Acclimation, Adaptation, and Reaching Great Heights.

Acclimation, Adaptation, and Reaching Great Heights.

Selective pressure is powerful, our environment always changing, and how an individual or an entire species is able to change with nature reveals a lot about its ability to thrive. A recent dinner-table story of a volcanic mountain climb reminded me of the wild challenges on biology at high altitude and the specialized physiology of animals sitting cozy up there.

Whether by acclimation or adaptation, the ability to adjust is an essential part of movin' on up!

 

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How much water does your food use?

How much water does your food use?

Last week I found out it takes more than three and a half gallons of water to grow one head of lettuce. Maybe you saw this article too. I wasn’t sure if that was a lot of water or not - plants do need water to grow. But how much do they need? Digging further into the source of the article, I found a concept that I hadn’t heard about - the water footprint of a crop. 

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Drink a ton of water to get 1 oz. of food? All in a day for a coral reef sponge. You can help discover more about these amazing animals!

Drink a ton of water to get 1 oz. of food? All in a day for a coral reef sponge. You can help discover more about these amazing animals!

Sponges can filter 50,000x their own volume in a day! What does this mean for nutrient availability on coral reefs? Find out more about current research aimed at finding out how sponges are changing the water chemistry on coral reefs in the Florida Keys.

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Going green? How about going "blue" too?

Going green? How about going "blue" too?

We know it's important to go green, but you might also want to consider going blue too.

Blue carbon is carbon (carbon dioxide) that is sequestered and stored by marine habitats like mangrove forests, estuaries, and the rocky intertidal. Knowing the carbon cycle, studies have shown that these marine habitats take in and hold more carbon than terrestrial habitats like rainforests. Thus these habitats could greatly help us in reducing our carbon footprint!

Interested in learning more? Read on!

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Three billion puzzle pieces: insights into the Human Genome Project

Three billion puzzle pieces: insights into the Human Genome Project

After 16 years and nearly $3 billion, the Human Genome Project was officially completed in 2004. This challenging task of sequencing and assembling a human genome was achieved through the collaboration of 20 international institutions and more than 200 scientists. However, today a single laboratory can sequence a human genome in only a few months at a fraction of the cost. This is made possible by next-generation sequencing technologies, and among these, Illumina is king!

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Crafting the next generation of quantum physicists through video games

Crafting the next generation of quantum physicists through video games

With the thought of inspiring a new generation of scientists, Google’s Quantum A.I. Lab Team, in partnership with MinecraftEdu and Caltech’s Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, came up with the idea of creating a mod for Minecraft that could educate kids about quantum physics through first-hand experience and experimentation, without the kids even knowing they are practicing! They called it qCraft.

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It's hard to be a street tree

It's hard to be a street tree

In October of 2006 a lake effect storm, called 'Aphid' raged through the actual city of Buffalo (whereas, this years storm was actually south of the city). As part of the plant community, I know a narrow selection of Buffalonians, but those I know are quite passionate - they still talk of the devastation to the trees that this storm caused.

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