Nala Rogers

Science Writer

Washington DC

Nala Rogers


Retired NOAA Scientist Doubles Down on Climate Data Controversy

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Museum drawers go digital

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Biologists ask NSF to reconsider plan to pause collections funding program

Leaders of U.S. natural history collections yesterday asked the National Science Foundation (NSF) to reconsider a recent decision to suspend a key funding program for a year, warning that a “vital resource is at risk.”. Agency officials, however, say the move is part of the agency’s periodic efforts to assess the effectiveness of its spending, and they played down worries that NSF will abandon its support for maintaining collections of both dead and living organisms that are important to biologists and ecologists.
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Vocal ‘fingerprints’ could help nab criminals

On the night George Zimmerman fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, a 911 call captured the sound of someone screaming. An expert for the prosecution testified it was Martin, begging for help in his last moments. But at a pretrial hearing, several scientists said the recording quality was too poor to tell.
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Tissue printer creates lifelike human ear

The outer contours of this freshly printed ear may look complex, but they’re simple compared with the structure inside. The 3D printing system that crafted it, called integrated tissue-organ printer (ITOP), laces the artificial body parts with living cells, according to a study published online today in Nature Biotechnology.
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Four new elements complete the seventh row of the periodic table

That periodic table poster on your wall is about to be out of date, thanks to four new chemical elements that just received official recognition. The newcomers are some of the heaviest ever discovered, with atomic numbers of 113, 115, 117, and 118. They will be named by the researchers who identified them, the final step before the elements take up their rightful places in the seventh row of the periodic table.
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Spiny fish grow into shapes that are hard to swallow

For a fish, one of the surest ways to avoid being eaten is to be bigger than its predator’s mouth. But size can be costly, and many fish make the most of their mass by growing into awkward, spiky shapes that are hard to swallow. Now, researchers have found evidence that the positions of a fish's spine help guide where its body expands over evolutionary time.
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How these island rats survived 75 metric tons of poison

Seventy-five metric tons of poison wasn’t enough to kill every rat on Henderson Island, but it came close, according to a study published today in Royal Society Open Science. Though uninhabited by humans, the 3626 hectares of the South Pacific island are home to several bird species—like the Henderson petrel—that nest nowhere else.
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Brain implant helps quadriplegic play Guitar Hero

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Hair forensics could soon reveal what you look like, where you’ve been

Forensic hair analysis has developed a bad reputation. The technique has relied on traits such as color, thickness, and curvature to link a suspect to a crime scene. But an ongoing reanalysis of old cases by the U.S. Justice Department found that analysts have often overstated their case in the courtroom; several people convicted based on a hair sample were later found to be innocent.
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Video: How hydras split themselves open to eat

Most of the time, the small jellyfishlike creatures know as hydras don’t have mouths as we know them. Instead, when they need to engulf prey, the skin between their tentacles splits open and stretches into a maw that can grow wider than their bodies. Now, researchers have described the mechanics of this process for the first time, thanks to genetically modified hydras and new imaging technology that reveal the boundaries between different types of tissues.
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Study finds first genetic links for gray hair, beard thickness, and unibrows

Ever wonder why your hair goes gray? Researchers have long known that a slowdown in the production of melanin, the pigment that colors hair, is to blame. But they don’t know precisely what starts the slowdown, or how the mechanism varies between populations. Now, in a study that looked at the genomes of more than 6000 people from Latin America, researchers have identified 18 genes that appear to influence hair traits, including the first ever to be associated with graying.
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Nala Rogers

I am a staff writer at Inside Science, where I cover the Earth and Creature beats. I have written for Science, Nature, Scientific American, the University of Utah, and other outlets. In my free time I like to play with wildlife.

Phone: 801-949-2128