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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. Until his death in the fall of 2019, James worked in fisheries management and outreach in New York.

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.

Baby Sea Turtles and the “Lost Year”

Scientists have a way to follow baby sea turtles during their frantic first hours of life.

Lights! Camera! Anglerfish!

For the first time, scientists have footage of the black sea devil anglerfish Melanocetus sp. in its natural environment.

Do Adults Need to Drink Milk?

Do we really need to drink so much milk?

The Improbable Fanged Deer of Afghanistan

Last seen more than a half century ago, a rare fanged deer has been rediscovered in Afghanistan

How Many People Does it Take to Wreck an Ecosystem?

A relatively small number of people are required to destroy and ecosystem

Back from Extinction, But Not Safe: Captive Breeding Restores a Giant Galapagos Tortoise

The Española giant tortoise, once feared extinct, has a viable population again.

When Faced with Competition, Florida Lizards Simply Evolve Faster

When faced with an invasive competitor, Florida anole lizards took only 15 years to evolve a response.

Tele(phone)kinesis

In a scene straight out of science fiction, a student in Washington lifted another student’s hand—with a thought.

Kicking Back, Gladiator Style

Gladiators drank a concoction of vinegar and ashes to stay bulky for battle.

A New Species of Frog Sings in New York City

A new species of frog has been identified in the wilds of New York City

How to Catch a Comet

Last week, the European Space Agency (ESA) successfully landed an unmanned probe (Philae) on a comet, a feat heretofore unmatched in human history

EPA Announces 2014 Presidential Green Chemistry Award Winners

The 2014 Presidential Green Chemistry Award winners discover new strategies for pollution prevention.

Humans and Neanderthals: History Revealed in an Ancient Femur

Recent findings narrow the period in which both Neanderthals and modern humans existed together.

The Secret Lives of Giraffes

Despite being such conspicuous animals, researchers still know surprisingly little about giraffes.

Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About Ocean Acidification?

Will ocean acidification disrupt the planet's ecosystem before climate change does?

Climate and Gender: Too Few Males?

Could climate change lead to fewer males?

Embryonic Stem Cells Finally Start to Deliver

The early promise of stem cells might finally be overcoming controversy and paying off.

Deinocheirus: At Long Last, Arms with a Body to Match

The mysterious Deinocheirus dinosaur now has a body.