Animals, Biology, Research

Insect homosexuality just a case of mistaken identity

insect_homosexuality

Some of you might find it surprising to hear that a lot of animals engage in homosexual behavior.  Close to 1,500 species, ranging from primates to gut worms, have been observed engaging in such behavior and this is well documented for 500 of them. No one comes close to insects and spiders, though, which have a significantly larger homosexual/hetero ratio

Environment

BioRemediation in Manila, Philippines

bioremediation2

I’ve received lots of questions about this picture which we posted on our Facebook a few days ago (we sometimes post things only there, so be sure to follow us for the full ZME experience). The picture describes the ‘Before and after’ stages of bioremediation in Manila, the capital of Philippines; in this article, I’ll try to run you through

Environmental Issues, Green Living, Renewable Energy

New York is planning wireless charging manholes for electric cars

wireless charging new york

A 2013 study by MIT indicates that 53,000 early deaths per year occur because of vehicle emissions. Cleaner, more efficient vehicles have been a priority for automakers for years now, but these cars still directly pollute anyway. Electric vehicles, while with current technology still indirectly pollute through their carbon footprint during manufacturing and charging (remember electricity in most parts of

Environment

Hazardous smog paralyzes 11 million people in China

harbit air pollution

Residents in China’s northeast region of Harbin are experiencing severe levels of smog pollution, which reduced the visibility to just 10 meters and virtually paralyzed all activities. Today (Monday morning), all schools and airports were closed and public transportation is limited. This is certainly not the first time in recent years when China was faced with obscene levels of pollution

Anthropology, Environment, Health & Medicine

Early humans responsible for ancient carnivore wipe-out in Africa, not climate change

The 200-kilogram 'bear otter' is one of several large carnivores that became extinct around 2 million years ago. ILLUSTRATION BY VICTOR LESHYK

Millions of years ago, the wild savannas of Africa were teeming with carnivore wildlife, much more diverse than what we see today: lions, hyenas and other large-bodied carnivores. Paleontologist Lars Werdelin at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm suggests the carnivore species decimation that began roughly two million years ago can be attributed to the intervention of early

Domestic Science, Environment

Children no longer connected with nature

rpsb

Just 1 out of 5 children in Britain are still connected to nature, and there’s no reason to believe that things lie any differently in the western world. What does ‘connected to nature’ mean? Saying that someone is or isn’t connected to nature, at an intuitive level, is often times fairly simple. But making that statement scientifically is an entirely

Animals, Great Pics

Wildlife photographs of the year awarded

Etienne Francey (under 17), Switzerland: Near Cousset, in Switzerland

Every year, the Natural History Museum awards several prizes in wildlife photography: elephants, dugogns, gavials, mushrooms, mice and many, many more were captured on film by extremely talented photographers of all ages. Here are just a few of the best pictures and their stories.

Animals, Health & Medicine

Seeing the world through the eyes of a cat

(c) Nickolay Lamm

As a cat owner myself, I’ve often wondered how feline vision differs from the that of humans. Clearly, with their huge pupils and crocodile-like eyes, their view of the world must be truly different from ours. Artist Nickolay Lamm recently showcased a project that features various photos from two points of view: the human and the cat. While not the

Inventions, Renewable Energy

Colourful ‘solar glass’ can make energy-generating buildings

Dr. Henry Snaith from Oxford photovoltaics holding glass with printed solar cell

A British company has developed colored but transparent solar cells which add just 10% to the price of the glass they are attached to. Glass and sunlight Oxford Photovoltaics, a spin-off from the University of Oxford, was able to “print” colourful glass that can generate electricity from the sun’s energy; they reported a £2m funding boost on Tuesday, which they

Animals, Biology, Science

New Arapaima species discovered in Amazon: a giant fish that can breath air

Arapaima leptosoma. (c) Copeica 2013

Also known as the paiche or the pirarucu, the arapaima is one of the most fascinating species of fish in the world. It’s one of the largest freshwater fish in the world, and certainly the biggest in South America, being a native to the Amazon Basin and nearby lakes and swamps. These arapaima are absolutely huge, most spanning 2.5 meters in length and weighing