Inside the natural history museums of the world are billions of animal and plant specimens from birds, fish and beetles to flowers, mushrooms and grasses, all stacked, stored and preserved in jars and collection drawers.
The rich and diverse collections could be critical to understanding how the Earth’s biodiversity is changing in the face of a growing human footprint — if only the information were easily accessible.
When the raw egg plummeted to the playground hardtop at Creekside Elementary School in Boulder, falling exactly 36 inches, the shell shattered and the gooey insides oozed out. The 18 kindergartners looking on were rivited.
A few minutes later, a second egg — this one wrapped in a “helmet” of taped-together bubble wrap and dropped from exactly the same height — fared much better, escaping with its shell still intact.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.