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Jesslyn Shields

Jesslyn Shields is a freelance science writer working out of Athens, Georgia. She writes about brand new research for HowStuffWorks. Since 2010, Jesslyn's written science news and content for educational videos, because she loves to always have something new to yammer on about at parties. You can find her online at www.jesslynshields.com

Recent Contributions

What Are Terpenes and Can They Benefit Your Health?

Terpenes are the aromatic organic compounds found in nature that give us many of our favorite fragrances. They are also known to have surprising health benefits.

Tapir: The Ancient Fruitarian With the Tiny Trunk

The protection of these strange looking, ancient animals, and creatures like them, may be a key component in helping a planet in climate catastrophe.

Esters Give Your Beer That Weird, Tangy Taste You Like

There's some serious chemistry behind the flavor in your favorite brew and esters are the compounds responsible for it.

The Venn Diagram: How Overlapping Figures Can Illustrate Relationships

Venn diagrams are an easy way to simplify information and visualize relationships between concepts or sets of data.

Pikas Are the Pikachus of the Wild

Pikas are little mammals that, though they may look like rodents, are more closely related to rabbits.

5 Sweet and Healthy Uses for Honey

Honey has been used as medicine for millennia and, in this century, the old remedies seem to be holding up to science.

Derechos Are Thunderstorms on Steroids

This unusual storm called a derecho can be as frightening as a hurricane or a tornado and can travel hundreds of miles sowing destruction in its path.

Aardwolf: Aaarvark? Wolf? Nope, It's a Tiny Hyena

Aardwolves aren't closely related to either aardvarks or wolves, but these little hyenas resemble both in some ways.

The Luna Moth Is Beautiful and Common — But Rarely Seen

While luna moths aren't exactly rare, they're hard to find so every encounter seems extra special.

What Is Boyle's Law and Why Do I Already Know It?

Boyle's Law describes the relationship between pressure and the volume of a container with gas in it. As the volume of the container decreases, the pressure inside the container increases.

The Toucan Is Far More Than the Froot Loops Mascot

Generations of cereal eaters grew up sharing the breakfast table with Toucan Sam, famous for following his long, colorful nose — but what's that bill for besides hawking cereal?

The Andean Condor: 100 Miles, 5 Hours, 0 Flaps of Its Wings

The energy efficiency of the Andean condor is the avian embodiment of the phrase "work smarter, not harder."

Lemmings Jumping Off Cliffs En Masse Is a Myth

Lemmings don't commit mass suicide as is popularly believed, but they are aggressive and have even been known to charge larger predators.

Electronegativity Is Like an Atomic Tug-of-War

Electrons are attracted to some atoms more than others. If two atoms are of equal strength, the electrons will be equally shared. If one atom is stronger, the electrons will be pulled in that atom's direction.

Swordfish Are the Natural-born Gladiators of the Sea

The swordfish's nose might look crazy weird, but these gladiators of the sea are perfectly outfitted for ocean battle.

The Golgi Apparatus Acts Like a Mail Room for Eukaryotic Cells

The Golgi apparatus is the mail room of the cell, packaging up proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum and sending them to their final destinations.

'Veni, Vidi, Vici' Is Not a Humble Brag at All

"I came, I saw, I conquered" encapsulates Julius Caesar's entire approach to ruling.

What Does the Endoplasmic Reticulum Do?

The part of your cells that helps you recover from a hangover is shaped like a maze of tubes and is made of two parts — the rough endoplasmic reticulum and the smooth endoplasmic reticulum.

Honeyguide Birds Lead Humans Straight to Beehives

A remarkable partnership has formed over centuries between honeyguide birds and humans — and both species benefit when the honey is found and the comb is cracked.

Commensalism: I Benefit, You Don't, but It's All Good

Commensalism is a form of cooperation among species in which one species benefits from another without the first one suffering any harm from the relationship.

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