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image: Pigeons Can Switch Tasks More Quickly than Humans

Pigeons Can Switch Tasks More Quickly than Humans

By Jef Akst | September 27, 2017

The birds’ ability to multitask may be attributable to a more densely packed cerebral cortex, scientists propose.

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image: Water Level in a Cell Can Determine Its Fate

Water Level in a Cell Can Determine Its Fate

By Kerry Grens | September 27, 2017

Adding or removing water changes how stem cells differentiate.

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image: Nerve Stimulation Revives Consciousness from Vegetative State

Nerve Stimulation Revives Consciousness from Vegetative State

By Shawna Williams | September 25, 2017

Low-intensity activation of the vagus nerve appears to have increased a patient’s awareness of his surroundings after 15 years without communication.

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image: Sexual Touch Promotes Early Puberty

Sexual Touch Promotes Early Puberty

By Ruth Williams | September 21, 2017

The brains and bodies of young female rats can be accelerated into puberty by the presence of an older male or by stimulation of the genitals.

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image: How Poison Frogs Avoid Poisoning Themselves

How Poison Frogs Avoid Poisoning Themselves

By Abby Olena | September 21, 2017

Amphibians resist their own chemical defenses with amino acid modifications in the sequence for a target receptor.

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image: The Cellular Hallmarks of Consciousness

The Cellular Hallmarks of Consciousness

By Anna Azvolinsky | September 21, 2017

Recording from single neurons of epilepsy patients, neuroscientists show that both the strength and timing of neuronal firing are important to consciously perceive a visual object. 

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image: CRISPR Used in Human Embryos to Probe Gene Function

CRISPR Used in Human Embryos to Probe Gene Function

By Ashley P. Taylor | September 20, 2017

OCT4 is necessary for blastocyst formation in the human embryo, researchers report.

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image: Second Chance for Lost Galapagos Tortoises?

Second Chance for Lost Galapagos Tortoises?

By Bob Grant | September 14, 2017

Researchers are trying to recreate an extinct species of the lumbering reptiles by breeding closely related species that contain traces of the lost lineage’s DNA.

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image: Infection During Pregnancy Tied to Autism in Mouse Model

Infection During Pregnancy Tied to Autism in Mouse Model

By Kerry Grens | September 13, 2017

Bacterial strains in mice’s gut microbiomes mediated their pups’ risk for developing abnormal behaviors.

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A study of a simple marine animal suggests that the common ancestor of cnidarians and bilaterians may have had three germ layers instead of two.

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