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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.

So You Want to Move to Mars?

A Dutch non-profit plans to send voyagers on a one-way trip to Mars

When It Comes to Science, Scientists and the Public Diverge

Scientists and the public understand science topics quite differently, according to a new poll.

Why Do Zebras Have Stripes?

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to cool off, according to new research.

An Age-Old Whale of a Tale

Researchers recently sequenced the genome of a 200 year old bowhead whale.

The Hidden Toll of Ebola: Apes

There is a hidden cost of the Ebola epidemic: Africa’s great apes are declining.

Scientists Have Isolated a New Antibiotic from Soil

Scientists have isolated a new antibiotic from soil.

Welcome Back, Measles

The news of a recent outbreak at Disneyland in California brought measles back into the public view

Animal Penises Can Tell Us a Lot About Evolution

There is a surprisingly large body of work regarding animal penis evolution.
yellow-green image on a lake that is poisoned and polluted

The Latest Legacy of Acid Rain: Jellied Lakes

The impact of decades of acid rain (better known as acid precipitation) is causing North American lakes to turn to jelly.

Into the Challenger Deep!

Researchers surveying the deepest point on Earth, the Mariana Trench, also known as the Challenger Deep, made a number of remarkable discoveries.

Research Fraud: When Science Goes Bad

At its worst, science research fraud might have deadly consequences. What can be done about it?

The Mysteries of Hibernation

Bears in hibernation have a lot of physiological issues to solve.

Is There Life on Mars?

Is there life on Mars? Probably not, but it's likely that there used to be.
Bohemian Waxwing 
Bombycilla garrulus
(Hilversum, The Netherlands)

When Birds Drink Too Much

In case you think a few drinks makes your singing better, it doesn’t—and the same goes for drunk birds.

A Universe Where Time Runs Backwards

Running out of time? Not in a universe where time runs backwards.

Kepler: The Little Telescope That Could

A year after a potentially fatal setback, a rejuvenated Kepler telescope discovered the first exoplanet (outside the solar system) of its new mission.

Hidden Ecosystems Under Arctic Ice Reveal Themselves

Thanks to remotely operated vehicles scientists are able to peek at one of the coldest, darkest environments of all: ecosystems deep underneath arctic ice.

Mimics of the Animal Kingdom

Art Imitates Life? Try Bird Imitates Caterpillar. Animals that mimic to survive

Where Does Lost Weight Go? Into Thin Air.

If your resolution is to lose weight this year, have you thought about where exactly that lost fat goes?

Where is Water From? Probably Not Comets

A recently completed analysis of comet 67P/C-G by the Rosetta Space Craft has effectively ruled out comets as the primary source of Earth’s water.

An Algae Farm for Cleaner Highways

A design firm has come up with an answer to highway pollution, running tubes of photosynthetic algae to absorb CO2 pollution from traffic.

Overhunting Can Kill Forests, Too

Researchers in Thailand have discovered that overhunting in tropical forests doesn’t just kill animals, it kills also trees.

That Old Scroll is Actually an Egyptian Book of Spells!

A mysterious document turned out to be a book of Egyptian book of spells, according to a newly-completed translation

Help is on the Way for Snakebite Victims

Researchers have developed a way to identify the species of snake through a DNA swab of the bite, without killing it.