Search Results for: Science

Science vs. the Jellyfish! (Hint: the Jellyfish Are Winning)

black and white photo of a jellyfish

Jellyfish: we can’t predict where and when they’ll appear, we can’t anticipate where they’ll go, they can shut down an aircraft carrier, and we can’t figure how how to reduce their population. Tamar Stelling, in the Correspondent, looks at these amazingly resilient sacks of goo.

“Fight jellyfish?” Boero says when I speak with him on Skype. “Forget it.” Any tactic you’d use to combat any other plague is useless against jellyfish. Pesticides don’t affect them. Many species don’t actively swim in any particular direction, so you can’t chase them away. Electrocution doesn’t work. Acoustic shocks? Nope: with no brain or ears, a jellyfish has no notion of sound. “Jellyfish shredders, hormones – you’re just treating the symptoms,” Boero says.

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Mother Science

Longreads Pick

Uterine transplants are frontier science, but they offer hope of possibility for trans women and others seeking parenthood.

Published: Feb 6, 2017
Length: 21 minutes (5,316 words)

The Hi-Tech War on Science Fraud

Longreads Pick

A team of researchers at Tilburg University’s Meta-Research Center in the Netherlands focuses full time on detecting misconduct and fabricated data in science.

Source: The Guardian
Published: Feb 1, 2017
Length: 22 minutes (5,529 words)

When Boredom Yields Treasure: The Hermit Who Inadvertently Shaped Climate-Change Science

Broad-Tailed Hummingbird. Photo by Maureen Leong-Kee CC-BY SA 2.0

He also understood that the male broad-tailed hummingbird’s wings make a whistling sound, and indeed Barr had tracked the bird’s return each spring. Together with Barr’s weather and snow melt, Inouye was able to show how climate change’s impact on a single flower might mean the end of broad-tailed hummingbird migration in the region.

The hummingbird relies on nectar from the glacier lily—so much so that it synced its migration to arrive in Gothic just before it blooms. To adjust to warmer springs, however, the lily now flowers 17 days earlier than it did four decades ago. In two more decades it’s likely the broad-tailed hummingbird will completely miss the glacier lily’s nectar. This widening seasonal imbalance is called phenological mismatch, and has become a major concern as scientists learn more about climate change. In Gothic, this will impact not just broad-tailed hummingbirds, but also butterflies, bees, hibernating mammals, and the animals that depend on all those animals. These same dynamics will play out across the Rocky Mountains, and similar alpine ecosystems across the world.

At The Atlantic, J. Weston Phippen reports on Billy Barr, a man who moved into a remote part of the Rocky Mountains in search of solitude over 40 years ago. To avoid boredom, he documented snow levels, animal sightings, and the date flowers first bloomed. “…collectively his work has become some of the most significant indication that climate change is rearranging mountain ecosystems more dramatically and quickly than anyone imagined.”

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The Hermit Who Inadvertently Shaped Climate-Change Science

Longreads Pick

Billy Barr moved into a remote part of the Rocky Mountains in search of solitude over 40 years ago. To avoid boredom, he documented snow levels, animal sightings, and the date flowers first bloomed. “…collectively his work has become some of the most significant indication that climate change is rearranging mountain ecosystems more dramatically and quickly than anyone imagined.”

Source: The Atlantic
Published: Jan 12, 2017
Length: 7 minutes (1,883 words)

Longreads Best of 2016: Science Writing

Longreads Pick

We asked a few writers and editors to choose some of their favorite stories of the year in various categories. Here, the best in science writing.

Author: Editors
Source: Longreads
Published: Dec 20, 2016