This year, Antarctic sea ice extent hit record highs as Arctic sea ice logged its 6th lowest year on record. What gives? Scientists say that overall ice growth masks dramatic losses in some parts of Antarctica and dramatic gains in others. Both trends may be related to climate change and its complex effects on Antarctica. … More The riddle of expanding Antarctic sea ice
Neuroscientists and economists have long debated why market bubbles occur: are they the result of rational calculations or irrational decision-making? Scientists have started to watch people’s brains as they trade in experimental markets to find a clue. Learn what they found in my story for the LA Times.
Mantis shrimp have amazing eyes that allow them to see 5 different “colors” of UV light. Scientists recently discovered how they do this: with filters that sit over their light receptors, like tinted sunglasses. Learn more in my story for the LA Times.
It’s no secret that Tibetan people are supremely well-adapted to high-altitude living. However, the origin of the genes that make them so has proved a mystery. Now, scientists have traced one important gene back to an extinct group of early human relatives, the Denisovans. Learn more in my story for the LA Times.
When NASA launched the Curiosity rover in 2011, it was the heaviest thing they could possibly land on Mars. Engineers knew they needed something bigger and better to ferry even larger loads — and someday, people — to the Red Planet. Thus was born the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator, which NASA successfully tested in the stratosphere over Hawaii … More Hey Mars, here we come
La Brea’s Tar Pits hold the most complete record of ice age fossils on Earth. Their collection includes mastodons, dire wolves, and saber-toothed cats, among others. Meet the volunteers who dedicate their time to exploring the tar and take a journey through this amazing place, hidden right in the heart of Los Angeles, in my … More Journey through a geologic wonder: LA’s La Brea Tar Pits
Geologists have found evidence for frequent and large floods that raged down the Colorado River in the last 2000 years. If such floods happened again, they could jeopardize the water security of the American West. Learn more in my LA Times story.
The kerfuffle over wood-aged cheese erupted when a blogger intercepted a communication between an FDA official and the New York Department of Agriculture regarding the safety of wood shelves used for storing cheese. The internet expressed collective outrage at the prospect of banning this culinary tradition, even though the FDA denied it has any plans to … More The good, the bad, and the stinky