Birds and Dinosaurs

Piquing the curiosity of everyone’s inner 14-year old boy, dinosaurs were in the news several times this month. Particularly, their connection to modern day birds is being discussed by several groups around the world. First, an October 5 news release from the University of North Carolina rebuts an earlier claim…

Katrina

Levee breaches Nature news has a comprehensive FAQ on the levee breaches: “Did experts know this might happen? Yes. (…) the system’s 565 kilometres of walls were built to withstand only category-3 hurricanes. So a direct strike from a severe storm has long been anticipated as one of the worst…

Musical scientists

Albert Einstein played violin, and composer Alexander Borodin was a researcher in organic chemistry. They were not the only ones dabbling in both music and science. Even though these disciplines are usually regarded as two unrelated fields, quite a few people are practicing both. An article in the Darthmouth Undergraduate…

Tanning

“If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.” Mary Smich Tanning is quite likely the only defensive mechanism of the human body that has achieved fashion status. Strange, because its function is not that different from that of scabs or fever: to prevent…

Carrots and carotenoids

Carrots are good for your eyes, that’s nothing new. They won’t be able to rid you of your glasses, but they do contain high amounts of beta-carotene, which (aside from giving carrots their trademark orange colour) is a precursor of vitamin A. Vitamin A in turn is needed to produce…

Tsunami

It didn’t take long for the world to realize the devastating effects of the tsunami that hit the coasts of southern Asia on December 26, 2004. Fund raisers quickly collected money to rebuild life at the miles of shore line that were hit. Natural disasters such as this are, sadly,…