Skip to main content
Guest Blog

Guest Blog

Commentary invited by editors of Scientific American

Are Algae Biofuels a Realistic Alternative to Petroleum?

Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have found that nearly 14 percent of land in the continental United States, or roughly the combined area of Texas and New Mexico, could be used for converting algae to transportation fuels.In 2008, the U.S...

March 20, 2013 — Ian Branam

10 Predictions for the Future of Your (Microbial) Health

Every day it seems like some new discovery is revealed ab0ut the microbial life on our bodies, in our bodies and around our homes. The tendency in writing about such studies is to make sweeping conclusions about what is and is not and, of course, how we should live and what we should do...

March 19, 2013 — Rob Dunn

Cloning Woolly Mammoths: It's the Ecology, Stupid

As an ecologist of ice age giants, I long ago came to terms with the fact that I will never look my study organisms in the eye. I will never observe black-bear-sized beavers through binoculars in their natural habitats, build experimental exclosures to test the effects of mastodons on plants, or even observe a giant ground sloth in a zoo.As a conservation paleoecologist, I study the natural experiments of the past—like climate change and extinction—to better understand the ecology of a warming, fragmented world...

March 18, 2013 — Jacquelyn Gill

Superman Explains Why He Didn t Destroy Russian Meteor

FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE—After more than a month of attempts to contact the reclusive hero, reports are coming in today from the icy home of global do-gooder Superman that he intentionally let the meteor that impacted Chelyabinsk, Russia on February 15th enter the atmosphere and explode.Residents of Chelyabinsk were baffled by how a sworn protector of Earth could let a dangerous foreign object enter human-occupied space without his intervention...

March 18, 2013 — Kyle Hill

I, Quantum Robot

Though the concept of the robot seems to be a modern and a relatively new idea, they have been around for years. The first recording in literature of a possible description of the robot is found in the Iliad in reference to a “a three-legged cauldron that had ears for handles”...

March 17, 2013 — Joel Taylor

Nanopillars and a Disinfected World

The microbial world is ever-present and unrelenting. The enormity of it is hard to fathom, with facts like ‘there are 10 bacterial cells living in or on you for every one cell that is you’ and ‘estimates suggest there are five million trillion trillion bacteria on this planet’, that’s hard to predict, it may be plus or minus a few...

March 15, 2013 — James Byrne

The Mechanics of the Pull-Up (and Why Women Can Absolutely Do Them)

As a former rock climbing instructor, I have seen many contorted struggles to raise a chin over a bar. The pull-up for many is a sort of “test piece” of fitness—an indicator of athletic prowess—that is a cornerstone of a good workout (or a good showing-off)...

March 14, 2013 — Kyle Hill

So Long, Academic Dead Zones

When we were in school, there were certain moments that were considered to be learning dead zones. For us, these were times when a teacher showed a movie, or when other students were presenting their own book reports or science projects that we were not so interested in...

March 11, 2013 — Jody Passanisi and Shara Peters

Blog Index

Scroll To Top