Biology

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Thinking outside the box of fossils

During the time of Darwin, anthropogeny was the study of human origins. Its sub-discipline paleoanthropology has since taken over, which focuses on fossils found in dry parts of Africa. These fossils don’t tell us much about why or where humans actually evolved.

Abandoned cropland helps make Europe cooler

As nations prepare to mitigate climate change, decision makers need to understand how land use fits into the climate equation. A new study looked at land use changes over two decades and found a major shift from cropland to forests.  That change made western Europe cooler.

WITH VIDEO

Following sea trout minute by minute

Sea trout populations have declined sharply. Researchers have studied the life of sea trout by means of acoustic telemetry tags and listening stations. Now they know more about what we need to do to protect the sea trout population.

Your plane travel destroys polar bear habitat

A group of polar bear researchers wants you to do more than worry about the fate of these beautiful animals. They’ve calculated how much summer sea ice is melted per metric tonne of CO2 emissions. Then you can decide if the flight you’re planning to take is worth destroying polar bear habitat.

Gaming their way to sustainable development

Researchers wanted to involve local people living around Kenya and Tanzania’s Serengeti-Mara parks in developing a sustainable future for them and the parks. They developed a board game to get people talking to the researchers — and to each other. That game has now won an international award.

WITH PHOTO COLLECTION

Svalbard reindeer populations rebounding from centuries of hunting

As reindeer go, the animals living on Svalbard might not be Santa’s first choice. They’re a smaller subspecies of their common mainland relatives, and to save energy they basically never run. But because they were nearly exterminated from Svalbard around 1900 — and were then protected in 1925 — the animals provide unique insights into how conservation can help species thrive.

Moose: like having wild livestock in the woods

Moose prefer to browse on deciduous trees. Then conifers take over and affect the species diversity in the forest. One researcher contends that Norwegian wildlife management is not good enough to address what happens in the wake of these large herbivores.

Six years into the ice — and beyond

The Arctic’s once impenetrable ice cap is melting away, with profound consequences for everything from ocean circulation patterns to fish numbers and diversity. The Nansen Legacy Project, including NTNU biologists, chemists and engineers, is working to better understand what these changes mean for the Barents Sea and the Arctic Basin

How cancer breaks down your muscles

A solid tumour can cause muscle cells in the body to self-destruct. Many cancer patients die from the consequences. Now researchers are discovering more about how cancer cells in a tumour can take control of muscle cell wasting and trigger a chronic, serious condition.

Conflicting consequences of climate change for Arctic geese

Climate change is the big wild card when it comes to the survival of many Arctic species. A new study shows that climate change will be both good and bad for Svalbard barnacle geese populations — although the balance may tip depending upon the severity of future temperature increases and how other species react.

seaweed

Seaweed and kelp are more than food

Algae cultivation is popular, but good uses for the raw material are still lacking. Researchers in Norway are set to do something about this, with the goal of fully using this resource.

$180 million to go toward mapping world’s species

We can’t take care of the Earth’s species unless we know what species exist. A collaborative project that will help us know more is being launched in Trondheim during The Big Challenge science festival.

Planting the seeds for a bioliterate tropical country

Ecologist Daniel H. Janzen has spent virtually all of his half-century career trying to catalogue and understand the creatures in a patch of dry tropical forest in northwestern Costa Rica. Little did he realize his efforts would evolve into building a sea-to-summit conservation area — and a drive to inventory all million species in the country in partnership with the Costa Rican government.

How you can help the insect world

Many insect species are struggling. But all of us can help them, whether we live in an apartment or in a house with a garden.

Reindeer adapt to climate change by eating seaweed

The arctic archipelago of Svalbard is already experiencing dramatic effects from climate change. A new study shows how these changes can force wild reindeer to graze on seaweed, a strategy that increases their likelihood of survival— and is recorded in their poop.

When the extreme becomes the norm: Svalbard reindeer cope with dramatic climate change

Climate change is increasing the likelihood of extreme winter rain events in the Arctic. These kinds of winter storms on Norway’s Svalbard archipelago can cause a thick cap of ice to cover the forage that reindeer eat. You’d think that more frequent rain-on-snow events would spell the end for these arctic animals — but you’d be wrong.