On the Air: July 12, 2020

Researchers have given pacemakers to moon jellyfish. That makes the jellyfish swim faster. And in the future, similar devices may allow scientists to control the jellyfish -- turning them into deep-sea explorers.

For the jellyfish experiment, scientists placed a tiny probe in the bells of moon jellyfish. These creatures are found in oceans all over the world, from the tropics to much colder regions. They’re big -- the size of a dinnerplate or bigger. And you can see right through them.

In Print: July 1, 2020

Many people are familiar with the annual growth rings in tree trunks. Most fishes have similar features in their bodies; their bones have alternating bands of dark and translucent tissue that indicate the passage of time. But the skeleton of a shark is made of cartilage, not bone. It turns out that vertebrae of whale sharks have rings like those in fish bones and tree trunks. How long does it take for a new “ring” to grow in whale shark vertebrae? Thanks to the atomic bomb, scientists determined that it takes about one year.