Natural Sciences

Warming climate likely cause of pinyon pine cone decline

Creeping climate change in the Southwest appears to be having a negative effect on pinyon pine reproduction, a finding with implications for wildlife species sharing the same woodland ecosystems, says a University of Colorado Boulder-led study.

Simulations uncover “flashy” secrets of merging black holes

According to Einstein, whenever massive objects interact, they produce gravitational waves -- distortions in the very fabric of space and time -- that ripple outward across the universe at the speed of light.

While astronomers have found indirect evidence of these disturbances, the waves have so far eluded direct detection. Ground-based observatories designed to find them are on the verge of achieving greater sensitivities, and many scientists think that this discovery is just a few years away.

CU students’ work makes it to the big screen

The work of a talented group of University of Colorado Boulder students and staff has made it to the big screen. The really big screen -- in fact, a more than 20-meter dome.

Did the Little Ice Age start with a big bang?

Scientists have disagreed for many years over the precise cause for a period of cooling global temperatures that began after the Middle Ages and lasted into the late 19th century, commonly known as the Little Ice Age. 

Pushing the boundaries of ultracold physics

Physicists at JILA on the CU-Boulder campus have for the first time observed chemical reactions near absolute zero, demonstrating that chemistry is possible at ultralow temperatures and that reaction rates can be controlled using quantum mechanics, the peculiar rules of submicroscopic physics.

Exploring the neurological impact of anxiety on decision making

An increase in inhibitions could reduce anxiety in individuals suffering from anxiety and, as a result, help improve their decision making. A new CU-Boulder study shed light on the brain mechanisms that allow people to make choices and could be helpful in improving treatments for the millions suffering from the effects of anxiety disorders. In the study, psychology professor Yuko Munakata and her research colleagues found that “neural inhibition,” a process that occurs when one nerve cell suppresses activity in another, is a critical aspect in an individual’s ability to make choices.

Undergraduate student gains hands-on experience in disease ecology

They’re called cowboys, but you won’t find them astride a horse rounding up stray cattle. They are scientists—dubbed disease cowboys—who search for the cause when unknown diseases break out in remote locales.

Ian Buller, a CU-Boulder senior majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology, has his sights set on being one of these daring “disease cowboys” and to specialize in disease ecology, specifically identifying and studying disease emergence and designing control programs.

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