’ Einstein…

Looking for something to really send shivers up your spine this Halloween? How about the thing that spooked one of the greatest scientists of all time: quantum biology — or as Einstein called quantum entanglement, “spooky action at a distance.” Though whole animals, bacteria and even individual proteins are too big to be ruled by quantum mechanics, … Continue reading Science that even ‘spooks’ Einstein…

The Megalodon: largest shark that ever lived

Michael Rosskothen/Shutterstock.com This past weekend’s blockbuster hit, The Meg has renewed curiosity and piqued movie goers’ imagination about the largest shark that ever lived, measuring up to 60 feet long with an estimated body size of more than 40 tons. Roughly the size of a school bus, this predator was named megalodon, meaning “big toothed.” … Continue reading The Megalodon: largest shark that ever lived

Fantastic Beasts and where (in the Muggle world) to find them

NSF-funded researchers are studying fantastic beasts pulled straight from the realm of fiction. From the lyrebird’s uncannily accurate mimicry to the star-nosed mole’s cuddly, tentacled snout, these unusual creatures are teaching researchers about conservation, behavioral neuroscience, cultural evolution and the way we perceive the wonders of the world around us. Star-nosed mole Photo credit: Kenneth Catania … Continue reading Fantastic Beasts and where (in the Muggle world) to find them

Pollinator Biodiversity: What’s all the buzz about?

Photo credit: K. James Hung, UC San Diego If you’re moving pollen from one plant to another, you could be a pollinator. Fuzzy, pollen-laden bumblebees don’t have a monopoly on ensuring flowers bloom again and blossoms turn into fruit — these amazing animals come in all shapes and sizes. Pollinators can be butterflies, beetles, birds, bats or even … Continue reading Pollinator Biodiversity: What’s all the buzz about?

Hoppy Father’s Day

Researchers studying parental strategies in glassfrogs found that the male glassfrogs take parenting seriously Photo credit: Jesse Delia, Dept. of Biology, Boston University Happy Father’s Day! One of our favorite fathers in the animal kingdom is the male glassfrog (Centrolene aff. savage). In Risaralda, Colombia, Boston University researchers found that male glassfrogs often care for … Continue reading Hoppy Father’s Day

How do sea turtles find their way home?

Image credit: Brocken Inaglory/ Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 There are more than 300 species of turtles and tortoises in the world, living in nearly every environment from the tropics to deserts. While all turtles spend time in the water, seven species of sea turtles live almost exclusively in the oceans, with the females only returning … Continue reading How do sea turtles find their way home?

At the cutting edge of plant science

Photo credit: Fang Xu/Cold Spring Harbor LaboratoryAs landscapes in the Northern Hemisphere spring back into Technicolor bliss, consider the science behind those brilliantly colored, supple flowers, green succulent ferns and towering deciduous trees bursting forth. Over the past two decades, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has funded multiple initiatives, from genome sequencing to plant metabolism, … Continue reading At the cutting edge of plant science