Unriddling the Chromosome

It was a mystery: how does the chromosome replicate itself precisely during repeated cell divisions without degrading over time? Structures called telomeres (the "caps" on chromosome ends) seemed to provide some clues, but their exact function was poorly understood. The solution to the puzzle, which molecular biologist Carol Greider explained to Big Think this week, won her a share of this year's Nobel Prize in Medicine.


Greider also revealed the latest directions her research has taken and the profound impact her work may soon have on cancer and anti-aging therapies. She even shared a few thoughts on one of her fellow 2009 Nobel laureates, Barack Obama. Greider's interview will be posted later this month.

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Keep reading Show less

We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal

The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.

Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA
Surprising Science

A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.

Keep reading Show less

New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
Keep reading Show less