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.

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.

A dreaded pest is part plant. (New Hampshire Extension Office)
A dreaded pest is part plant. (New Hampshire Extension Office)The whitefly is an invasive pest that farmers worldwide rue for its resilience and ability to devastate crops, and scientists can now say where the insect has one major advantage: Genetically, it is part plant.

Do magnetic fields that hold the universe together exist? An answer might be close. (Unsplash/Tengyart)
Do magnetic fields that hold the universe together exist? An answer might be close. (Unsplash/Tengyart)About half of the relatively small portion of the universe that is not dark matter or energy is in fact a mixture of gases that may connect galaxies in a kind of a loose cosmic web, according to new research illuminating vast areas of the universe that were previously unknown.

A drug taken during pregnancy might be causing cancer later in life. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
A drug taken during pregnancy might be causing cancer later in life. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)A drug given to pregnant women in the mid-20th century may be partly to blame for rising cancer rates in younger adults, a new preliminary study suggests. And the same drug, administered later in pregnancy, is currently the only one available in the U.S. to prevent preterm births in women who previously experienced one.

Blood thinners might have a benefit beyond preventing heart attacks. (AP Photo/Christina Paolucci)
Blood thinners might have a benefit beyond preventing heart attacks. (AP Photo/Christina Paolucci)Anticoagulant drugs may not only prevent blood clots in cancer patients — they may also help prevent the spread of tumors, according to the first in vivo experiment of its kind.

Strange swimming patterns seem to cross species. (Takashi Iwata, Shiomi Kozue, Kagari Aoki, Mark Royer, Tomoko Narazaki)
Strange swimming patterns seem to cross species. (Takashi Iwata, Shiomi Kozue, Kagari Aoki, Mark Royer, Tomoko Narazaki)At any given moment, a sea turtle is probably swimming in a constant, hypnotic circle somewhere in the ocean — and so are a king penguin, a tiger shark and a Cuvier's beaked whale, among a number of other species.

Solar arrays floating on lakes can interfere with its ecosystem. (AP Image/Susan Montoya Brian)
Solar arrays floating on lakes can interfere with its ecosystem. (AP Image/Susan Montoya Brian)Many countries are generating renewable energy using floating solar arrays, but by shielding the surface of bodies of water from solar radiation and wind, the technology could disrupt aquatic ecosystems, with mixed implications for flora and fauna.

An extinct Haitian bird has a puzzling family tree. (Unsplash/Rural Explorer)
An extinct Haitian bird has a puzzling family tree. (Unsplash/Rural Explorer)When it comes to identifying birds, DNA always beats binoculars and field guides.

New technology may help stop one of the leading toxins poisoning the world's water. (Ashok Gadgil)
New technology may help stop one of the leading toxins poisoning the world's water. (Ashok Gadgil)Difficult to remove and highly carcinogenic, arsenic is one of the most common water contaminants around the world, with millions of people drinking it every day. But that number may start to drop as newer, cheaper purification technology emerges — and U.S. researchers have invented one method that could make an impact in developing countries, especially.