Why Save a Species?

You would have to be living in a cave not to be aware that there are many species on our planet that are in grave danger of going extinct in the near future. As a volunteer at the Woodland Park Zoo here in Seattle, I am armed with information about the endangered animals that are […]

Methane: you should be worried

When we talk about global warming, most of our discussion centers on carbon dioxide, a powerful greenhouse gas that human societies have been pumping into the atmosphere in increasing quantities since the beginning of the industrial revolution. But that is about to change: there is increasing consensus that methane is an even more serious threat.

MERS update

Additional news about Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, has been trickling in over the last week since I posted this piece, so here’s an update — and it’s almost all good news.

Kepler Space Telescope gets a New Mission

There was good news today from NASA about the Kepler space telescope, which suffered some wear-and-tear along the way to completing its original mission, and a key mechanical fault last summer which prevents it from continuing with “business as usual.” Its new mission, dubbed “K2,” is a tribute to the ingenuity of NASA scientists.

West Antarctic ice melting at an accelerating pace

NASA held a press conference this morning to announce their recent research results on the West Antarctic ice shelf. There is one big difference between the Arctic and Antarctic ice shelves: the ice at the North Pole is floating in the ocean, and the Antarctic ice is sitting on land.  At a very coarse level what this […]

Genetics is Rapidly Changing the Study of Biology

Earlier this week I had dinner with a friend who is a professor of biology at University of Washington. This term he is teaching a class on invertebrate biology. He explained to me that their 8-year-old textbook which describes the taxonomic hierarchy for invertebrates (you remember this from  high school, right?  Kingdom phylum class order family genus […]

Expanding knowledge about kangaroos

The Woodland Park Zoo blog has a fascinating post today about the wallaby and wallaroo joeys being raised there. The whole family of macropodidae, including kangaroos, wallaroos and wallabies, have a bizarre and perilous gestation and birth process.

The Habitat Cost of Green Energy

Bloomberg has an interesting article today on what solar and wind energy installations are doing to birds.


    OK, let’s start by getting the joke out of the way: cheetahs never prosper. Sadly, that’s very close to the truth. 12,000 years ago, when there was a mass extinction event that took out 75% of the large mammals on the planet, cheetahs barely survived. Their decimated numbers resulted in a “genetic bottleneck” […]


Here’s a really interesting and informative read on IUDs, with a history of the research done on them and how exactly they work. This is timely, as the article points out, because of the Hobby Lobby case that came up before the Supreme Court last month and is awaiting a ruling. While the issue in that court […]

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