Horseshoe crabs are drained for their blue blood. That practice will soon be over.

The blood of horseshoe crabs is harvested on a massive scale in order to retrieve a cell critical to medical research. However, recent innovations might make this practice obsolete.

Credit: Business Insider (video)
  • Horseshoe crabs' blue blood is so valuable that a quart of it can be sold for $15,000.
  • This is because it contains a molecule that is crucial to the medical research community.
  • Today, however, new innovations have resulted in a synthetic substitute that may end the practice of farming horseshoe crabs for their blood.
Keep reading Show less

Every step you take, you're likely walking on a world of unseen and undescribed microbial diversity. And you don't need to head out into nature to find these usually unnoticed microscopic organisms.

Keep reading Show less

Disney builds massive solar facility to cut emissions in half by 2020

Disney, one of world's largest entertainment companies, doubles down on its environmental plan.

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Company
  • Disney is taking the lead in reducing greenhouse emissions at its facilities.
  • The company built a giant solar panel installation to power its Florida resort.
  • Disney plans to cut emissions by 50 percent by the year 2020.
Keep reading Show less

The culprit in millions of bat deaths since 2006? A 'vampire' fungus.

White-nose syndrome is nearly as lethal to bats as the Black Plague was for humans.

Photo by Igam Ogam on Unsplash
  • White-nose syndrome has killed at least 6.7 million bats, though this estimate was made in 2012, and the current figure is almost certainly much higher.
  • Bats serve a crucial role in our ecosystem and economy, and white-nose syndrome is already pushing many species to the brink of extinction.
  • Researchers and scientists are working hard to develop novel methods to cure white-nose syndrome; a few methods have shown promise, but none have yet been deployed in the field.
Keep reading Show less
  • Researchers appear to have found a neural basis for "cute aggression."
  • Cute aggression is what happens when you say something like, 'It's so cute I want to crush it!'
  • But it's also a complex response that likely serves to regulate strong emotions and allow caretaking of the young to occur.
Keep reading Show less