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Culturing Science

Culturing Science

Biology as relevant to us earthly beings
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    Hannah Waters Hannah Waters writes about natural history and the way people think about nature. She lives and works in Philadelphia, PA, but really on the internet. Follow on Twitter @hannahjwaters.
  • So Long, Culturing Science

    This is my last post on Culturing Science. I’m leaving the network as Scientific American is taking it in a new direction. Thank you for reading my writing on ecology, conservation and whatever else over the past four years. This blog has been more than a fun endeavor; it changed my life and allowed me [...]

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    The Global Perspective of Space and Deep-sea Explorer Kathryn Sullivan


    There is currently a person on this planet who has traveled to outer space and to the deep sea. Many of us dream of one or the other; to dream of both at once seems overly ambitious or even greedy. But Kathryn Sullivan has done it. Kathryn was the first American woman to walk in [...]

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    Weather Radar Captures Flocks of Birds Taking Off


    Several times a week, if not every day, I look at Doppler radar maps so I know whether to take an umbrella when I leave the house. These maps, shown on TV weather reports or websites, are commonplace enough that they don’t feel like impressive technology: mere green blobs slowly shifting across the screen at [...]

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    #IAmANaturalist: A Tribute


    #IAmANaturalist because to try and understand a completely different way of living, of being, is to transcend oneself.

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    Our Biases in the Gulf’s Recovery from the Oil Spill


    Last month, I set out to write a fairly basic story about the Gulf oil spill and whether the oil really caused deformities in fish. I first called an oil chemist to get some background on how oil could cause those problems in the first place. From that conversation, I learned a huge amount—in particular, [...]

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    Glacial Poetry: Photos Don’t Do Them Justice

    A photo doesn't really do a glacier justice. Photo by Tolka Rover CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    I have never seen a glacier (or any sea ice for that matter) in real life, though I’ve seen them in countless photos. I’m spellbound by James Balog’s Extreme Ice Survey, at the shapes and scale of ice in the Arctic. I express the perfect mixture of dismay and wonder at “then and now” photos [...]

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    Warming Gives Us One More Month of Flowers in the Rockies

    Few-flowered shooting star (Dodecatheon pulchellum) has had its whole schedule pushed 12 days earlier—first, peak, and last blooms. Photo by Thayne Tuason. CC BY-NC 2.0

    No matter the temperature, I don’t consider it to be really spring until I spot the first spring beauties of the year. These sweet whitish/pinkish mid-Atlantic florets (Claytonia virginica) are among the first to stretch out of the mud and leaf litter to add a spritely touch to an otherwise brown woodscape. When I see [...]

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    The Epic Battle of Crab vs. Crab


    Fiddler crabs are strange little beasties. Males have what amounts to one giant claw, which can be as long as his body is wide, and one tiny T. rex arm that looks quite out of place on a crab. Recently, a researcher wrote a blog post about why fiddler crabs have such an enormous claw [...]

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    How One Little Molecule Influences Earth’s Climate


    A seemingly humdrum little molecule has found itself responsible for not just one but two positive feedback loops, one moderating climate and the other gathering animals across the food web.

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    What The Ruling on Gene Patenting Means


    Although I mostly think about conservation, ecology and nature, I have a soft spot for medicine and, in particular, genetics. It’s partly due to my own family history and experience, partly my interest in how people think about medicine and death, and partly my 6-month internship at Nature Medicine, which began more than two years [...]

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