Any real estate agent will tell you, when you look for a place to live...it's location, location, location. We all like to make a home in a nice, livable neighborhood. But what makes a neighborhood livable? Some extremely small organisms can live in some extremely nasty places.
Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, our Astrobiology series continues with a look at the extreme environments some microbial life calls home.
We'll also spend an academic minute with science fiction that's not quite fiction any more.
In a recent commentary, I raised the question of whether the United States is losing its global competitiveness in the area of scientific research. And yet, despite the fact that major reductions have been made in our research infrastructure and productivity due to cuts arising from sequestration and over a decade of federal research budgets which have not exceeded inflation, I was startled to learn that “only 38% of Americans feel science [research] is getting too little funding” (reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education article, “Strapped,” February 28, 2014). Why isn’t the message getting out? Why do so few Americans see the risk in falling behind in areas of research critical to understanding disease processes, to addressing environmental issues, to developing alternative energy, and on and on?
The Latin name myotonia congenita might not mean much to you, but you've likely seen them in action.
Dr. Phillip Sponenberg, professor of pathology and genetics at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, fills us in on one of the internet's favorite animal oddities: the fainting goat.