The Science of Game of Thrones Part II

Greetings fellow smallfolk. Well here we are, Season 6, several Starks shorter and Lannisters lighter since last we spoke. Winter is, for all intents and purposes, actually here (thanks for the nightmares, child zombies!) and life looks pretty bleak on both sides of the Narrow Sea. The only thing we can trust is George R.R. Martin’s eternal power to crush our hopes and dreams like … Continue reading The Science of Game of Thrones Part II

Marine DNA Empowers Cancer Research

(Cross-posted from Ocean Genome Legacy news) Can you imagine that a shark or an eel might help your doctor to treat cancer? Ocean Genome Legacy is collaborating with the Austrian Academy of Sciences to study marine genomes in the search for new cancer therapies. Cancer cells are harmful because their genetic programming contains errors, causing genes to turn on or off abnormally. By comparing how … Continue reading Marine DNA Empowers Cancer Research

Presented Live, from Palmer Station, Antarctica!

By Sandi Scripa “How cold is it outside?” “Is it true that Antarctica used to be tropical?” “How bad do the elephant seals smell?” “How many people live in Antarctica? Are there penguins there?” The fourth, fifth, and sixth graders at Johnson Elementary School in Nahant had many exciting questions for Dr. William Detrich, as he chatted with the students via Skype earlier this week … Continue reading Presented Live, from Palmer Station, Antarctica!

The Coral Microbiome: From Symbiosis to Disease

This blog post has been adopted from Flotsam and Jetsam, the Massachusetts Marine Educators quarterly journal. The original article can be accessed here. For many of us, the term “coral reef” is synonymous with “coral bleaching.” When temperatures creep too high, corals expel their algal symbionts – commonly known as zooxanthellae – which are crucial to the survival of the coral animal. We’ve all seen … Continue reading The Coral Microbiome: From Symbiosis to Disease

Roses Are Red, Lobsters Are…?

(Cross-posted from Ocean Genome Legacy news) This Valentine’s Day, Ocean Genome Legacy is saying “be mine” to some rare and colorful samples of New England’s favorite crustacean, the American lobster. You know that cooked lobsters are bright red, and you may know that most live lobsters are greenish-black. But have you ever seen a lobster that’s blue, orange, or two-toned, with one color on the … Continue reading Roses Are Red, Lobsters Are…?

Report from the Field: Phragmites australis

By Forest Schenck What’s in a name? The Greek or Latin roots of a scientific name often describe some unique or defining characteristic of the species in question. For instance, the etymology of Phragmites australis reveals that the genus name is derived from the Greek word phragma meaning hedge or fence and the species name (australis) means southern in Latin. Likewise, species common names are … Continue reading Report from the Field: Phragmites australis

A Tiny Tropical Castaway

(Cross-posted from Ocean Genome Legacy news) Driftwood. It’s one of the most common sights on our New England beaches. But did you ever wonder where it comes from? Ocean Genome Legacy Director Dan Distel does, and on a recent walk on the beach in Nahant, he found a surprising clue: an unusual castaway hiding in a piece of storm-tossed wood. The unlucky traveler was Teredora … Continue reading A Tiny Tropical Castaway