When Dolphins Learned to Swim Convergent evolution in land to sea transitions in marine predators across major mass extinctions

For more than 250 million years, four-limbed land animals known as tetrapods have repeatedly conquered the Earth’s oceans. These creatures–such as plesiosaurs, penguins and sea turtles–descended from separate groups of terrestrial vertebrates that convergently evolved to thrive in aquatic environments. READ MORE

Hydrofracturing in the Greenland Ice Sheet New meltwater is not likely to further lubricate the Greenland Ice Sheet waterslide

Surface meltwater regularly travels to the bottom of the Greenland Ice Sheet and lubricates the flow of the ice into the ocean, but new research indicates that future increasing volumes of this meltwater are unlikely to speed the flow of READ MORE

Abnormally high plume observed above surface of Mars Scientists are now working on determining the nature and cause of the plumes by using the Hubble data in combination with the images taken by amateurs

Plumes seen reaching high above the surface of Mars are causing a stir among scientists studying the atmosphere on the Red Planet On two separate occasions in March and April 2012, amateur astronomers reported definite plume-like features developing on the READ MORE

Is the mind algorithmic? Scientists often have very specific definitions for words that differ from general use. "To solve" is one of them.

Disagreements in how we use words can cause major confusion. Sometimes, someone uses the word “far” to mean 50 miles, and other times people use the word far to mean “the tv remote is too far” when it’s a mere READ MORE

Can cold-loving bacteria help to clean up oil spills? The enzyme that breaks apart a major component of oil might be less active in the cold...

For several decades scientists have been interested in the ability of psychrophilic (cold- loving) microbial communities to degrade the various components of crude oil, which is a process known as bioremediation. Because temperature has a direct impact on enzyme activity READ MORE

Massive tectonic event may have triggered explosion of animal life New analysis of geologic history may help solve the riddle of the 'Cambrian explosion'

A new analysis of geologic history may help solve the riddle of the “Cambrian explosion,” the rapid diversification of animal life in the fossil record 530 million years ago that has puzzled scientists since the time of Charles Darwin. A READ MORE

Will climate change eliminate the ice age cycle?

Long-term patterns in Earth’s climate show glacial cycles that correspond to variations in Earth’s orbital geometry and affect the overall amount of sunlight that the planet receives. Known as “Milankovitch cycles”, these variations are observed in geologic reconstructions of temperature and READ MORE

Long-term effects of climate change facilitated by studying climate relicts

Climate relicts may help researchers understand climate change While hiking through the Ozarks’ characteristic oak and hickory forests as a teenager, ecologist Scott Woolbright discovered something decidedly uncharacteristic for the region: prickly pear cacti growing on an exposed, rocky ledge. READ MORE