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Biology

Biology textbooks do not provide students with comprehensive view of science of sex and gender, say professors

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain The teaching of science has long generated controversy in the United States—from evolution in the early 20th century to climate change today. Debates have also often emerged around how textbooks teach concepts related to social groups, and in particular whether they gloss over complex realities in ways that may mislead students in providing scientific instruction.

Time in space is bad for the bones. N.S. prof’s research could help humans on Earth

For two decades, Tamara Franz-Odendaal has been studying how space travel affects the human skeleton.Because of the absence of gravity in space, astronauts experience bone loss when they get back to Earth."We always think of it as just the scaffold that kind of keeps the body together, but it's a really dynamic tissue," said Franz-Odendaal, a professor at Mount Saint Vincent University.Using a device known as a random positioning machine, which simulates microgravity experiments on Earth, Franz-Odendaal is conducting a…

World’s globetrotting animals at risk due to habitat loss, climate change

During its nesting season, the marbled murrelet, known affectionately among bird watchers as a "strange, mysterious little seabird," lays a single egg in the thick mosses that grow on the branches of British Columbia's old-growth forest canopy.With some of those forests under threat from logging, the small black-and-brown mottled seabird is considered threatened, too.The marbled murrelet is among a growing number of migratory species animals facing a perilous future, a new UN report found.  "The solution for the marbled …

From fashion to burials: How fungi can help fight climate change

Our planet is changing. So is our journalism. This weekly newsletter is part of a CBC News initiative entitled "Our Changing Planet" to show and explain the effects of climate change. Keep up with the latest news on our Climate and Environment page.Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox every Thursday.This week: From fashion to burials: How fungi can help fight climate change 2024 has barely started and is already threatening to set temperature records World's globetrotting animals at risk due to habitat…

New NASA climate satellite will keep eye on plankton, clouds. Here’s why

NASA's newest climate satellite rocketed into orbit Thursday to survey the world's oceans and atmosphere in never-before-seen detail.SpaceX launched the Pace satellite on its $948-million US mission before dawn from Cape Canaveral, Fla., with the Falcon rocket heading south over the Atlantic Ocean to achieve a rare polar orbit.The satellite will spend at least three years studying the oceans from 676 kilometres up, as well as the atmosphere. It will scan the globe daily with two of the science instruments. A third…

New study investigates threat of ‘watermelon snow’ to mountain glaciers

The Rocky Mountains conjure up images of grey rugged peaks capped with white. But within the upper reaches of the harsh mountain landscapes, a rosier hue often blooms.Watermelon snow, also known as glacial blood, is caused by algae that turns the snow a startling shade of red.The algae blooms in summer, forming on the snowfields that linger on glaciers, frozen lakes, rugged peaks and icy valleys in the upper reaches of mountain terrain.The darker the snow, the faster it melts — and new research sheds light on the threat…

How Life Works by Philip Ball review – the magic of biology | Science and nature books

You might think, with the completion of the Human Genome Project 20 years ago now, and the discovery of the double helix enjoying its 70th birthday this year, that we actually know how life works. In physics, the quest for a so-called Grand Unifying Theory has preoccupied the most ambitious minds for generations, alas to no avail. But in the life sciences, we managed to find four grand unifying theories in the space of 100 years or so. Three are well known: cell theory – all life is made of cells, which only come from…

Cutting-Edge Biology and Fluid Physics Research on the Space Station

The sun’s glint beams off a tranquil, blue Atlantic Ocean in this photograph from the International Space Station as it orbited 261 miles above and east of The Bahamas. Credit: NASASpace biology and life support maintenance were the main focus for the Expedition 70 crew on Tuesday, January 9. The orbital residents aboard the International Space Station also studied future piloting techniques and fluid physics rounding out the research schedule.NASA astronauts Loral O’Hara and Jasmin Moghbeli joined Commander Andreas…

How Your Body Adapts to Extreme Cold

Metabolic details matter to predict health in the modern world, Ocobock says. The same genetic programming that arose to protect someone in the Arctic—like high BMI and faster metabolism—could become liabilities. Many of Ocobock’s study subjects have been overweight and obese with normal cholesterol and blood sugar. Being “fat but fit,” which has been beneficial in extreme cold, “could now also be falling apart because of climate change, and could be leading to worsening health,” she says. If people’s diets and activity…

Synthetic biology breakthrough fixes CO2 from the air better than nature

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute have developed a synthetic pathway that can capture CO2 from the air more efficiently than in nature, and shown how to implement it into living bacteria. The technique could help make biofuels and other products in a sustainable way.Plants are famous for their ability to convert carbon dioxide from the air into chemical energy to fuel their growth. With way too much CO2 in the atmosphere already and more being blasted out every day, it’s no wonder scientists are turning to this…