Researcher Invents New Field to Study Life Found in Smoke

As flames still burn from another year of disastrous fires, Leda Kobziar (of the University of Idaho) works to grow a new field of study, Pyroaerobiology, that surveys life found in the puffs of smoke emitted from forest fires. Not only bacteria, fungi, and archaea flourish here, but allergens and viruses, too. When the ashen clouds rise and permeate faraway places, so do the things …

Toshihiko Shibuya’s Tiny Art Resembles Blossoming Life

Displayed at a random location within the woods of Tomakomai in Japan, Toshihiko Shibuya’s most recent installation mirrors the emergence of biological life using 1,500 individual, pastel-colored pushpins meant to look like spores. These woods in particular serve as a surreal setting for the work as the trees here cannot root deep enough to sustain growing to great heights. Thus, they fall once they’ve grown …

The Science Behind “Goosebumps”

With Halloween upon us, there’s likely a hair-raising situation waiting to give you goosebumps, chicken skin or make your skin crawl. Those might seem like silly terms, but they all come from the fact that, when we’re scared (or cold), muscles tug at our hair follicles, causing our hair to raise and giving our skin a bumpy texture similar to that of a featherless chicken. …