Features

Hybrid Animals Are Not Nature’s Misfits
Hybrid Animals Are Not Nature’s Misfits
Ashley Yeager | May 1, 2021
In the 20th century, animals such as mules and ligers that had parents of different species were considered biological flukes, but genetic sequencing is beginning to unravel the critical role of hybridization in evolution.
Can Single Cells Learn?
Can Single Cells Learn?
Catherine Offord | May 1, 2021
A controversial idea from the mid-20th century is attracting renewed attention from researchers developing theories for how cognition arises with or without a brain.

Editorial

Depoliticizing Science
Depoliticizing Science
Depoliticizing Science
Politicians should of course consider and respect the latest research findings in crafting policy, but elected officials should honor the scientific method by letting its practitioners hash out the details of the science.

Speaking of Science

Ten Minute Sabbatical
Ten Minute Sabbatical
Ten Minute Sabbatical
Take a break from the bench to puzzle and peruse.

Critic at Large

Opinion: Science Advocacy in the Post-Trump Era
Opinion: Science Advocacy in the Post-Trump Era
Opinion: Science Advocacy in the Post-Trump Era
The election of Donald Trump brought about a sea change in activism among researchers. How will the movement change now that Trump is out of office?

Notebook

Sponge Names for Sale, Proceeds to go to Conservation Efforts
Sponge Names for Sale, Proceeds to go to Conservation Efforts
Sponge Names for Sale, Proceeds to go to Conservation Efforts
A tidy-up of a New Zealand storage room led to the sale of naming rights for three new-to-science Galápagos Islands species.
Pain Researcher Quits Academia, Takes Lab Home with Him
Pain Researcher Quits Academia, Takes Lab Home with Him
Pain Researcher Quits Academia, Takes Lab Home with Him
After resigning from the University of New England last year, Geoffrey Bove continues to study the effects of massage on rats in a facility he set up in his house.

Modus Operandi

Sewage Sampling Robots Speed SARS-CoV-2 Detection
Sewage Sampling Robots Speed SARS-CoV-2 Detection
Sewage Sampling Robots Speed SARS-CoV-2 Detection
An automated wastewater monitoring technique could enable researchers to predict outbreaks of the virus up to a week in advance.

The Literature

Aphid Salivary Gene May Regulate Gall Color
Aphid Salivary Gene May Regulate Gall Color
Aphid Salivary Gene May Regulate Gall Color
Whether the galls that aphids make on witch hazel leaves are red or green is associated with a gene expressed in the insects’ salivary glands.
When Pursuing Prey, Bats Tune Out the World
When Pursuing Prey, Bats Tune Out the World
When Pursuing Prey, Bats Tune Out the World
As they close in for the kill, the flying mammals use quieter echolocation to focus on the chase.

Scientist To Watch

Amanda Tokash-Peters Links the Microbiome to Ecology
Amanda Tokash-Peters Links the Microbiome to Ecology
Amanda Tokash-Peters Links the Microbiome to Ecology
The Centenary University professor studies the far-reaching effects of changes in the gut bacteria of mosquitos and other species.

Careers

Pandemic Accelerates Trend Toward Remote Clinical Trials
Pandemic Accelerates Trend Toward Remote Clinical Trials
Pandemic Accelerates Trend Toward Remote Clinical Trials
Now more than ever before, recruiting patients for a research study doesn’t have to mean getting them to leave their homes.

Reading Frames

Opinion: Western Canada Must Stop Clearcutting Its “Mother” Trees
Opinion: Western Canada Must Stop Clearcutting Its “Mother” Trees
Opinion: Western Canada Must Stop Clearcutting Its “Mother” Trees
Feeding the world’s insatiable appetite for wood products is sacrificing the future of a crucial ecosystem.

Foundations

Stamping Out Science, 1948
Stamping Out Science, 1948
Stamping Out Science, 1948
Trofim Lysenko’s attacks on geneticists had long-term effects on Russian science and scientists, despite a lack of evidence to support his beliefs about biological inheritance.

Infographics

Infographic: Animals of Different Species Hybridize
Infographic: Animals of Different Species Hybridize
Infographic: Animals of Different Species Hybridize
The offspring of crosses between related species can sometimes fill a new environmental niche, and such hybridizations may even lead to speciation.
Infographic: Investigating Whether Single Cells Learn
Infographic: Investigating Whether Single Cells Learn
Infographic: Investigating Whether Single Cells Learn
Historical and modern experiments have hinted that unicelluar organisms can learn from their experiences, but the idea still has its critics.
Infographic: How to Ferret Out SARS-CoV-2 in Sewage
Infographic: How to Ferret Out SARS-CoV-2 in Sewage
Infographic: How to Ferret Out SARS-CoV-2 in Sewage
Researchers use magnetic nanoparticles and liquid-handling robots in an effort to detect COVID-19 outbreaks early.