Karla Lant is an experienced freelance writer, journalist, editor, and adjunct professor. She focuses on science, technology, politics, education, and technical writing. Browse by publication below.
Females of a critically endangered sawfish species have taken a drastic step toward survival: parthenogenesis, or asexual reproduction. This is the first time that a vertebrate that typically reproduces sexually has been observed engaging in parthenogenesis.
Researchers from the Queensland University of Technology's (QUT) have discovered two new species of marsupials whose sexual practices often kill them off. One is already threatened with extinction thanks to habitat loss, feral pests, and climate change.
Finnish researchers have discovered a link between an increased rate of committing homicide and the use of drugs that affect the central nervous system (CNS). Use of tranquilizing benzodiazepines and painkillers carries the highest association with committing homicide, while there was only a slightly greater risk for users of anti-depressants.
The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in the Republic of Korea has claimed its first two fatalities. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the nation's government officials are working to prevent its spread and cope with the outbreak.
We all know Earth as a blue marble of a planet from space; but even on the Red Planet, you can see vivid blue splotches. On Mars, however, the blue patches aren't oceans. The European Space Agency (ESA) explains that the blue areas we see are created by incredibly strong winds and the way they appear on the planet's craggy surface.
In a recent clinical trial, more than half of the terminal cancer patients participating have experienced significant shrinking of their tumors, and in some cases, their complete disappearance. The new class of immunotherapy drugs appears likely to be a game changer for cancer sufferers. The research was announced at the recent annual conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology where it was described as "spectacular."
Researchers from the Israel Center for Disease Control and the University of Haifa have discovered that breast-fed babies have a reduced risk for childhood leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer. The study, published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics, shows that breast-fed children and teens-who were breast-fed for at least six months-are 19 percent less likely to develop childhood leukemia than their counterparts breast-fed for less than six months.
Researchers from the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics have created their own "blue light special" for mice-but this one helps them recall memories that had been suppressed. Their study, published in the journal Science, also suggests something even more profound: even memories that have been assumed to be lost after traumatic injury to the brain may still exist, and be retrievable.
Pope Francis has now declared that allowing migrants to die at sea is an "attack against life" similar to euthanasia or abortion. This announcement comes as the numbers of migrants and asylum seekers dying in the Mediterranean Sea between Italy and Libya have skyrocketed in the past year-30 times more than during the same months of 2014, almost 1,800 according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
458 people aboard a Yangtze River cruise in bad weather lived out terrifying hours trapped inside the capsized ship Dongfangzhixing, or Eastern Star. At the time of this writing, only 14 have been rescued, and five bodies have been found so far. The ship, within its capacity and sporting appropriate safety equipment, sank so quickly after encountering a cyclone that rescuers worked feverishly to detect the sounds of living victims inside the sunken hull.