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Rather than getting a gene for its original function, a horizontal gene transfer provides the raw material for evolutionary innovation.

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Authors of a new study suggest that 520-million-year-old structures, previously identified as the brains of ancient arthropods, are instead preserved microbial biofilms.

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image: Frogs Fight Back From Fungal Attack

Frogs Fight Back From Fungal Attack

By Ruth Williams | March 29, 2018

A decade after chytridiomycosis killed scores of amphibians in Panama, some species are recovering. New research indicates why.  

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image: Bees’ Molecular Responses to Neonicotinoids Determined

Bees’ Molecular Responses to Neonicotinoids Determined

By Catherine Offord | March 22, 2018

Researchers pinpoint a protein that can metabolize at least one of the insecticides, highlighting a route to identifying compounds that are friendlier to the critical pollinators.

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image: Monitoring Mutations with Microfluidics

Monitoring Mutations with Microfluidics

By Ruth Williams | March 15, 2018

A device dubbed the “mother machine” enables real-time observation of mutagenesis in single bacterial cells.  

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The elimination of the biting pests was an added bonus after researchers unleashed a rat-eradication endeavor on the tiny islands.  

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image: Rising Temperatures and the Elimination of Male Turtles

Rising Temperatures and the Elimination of Male Turtles

By Ruth Williams | January 10, 2018

The near-complete feminization of northern Great Barrier Reef sea turtles has been blamed on climate change.

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image: Hibernating Rodents Feel Less Cold

Hibernating Rodents Feel Less Cold

By Abby Olena | December 19, 2017

Syrian hamsters and thirteen-lined ground squirrels are tolerant of chilly temperatures, thanks to amino acid changes in a cold-responsive ion channel. 

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image: The Weird Growth Strategy of Earth’s First Trees

The Weird Growth Strategy of Earth’s First Trees

By Shawna Williams | October 24, 2017

Ancient fossils reveal how woodless trees got so big: by continuously ripping apart their xylem and knitting it back together.

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image: Germany Sees Drastic Decrease in Insects

Germany Sees Drastic Decrease in Insects

By Anna Azvolinsky | October 18, 2017

A 27-year-long study finds insect biomass has declined by about 75 percent. 

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