The Conversation

Zebra's stripes are a no fly zone for flies

  • Written by Tim Caro, Professor of Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Ecology, University of California, Davis
Scientific testing has zeroed in on the advantages of a zebra's striped coat.Tim Caro, CC BY-ND

Zebras are famous for their contrasting black and white stripes – but until very recently no one really knew why they sport their unusual striped pattern. It’s a question that’s been discussed as far back as 150 years ago by great...

Read more: Zebra's stripes are a no fly zone for flies

Theodore McCarrick will continue to be a Catholic priest

  • Written by Mathew Schmalz, Associate Professor of Religion, College of the Holy Cross
Theodore McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington D.C., prays during the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2011.AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File

The Vatican recently “defrocked” Theodore McCarrick, a former cardinal and the retired archbishop of Washington D.C. McCarrick was found guilty of a number of crimes including...

Read more: Theodore McCarrick will continue to be a Catholic priest

US sanctions on Venezuelan oil could cut the output of refineries at home

  • Written by Eric Smith, Director of the Energy Institute and Professor of Practice, Tulane University
Louisiana's refineries require the kind of oil Venezuela produces to operate properly.AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

U.S. sanctions against Venezuela’s state-owned oil and gas company, along with some government officials and executives, are intended to put pressure on the government headed by Nicolás Maduro.

As the interim director of the Tula...

Read more: US sanctions on Venezuelan oil could cut the output of refineries at home

How to keep conservation policies from backfiring in a globally connected world

  • Written by Andrew Frederick Johnson, Visiting Scientist, San Diego State University
A worker marks timber logs at a concession area in Sarawak, Malaysia. Rainforest logging in Asia feeds much of the world's thirst for timber. AP Photo/Vincent Thian

For many years environmentalists have urged the public to “think globally, act locally” – meaning, consider the health of the planet, then take action in your own...

Read more: How to keep conservation policies from backfiring in a globally connected world

Paid family leave is an investment in public health, not a handout

  • Written by Darby Saxbe, Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Protected time for new families could pay health dividends later.Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Most Americans – on both sides of the political aislesay they supportpaid parental leave. However, we haven’t yet found the political will to make it happen. In part, that’s because the discussion always seems to start with the...

Read more: Paid family leave is an investment in public health, not a handout

One-party rule in 49 state legislatures reflects flaws in democratic process

  • Written by Nancy Martorano Miller, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Dayton
Idaho State Capitol in Boise, Idaho. AP Photo/Kimberlee Kruesi, File

Across the U.S., Republicans control 30 statehouses and the Democrats control 18. That is the largest number of one-party controlled state legislatures since 1914.

Minnesota is currently the only state where there’s not one party in control of the state legislature –...

Read more: One-party rule in 49 state legislatures reflects flaws in democratic process

Iraq's brutal crackdown on suspected Islamic State supporters could trigger civil war

  • Written by Eric Keels, Research Associate at One Earth Future Foundation & Research Fellow at the Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy, University of Tennessee
Family members of Sunni men and boys in Iraq accused of supporting ISIS hold up pictures of their arrested relatives. AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo

Large portions of the Islamic State in Iraq have been either killed, captured or forced underground over the past three years.

Eleven years after the U.S. invasion toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, triggering...

Read more: Iraq's brutal crackdown on suspected Islamic State supporters could trigger civil war

Hundreds of genes linked to blindness could lead to new therapies

  • Written by Ala Moshiri, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, University of California, Davis
The cause of many inherited eye diseases are a mystery.Milos Batinic/Shutterstock.com

Inherited diseases of the eye account for at least 2 million cases of blindness worldwide. A few hundred genes that cause eye disease have been identified, but in many cases the cause is unknown because not all eye disease genes have been identified.

As a result,...

Read more: Hundreds of genes linked to blindness could lead to new therapies

Why US cities are becoming more dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians

  • Written by John Rennie Short, Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Cycling advocates set up 'ghost bikes,' like this one in Brooklyn, in memory of bikers killed in traffic.Nick Gray, CC BY-SA

As cities strive to improve the quality of life for their residents, many are working to promote walking and biking. Such policies make sense, since they can, in the long run, lead to less traffic, cleaner air and healthier...

Read more: Why US cities are becoming more dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians

Don't be fooled by fake images and videos online

  • Written by Hany Farid, Professor of Computer Science, Dartmouth College
Nope, not a real news report from Hurricane Irma.Snopes

One month before the 2016 U.S. presidential election, an “Access Hollywood” recording of Donald Trump was released in which he was heard lewdly talking about women. The then-candidate and his campaign apologized and dismissed the remarks as harmless.

At the time, the authenticity...

Read more: Don't be fooled by fake images and videos online

More Articles ...

  1. African-American women with HIV often overlooked, under-supported
  2. Stories of African-American women aging with HIV: 'My life wasn’t what I hoped it to be'
  3. US-China trade talks: Will the Chinese keep promises to stop bad behavior?
  4. Why a centuries-old religious dispute over Ukraine's Orthodox Church matters today
  5. How old is too old to drive?
  6. The death penalty, an American tradition on the decline
  7. How smallpox devastated the Aztecs – and helped Spain conquer an American civilization 500 years ago
  8. Charter schools exploit lucrative loophole that would be easy to close
  9. Trump may seek more punishment of Cuba
  10. Indict or shut up: The public may never see a report from Mueller's investigation
  11. The survivors of clergy sexual abuse who finally pushed the Vatican to recognize the problem
  12. Virginia politics: The uneasy marriage of new liberalism and historic racism
  13. Must the president be a moral leader?
  14. A brief history of presidential lethargy
  15. Senate vote could end US complicity in the Saudi-led genocide in Yemen that spans Obama, Trump administrations
  16. Senate vote could end US complicity in the Saudi-led genocide in Yemen
  17. Can Congress or the courts reverse Trump's national emergency?
  18. Why Maduro is blocking Venezuela-bound humanitarian aid when so many people in his country need it
  19. What Green New Deal advocates can learn from the 2009 economic stimulus act
  20. Striking teachers in Denver shut down performance bonuses – here's how that will impact education
  21. Protecting human heritage on the moon: Don't let 'one small step' become one giant mistake
  22. How white became the color of suffrage
  23. An editor and his newspaper helped build white supremacy in Georgia
  24. How far should organizations be able to go to defend against cyberattacks?
  25. Adolescents have a fundamental need to contribute
  26. How slavery's lingering stain on the US Constitution spoils Elizabeth Warren's wealth tax proposal – for now
  27. Why the $22 trillion national debt doesn't matter – here's what you should worry about instead
  28. Just what are 'zero tolerance' policies – and are they still common in America's schools?
  29. How energy efficiency delivers green dividends in red and blue states
  30. Why blackface?
  31. Why it's so difficult for scientists to predict the next outbreak of a dangerous disease
  32. To end the HIV epidemic, addressing poverty and inequities one of most important treatments
  33. A secure relationship with passwords means not being attached to how you pick them
  34. This trait could be key to a lasting romance
  35. Who’s stronger? An immunological battle of the sexes
  36. Think you love your Valentine? What's beneath the surface may be more complicated
  37. Parkland shooting: One year later, Congress still avoids action on gun control
  38. Is love losing its soul in the digital age?
  39. Why Trump failed to convince North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, and how he can do better at the next summit
  40. Satellites reveal a new view of Earth’s water from space
  41. Why the pope's upcoming summit needs to do a full accounting of the cover-up of sexual abuse
  42. How urban agriculture can improve food security in US cities
  43. Ivanka and her tower of crumbs
  44. Immigration: How ancient Rome dealt with the Barbarians at the gate
  45. Confusing and high bills for cancer patients add to anxiety and suffering
  46. New diagnostic test for malaria uses spit, not blood
  47. Time for a Manhattan Project on Alzheimer’s
  48. Drinkers prefer Big Beer keeps its hands off their local craft brews
  49. Russian influence operations extend into Egypt
  50. Sex robots are here, but laws aren't keeping up with the ethical and privacy issues they raise