How Nanoscale Optics Create Nature's Most Dazzling Colors

What do a butterfly's shimmering wings, a fish's opalescent scales, and a peacock's brilliant feathers have in common? Yes, their colors are beautifully iridescent. But they are also produced by the physical interaction of light with sophisticated nanoscale architecture that we are only just beginning to understand. » 2/19/15 2:14pm 2/19/15 2:14pm

Our Ancestors Developed a Love For Alcohol Millions of Years Ago

Obviously, alcohol's been a part of human society for a very long time. We started making it at roughly the same time we figured out agriculture, 9,000 years ago. A new study on our now-extinct ancestors revealed that they developed the ability to metabolize alcohol when they started going down to forest floors, about… » 2/05/15 9:00pm 2/05/15 9:00pm

I'm Tired Of Seeing This Charles Darwin Quote Taken Out Of Context

In the sixth chapter of On The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin addresses "Organs of Extreme Perfection" – organs like the eye, the formation of which due to natural selection, Darwin "freely confessed," seems "absurd in the highest possible degree." But this is only part of a much longer quote. » 1/11/15 10:30am 1/11/15 10:30am

This Freaky New Frog Gives Birth To Live Tadpoles, Not Eggs

Scientists have never seen anything quite like this before. It's a newly discovered species of fanged frog that gives direct birth to live tadpoles instead of laying eggs. It isn't that rare for scientists to find new species of animals, but finding an entirely new mode of reproduction is a different story altogether. » 1/02/15 9:00am 1/02/15 9:00am

A Cool New Theory Explains Why Red Wine Is So Damned Good For You

The antioxidant resveratrol, which is found in red wine and other foods like nuts and soy, is known for its ability to decrease incidence of heart disease and other illnesses, leading some to call it the "elixir of youth." Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute now have an explanation for how it works. » 12/23/14 12:20pm 12/23/14 12:20pm

Why 19th Century Scientists Believed That Life Originated In Space

The Panspermia Hypothesis holds that life on our planet traces its origins to space—say, a microbe-laden meteorite landing on primordial Earth. The theory, conceived before humans even went into space, was actually born out of criticism of Charles Darwin and his perceived failure to explain how life began. » 12/23/14 8:00am 12/23/14 8:00am