Natural Sciences

Mystery radiation ring around the Earth catches scientists by surprise

With the flip of a switch, a pair of instruments designed and built by the University of Colorado Boulder and flying onboard twin NASA space probes have forced the revision of a 50-year-old theory about the structure of the radiation belts that wrap around the Earth just a few thousand miles above our heads.

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.

Two CU-Boulder professors named 2013 Leopold Leadership Fellows

Two CU-Boulder environmental researchers -- Kevin J. Krizek and Maxwell Boykoff -- have been named Leopold Leadership Fellows for 2013 in recognition of their outstanding leadership abilities and desire to communicate scientific issues beyond academic audiences.

Frog lessons: More biodiversity equals less disease

Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have been on a frog hunt.

They’ve spent three years scouring hundreds of California ponds in search of amphibians with mangled, grotesque deformities. Sometimes, the frogs have misshapen legs. Sometimes, they have extra sets of legs sprouting where they don’t belong. And sometimes, they have no legs at all.

By cataloging the deformed frogs — and the toads, newts and salamanders that share their homes — the researchers have made an important discovery: more diversity equals fewer deformations.

Can plants be altruistic? You bet, says new CU-Boulder-led study

We’ve all heard examples of animal altruism: Dogs caring for orphaned kittens, chimps sharing food or dolphins nudging injured mates to the surface. Now, a study led by the University of Colorado Boulder suggests some plants are altruistic too.

Deep ice cores show past Greenland warm period may be ‘road map’ for continued warming of planet

A new study by an international team of scientists analyzing ice cores from the Greenland ice sheet going back in time more than 100,000 years indicates the last interglacial period may be a good analog for where the planet is headed in terms of increasing greenhouse gases and rising temperatures.

Physicists' research creates 'recipe book' for new materials

By showing that tiny particles injected into a liquid crystal medium adhere to existing mathematical theorems, physicists at the University of Colorado Boulder have opened the door for the creation of a host of new materials with properties that do not exist in nature.

Dated as old as the dinosaurs

An analysis of mineral grains from the bottom of the western Grand Canyon indicates it was largely carved out by about 70 million years ago -- a time when dinosaurs may have even peeked over the rim, says a study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.

2001-02 drought helped to shift Rocky Mountain pine beetle outbreak into epidemic

A new University of Colorado Boulder study shows for the first time that episodes of reduced precipitation in the southern Rocky Mountains, especially during the 2001-02 drought, greatly accelerated development of the mountain pine beetle epidemic.

High-altitude research at CU-Boulder demands dedication, athleticism

A special kind of high-altitude athleticism is needed to work in Colorado's most extreme environments. For CU-Boulder scientists like ecology & evolutionary biology (EBIO) graduate student Courtney Naff, it's an inspiring place to push the boundaries of body and mind. This is an extended version of the story first broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.

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