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Behind the Porpoise's Echolocation

Magnus Wahlberg, Meike Linnenschmidt, Peter Madsen, Danuta Wisniewska, Lee Miller

2015-01WahlbergF1.jpgClick to Enlarge ImageAnimals see the world differently than humans through the use of additional senses. One such sense is called biological sonar. Biological sonar is when an animal releases a series of clicks not audible to humans and listens for the click’s echoes to return. Porpoises are one of two animals that use biological sonar to sense and navigate through its environment; the only other animal known for this is bats.

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Compounds Treat Substance Abuse and Parkinson's Disease

Katie L. Burke, Katie-Leigh Corder

CarrollPodcastF. Ivy Carroll is a distinguished fellow for medicinal chemistry at the Research Triangle Institute, where he is the director of their Center for Organic and Medicinal Chemistry. Carroll has spent more than 30 years studying potential treatments for substance abuse. Among them are two compounds, RTI-336 and JDTic, that he and colleagues studied as potential treatments for cocaine abuse, as well as a potential diagnostic agent for Parkinson’s disease, called Iodine-123 RTI-55.

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From Biology to Military History: Patterns in Animal Weaponry

Katie-Leigh Corder, Katie L. Burke, Sandra J. Ackerman

EmlenBookCoverWhat are the parallels between an ancient war ship and a dung beetle? More than you would think, actually! Douglas J. Emlen, PhD, a professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Montana, has a unique perspective on animal weaponry.

When he started to examine how humans engaged in warfare throughout time, Dr. Emlen discovered a consistent pattern that connects all the way back to animal weaponry. The pattern is so striking that he has made it the focus of his new book, Animal Weaponry: The Evolution of Battle.

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Through the Theoretical Glass

Katie L. Burke

2013-09Charbonneau

It’s difficult to envision what dimensions beyond 3D are, and why physicists, chemists, and mathematicians want to study them. Duke University chemist Patrick Charbonneau studies the theory behind the formation of glass, tackling questions about an area of research called the glass problem. His research has helped progress this field to a new paradigm. American Scientist associate editor Katie L. Burke interviewed him in September 2013.

Photo credit: Les Todd/Duke Photography.

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Revealing the Logic Behind Candy Crush

Katie-Leigh Corder, Fenella Saunders, Toby Walsh

2014-11WalshF2.jpgClick to Enlarge Image In this animation, Candy Crush is turned into a model electrical circuit, which can be used to structure the equivalent of a logic puzzle. Besides justifying Candy Crush addictions, this information could be used to harness the player power of this game for bigger concerns, including computer security. Watch the behind-the-scenes movements and how it is truly a logic puzzle.

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Hydrangea Colors: It’s All in the Soil

Katie-Leigh Corder, Fenella Saunders, Henry Schreiber

The Hydrangea macrophylla (big-leafed hydrangea) plant is the only known plant that can 'detect' the pH level in HydrangeaAnimationsurrounding soil!

One of the world’s most popular ornamental flowers, it conceals a bouquet of biological and biochemical surprises.  The iconic “snowball” shaped hydrangea blooms are a common staple of backyard gardens.

Hydrangea colors ultimately depend on the availability of aluminum ions(Al3+) within the soil.

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Citizen Scientists Aid Researchers in Studying Camel Crickets

Katie-Leigh Corder

MJEpps CricketsThey may bounce really high and look strange, but don't worry, they are harmless...they even scavenge for crumbs off of your floor! A continental-scale citizen science campaign was launched in order to study the spread and frequency of native and nonnative camel crickets in human homes across North America.

Mary Jane Epps, PhD, an author of the paper, went into more detail about the study and significance of citizen scientists in an interview with Katie-Leigh Corder, web managing editor.

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The Relaunch of an Ocean Workhorse

Heather Olins, Fenella Saunders

Alvin Sub

Happy Birthday to Alvin! August 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Alvin, the submersible that has been so influential in ocean research, including the discovery of hydrothermal vents. In 2014, a retrofitted Alvin also took its first test cruise.

Heather Olins, a doctoral candidate at Harvard, studies microbial ecology at deep sea hydrothermal vents with the help of Alvin, and shares her personal tribute to the submersible on these landmark occasions.

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Latest Multimedia

EmlenBookCover

VIDEO: From Biology to Military History: Patterns in Animal Weaponry

What are the parallels between an ancient war ship and a dung beetle? More than you would think, actually! Douglas J. Emlen, PhD, has a unique perspective on animal weaponry that looks at patterns in military history.

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