Conducting research on the movements of sharks is not easy. The animals move around a lot, spend their entire lives underwater, and can be difficult to find – particularly in areas where they face the threat of overfishing. What about finding support, funds, and partners to enable the work in the first place? Also challenging. However, the global interest in oceans seems to be at an all time-high, and research groups such as Beneath the Waves are connecting the scientific, private sector, and philanthropic worlds in exciting new ways, paving the way for the next wave of ocean conservation efforts. Read more.
Bill Fairbank is looking for... nothing.
The Colorado State University professor of physics studies the fundamental matter particles known as neutrinos, and an exceedingly rare instance of radioactive decay in which neutrinos—otherwise present in such decays—are nowhere to be found. Read more.
Hundreds of radioactive cubes — which once sat at the heart of a failed nuclear reactor built in secret by Nazi scientists — are being hunted by US researchers. After mysteriously receiving one of the cubes, Timothy Koeth of the University of Maryland has been working to unpick the reactor's history and learn the fate of its other parts. Accompanying the cube of uranium was a crumpled note, which read: ‘Taken from Germany, from the nuclear reactor Hitler tried to build. Gift of Ninninger.’ Read more.
As the planet warms due to climate change, the Arctic winters are seeing longer open water spells and less sea ice. It also now rains more often than snow during this period, something that is directly affecting wildlife like the Svalbard reindeer.
Named after the group of Norwegian islands they’ve lived on for 5,000 years, these 20,000–plus reindeer are now eating seaweed to survive the increasingly warm winters. According to researchers, the reindeer are turning to seaweed because the plants they normally eat are becoming harder to get to. Read more.
Extreme fluctuations in atmospheric oxygen levels corresponded with evolutionary surges and extinctions in animal biodiversity during the Cambrian explosion, according to a new study.
The Cambrian explosion was a crucial period of rapid evolution in complex animals that began roughly 540 million years ago. The trigger for this fundamental phase in the early history of animal life is a subject of ongoing biological debate. Read more.