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James MacDonald

James MacDonald received a BS in Environmental Biology from Columbia and a PhD in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers University, spending 4 years in Central America collecting data on fish in mangrove forests. His research has been published in scholarly journals such as Estuaries and Coasts and Biological Invasions. He currently works in fisheries management and outreach in New York.

Sex and the Stegosaurus

How do you sex a Stegosaurus? Look at its back plates.

Do Vitamin Supplements Cause Cancer?

There's been a long history of research on vitamin supplements and their potential cancer risk.

What Happens When You Crack Your Knuckles?

Where does the sound of cracking knuckles come from, and is it dangerous?
Seagulls follow whales to eat anchovies.

The Sound of an Unknown Whale

Researchers might have identified one—and maybe even two—brand new species of whale.

Watching the Twin Suns Rise on a Real-Life Tatooine

Twin suns, like the ones seen in Star Wars, may be more common than originally thought.

The Invincible Tardigrade

Tardigrades, aka water bears, are microscopic animals that are found in virtually any environment on Earth.
Blackpoll Warbler (Dendroica striata) on branch

Blackpoll Warblers: Tiny bird, Huge Journey

Blackpoll warblers make a 1,500 mile, non-stop flight over the Atlantic

A Cosmic Mystery from a Microwave Burrito

The source of mysterious radio waves detected by two of world's largest telescopes has been traced to a microwave.

Welcome Back to the Large Hadron Collider

After a two-year hiatus, the Large Hadron Collider is starting up again.
Brontosaurus

Brontosaurus is Back, Baby!

The mighty brontosaurus might be real after all, according to new analysis.

Camouflage Artists of the Animal Kingdom

A few camouflage artists of the animal kingdom, including cuttlefish and Craugastor frogs.

Tax Day in Ancient Egypt

A newly-analyzed papyrus fragment from Ancient Egypt revealed a truly whopping tax bill
The ancient Mayan archaelogical site of Copan, in Honduras, one of the most important cities of mayan civilization. UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Researchers Discover Unknown Ancient City in Honduras

An expedition has identified the ruins of an unknown city in a remote part of Honduras.

Move Over, Camouflage. Here Comes Artificial Chameleon Skin

Engineers have developed a new chameleon-like material that changes color with a slight movement, according to research published in the journal Optical.

Seals 1, Scientists 0

A long-term study to track the movements of commercially valuable fish species might have been a waste of time, thanks to crafty seals.

Like Shrimp? How About a 7-Footer?

Researchers recently discovered something completely different: the fossil of a 7-foot long shrimp-like creature.

A New Engine Sends NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft on Its Way

Dawn spacecraft's mission to Ceres is made possible by a brand new ion engine that runs off individual atoms.

What ISIS Wrecked in Nimrud and Hatra

Records of excavations from before the current conflict with ISIS in Iraq can give us an idea of the former grandeur of Nimrud and Hatra.
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Geoengineering: A Real Weapon Against Climate Change?

Does geoengineering deserve stronger consideration as a strategy to combat climate change?

In Pain? Don’t Worry, It’s Literally in Your Mind

A look at the research in mind/body science and pain.

What Does It Mean to Have Jet Lag?

What is jet lag, and why does it affect us so much more in the spring than in the fall?

She Has Your Eyes. And Your Gut Bacteria’s Genome!

Upending our entire understanding of inheritance, an infant can apparently inherit genes directly from her mother’s bacteria.

To Avoid Allergies, Skip the Dishwasher

A new study says that children raised in homes where dishes are typically washed by hand have lower rates of allergies than where the dishwasher is used.
Black hole is shining bright red light in the distant cosmos

Scientists Discover Largest Black Hole Ever

Scientists recently discovered the largest black hole ever.