What is the point in having a nervous system?
Can some animals really exist without a nervous system? Trichoplax, an animal that evolved about a billion years ago, might give us an answer.
OPINION: The EU as a whole has committed to ensure that 32% of its energy consumption comes from renewable sources by 2030 but individual targets for member states towards this goal are not binding. Still, there are other ways for the EU to ensure compliance by member states.
Around the year 1900, the third plague pandemic raged. This paved the way for several major changes in society and interacted with developments that were already underway. Perhaps this will also be the case with the present crisis, a history researcher writes.
Quinoa is exceptionally nutritious and robust – it even withstands extreme conditions of drought and salinity. A large new research project wants to uncover the mechanism that makes quinoa so resilient. This is meant to create the basis for future improvement of this unique plant.
COMMENT: It is nice when complex things can be reduced to something simpler. But sometimes you lose more than you gain – such as, for example, when scientific studies are violently shoehorned into two simple boxes: ‘significant’ and ‘nonsignificant’.
The H-index is an attempt at measuring the productivity and impact of researchers. This is an illustration of the universities’ shift from trusting researchers towards micromanagement, efficiency and competition.
American researchers have given concrete estimates as to what extent physical activity is able to reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer. The goal is that doctors will one day prescribe physical activity to patients the same way as they do regular medication. However, Danish researchers are more hesitant.
COMMENT: Private companies and public sectors collect our data every day and minute. In a democratic society, we need to teach children to become critically aware and understand how data processing and digital technologies really work.
Seagrass plants have an excellent capacity for taking up and storing carbon in the oxygen-depleted seabed, where it decomposes much slower than on land. This oxygen-free sediment traps the carbon in the dead plant material which may then remain buried for hundreds of years.
The letter is signed by more than 650 academics from a number of research fields in Denmark. They are calling for universities to lead by example, and implement climate friendly policies in the workplace in the hope of inspiring change in other sectors.
For the past two years, scientists from the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland have skied across the Greenland ice sheet to see how much snow is accumulating. Their data will ultimately improve projections of sea level rise.
A new study shows that the dramatic upheaval and population decline known as the Late Medieval Crisis began much earlier than previously thought. Thanks to the use of felling dates from old construction timber a new picture emerges of past demographic changes in Europe.