Kevin Wheeler

Kevin Wheeler

Reporter, Life Sciences and Physical Sciences

Kevin Wheeler, based in Peekskill, NY, covers Life Sciences and Physical Sciences for The Academic Times. Prior to that, Kevin wrote for Audubon Magazine, USA Today and KUT Public Media in Austin, Texas. He won the William J. Rowley Award for journalistic writing at the University at Albany. He graduated from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY in 2018.

A human-monkey embryo has been created using stem cells. (Ivan D. Gromicho)
A human-monkey embryo has been created using stem cells. (Ivan D. Gromicho) Chinese researchers have successfully created chimeric embryos by combining human stem cells and monkey blastocysts, a groundbreaking advance with both practical and ethical implications for the future of medicine.

One species of oyster seems to be shrugging off ocean acidification. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)
One species of oyster seems to be shrugging off ocean acidification. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)Ocean acidification is a threat to shell-making organisms across the seas, but one species of oyster may provide a unique exception to this rule.

Microplastics can be found anywhere. Even in road dust. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky)
Microplastics can be found anywhere. Even in road dust. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky)A new study examined how microplastics enter the atmosphere and found that roads are their most significant vector in the western U.S., highlighting a need for better waste management and less reliance on single-use plastics.

Everyone loves a ripe peach in the summer ... but how about a super peach? (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Everyone loves a ripe peach in the summer ... but how about a super peach? (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)A genomic analysis of 263 wild and domesticated peach varieties has revealed the molecular mechanisms behind environmental adaptations in the beloved summertime snack, opening up the possibility for easier production of hardier, tastier fruit.

Older, larger gorillas have chest thumps that reflect their stature. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
Older, larger gorillas have chest thumps that reflect their stature. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)The sound of a mountain gorilla's chest beat is strongly correlated with the primate's size, suggesting that the well-known behavior likely signals useful information about physical prowess to rivals and potential mates alike.

Overtraining can do real damage to the body. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Overtraining can do real damage to the body. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)Frequent, intense training cripples mitochondrial function and reduces glucose tolerance, resulting in poorer performance and possibly illness, according to a new study examining the cellular mechanism behind fatigue, soreness and a host of other ills familiar to professional and amateur athletes alike.

This fish-oil-based polyurethane may help clear the way for greener plastics.
This fish-oil-based polyurethane may help clear the way for greener plastics.Canadian chemists have invented a way to turn fish oil into a cleaner form of polyurethane — one that doesn't stink — which they hope will help open up a viable market for safer, more environmentally friendly plastics.

Thinning sea ice is going to make life tougher for polar bears (and their cubs). (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
Thinning sea ice is going to make life tougher for polar bears (and their cubs). (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)A unique group of migrating polar bears will face added pressures as the world warms, according to a new analysis of satellite data suggesting that shrinking ice coverage will force the top predators to travel farther for food, ultimately leading to higher mortality.

We have an asteroid to thank for today's rainforests. (Pixabay/Kanenori)
We have an asteroid to thank for today's rainforests. (Pixabay/Kanenori)The enormous celestial body that rammed into Earth some 66 million years ago didn't just wipe out all non-avian dinosaurs; it also triggered long-term change that completely transformed the evolutionary and ecological trajectory of tropical rainforests.

Unprocessed meat in small portions doesn't seem to have deleterious health effects. (Unsplash/Jose Ignacio Porripe)
Unprocessed meat in small portions doesn't seem to have deleterious health effects. (Unsplash/Jose Ignacio Porripe)To eat meat, or not to eat meat: That is a question scientists and omnivores have grappled with for decades, and will contend with for years to come amid increasing consumption. But a new study, the most wide-ranging of its kind, claims that meat can in fact be part of a healthy diet — with two major caveats.

A medium-sized black hole could give big clues about how they form. (NASA/Chandra X-ray Observatory/M.Weiss via AP)
A medium-sized black hole could give big clues about how they form. (NASA/Chandra X-ray Observatory/M.Weiss via AP)Astronomers have detected an elusive, little-described kind of black hole that isn't supermassive, nor is it of the smaller stellar variety. It's more like a medium, or intermediate black hole, and its discovery could help answer questions about the origins and growth of larger ones.

An acidifying ocean affects fish hearing. (Craig Radford, University of Auckland)
An acidifying ocean affects fish hearing. (Craig Radford, University of Auckland)New Zealand and Australian researchers have now shown that an acidifying ocean can harm low-frequency hearing in fish, a troubling finding as the oceans are becoming more acidic, faster than at any other time in geological history.