Zack Fishman

Zack Fishman

Reporter, Life Sciences and Physical Sciences

Zack Fishman, based in Chicago, covers Life Sciences and Physical Sciences for The Academic Times. Previously, Zack received his M.S. in journalism at Northwestern University, specializing in health, environment and science reporting, and his B.S. in engineering physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Northern Arizona University professor Ted Schuur stands near an eddy covariance tower in a tundra landscape near Denali National Park, Alaska, where his research team studied the carbon flow of permafrost. (Thomas Nash)
Northern Arizona University professor Ted Schuur stands near an eddy covariance tower in a tundra landscape near Denali National Park, Alaska, where his research team studied the carbon flow of permafrost. (Thomas Nash)A 15-year study of Alaskan tundra has demonstrated that thawing permafrost is persistently releasing more carbon-based compounds than it absorbs, a historic reversal that is adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and exacerbating the planet's rising temperatures.

A coronal mass ejection blowing out from the sun in June 2015. (NASA/Goddard/SDO)
A coronal mass ejection blowing out from the sun in June 2015. (NASA/Goddard/SDO)By looking for stars that temporarily dim, researchers have spotted 21 instances of plasma being thrown from the stars' outer layers, more than all previous observations of stars besides the sun.

A 2019 image of the Large Magellanic Cloud, the Milky Way Galaxy's largest satellite galaxy, by the European Southern Observatory's VISTA telescope. (ESO/VMC Survey)
A 2019 image of the Large Magellanic Cloud, the Milky Way Galaxy's largest satellite galaxy, by the European Southern Observatory's VISTA telescope. (ESO/VMC Survey)New observations have revealed that as it orbits, the Large Magellanic Cloud is disturbing stars on the outskirts of the Milky Way galaxy, an interaction that can be used to improve galactic models and test theories of gravity and dark matter.

A "net" of seismometers on the moon could detect galactic gravitational waves. (NASA via AP)
A "net" of seismometers on the moon could detect galactic gravitational waves. (NASA via AP)An international collaboration of scientists has developed a blueprint for moon-based seismometers that detect gravitational waves reverberating throughout the celestial body, a design that would pick up frequencies that are out of reach for detectors on Earth.

Illustrations of Gray's beaked whales; a female is depicted on top and a male on bottom. (Mark Camm)
Illustrations of Gray's beaked whales; a female is depicted on top and a male on bottom. (Mark Camm)A new DNA analysis of stranded Gray's beaked whales, a species rarely observed alive, demonstrated with the highest accuracy yet that the population is large and has high genetic diversity, factors that will help it avoid being threatened by global warming and other ecosystem changes like many other whales are.

A decades-long dispute over something you've likely never heard of has been settled. (University of Stuttgart/Björn Miksch)
A decades-long dispute over something you've likely never heard of has been settled. (University of Stuttgart/Björn Miksch)A fresh experiment on an extreme state of matter has settled nearly 20 years of contradictory results about its ground state in one material, using direct measurements of electron spins unprecedented to the material to advance understanding of an almost five-decade-old physics problem.

Processing speeds might someday shoot through the roof, thanks to "polar vortices." (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
Processing speeds might someday shoot through the roof, thanks to "polar vortices." (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)Physicists and material scientists have created a way to interact with electricity-based "polar vortices" that respond to signals at a rate of nearly 400 billion times per second, a fundamental scientific approach that could someday provide data storage and processing that is more compact and more than 100 times faster than some modern central processing units.

Neurons produced from stem cells are analyzed for G4 structures, which are disruptive configurations of DNA sequences. They are much more prevalent in Alzheimer's disease neurons, according to new research. (University of Montreal/Bernier lab)
Neurons produced from stem cells are analyzed for G4 structures, which are disruptive configurations of DNA sequences. They are much more prevalent in Alzheimer's disease neurons, according to new research. (University of Montreal/Bernier lab)Canadian biologists showed that neurons afflicted with Alzheimer's disease develop disruptive G-quadruplex structures in their DNA — and the researchers found a gene that prevents that.

Plants and groundwater move more carbon into the ocean than previously thought. (Unsplash/Joel Vodell)
Plants and groundwater move more carbon into the ocean than previously thought. (Unsplash/Joel Vodell)Coastal vegetation and groundwater flows facilitate the transfer of at least 500 million metric tons of carbon into the ocean each year, according to new scientific modeling that expands their known importance in keeping planet-warming carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

A false-color image of Nili Vossae, a site on Mars where layers of faults and troughs contain rare evidence of ancient water on the red planet. (NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)
A false-color image of Nili Vossae, a site on Mars where layers of faults and troughs contain rare evidence of ancient water on the red planet. (NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)A valley-like region on Mars hosted plenty of mild-temperature surface water and underground geothermal activity nearly 4 billion years ago, making it one of the best places to look for signs of ancient life on the planet, according to new computer modeling based on minerals found there.

A polar bear eating common eider eggs from a nest on Mitivik Island, Canada. (University of Windsor/Predictive Ecology Lab)
A polar bear eating common eider eggs from a nest on Mitivik Island, Canada. (University of Windsor/Predictive Ecology Lab)Driven from Arctic sea ice earlier because of global warming, polar bears hunted for duck eggs on land but did so with less-than-optimal movement and awareness of resource scarcity, according to a new study, raising questions on their ability to adapt to living off the ice.

A model of the Starship Enterprise from the TV series Star Trek. The ship was capable of traveling at "warp speed," which was faster than the speed of light. (Shutterstock/Rob Lavers)
A model of the Starship Enterprise from the TV series Star Trek. The ship was capable of traveling at "warp speed," which was faster than the speed of light. (Shutterstock/Rob Lavers)A physicist has crafted what he says is the first theoretical propulsion system that can move faster than the speed of light without the need of inaccessible negative energy. The design faces ongoing questions from other researchers but represents a significant improvement from preceding attempts.