Fruit fly on cactus leaf
Fruit Flies Evolve in Time with the Seasons: Study
Researchers find that evolution can operate on extraordinarily fast timescales.
Fruit Flies Evolve in Time with the Seasons: Study
Fruit Flies Evolve in Time with the Seasons: Study

Researchers find that evolution can operate on extraordinarily fast timescales.

Researchers find that evolution can operate on extraordinarily fast timescales.

ABOVE: © iStock.com, IMNATURE
biological invasions, evolution
A bright, illuminated, yellow cluster of spheres, representing a mutated base pair, stands out from a double helix of deep red base pairs joined by blue hydrogen bonds
Study: Sickle Cell Mutation Driven by Pressure, Not Random Chance
Dan Robitzski | Mar 17, 2022
New research finds that the appearance of the HbS mutation, which protects against malaria but leads to sickle cell disease when present in two copies, was more common in sperm samples from men in Ghana, where malaria risk is high, than Europeans.
Drawing of white squid-like animal in blue water
Ten-Limbed Octopus Ancestor Described, Named After Biden
Natalia Mesa | Mar 10, 2022
Octopuses were around 82 million years earlier than scientists previously thought—and had two extra limbs at the time.
a microscope image of a rotifer
Bacterial Enzyme Keeps Rotifers’ Transposable Elements in Check
Christie Wilcox | Mar 3, 2022
Jumping genes in bdelloid rotifers are tamped down by DNA methylation performed by an enzyme pilfered from bacteria roughly 60 million years ago, a study finds.
Photo of a Jewel beetle <em>(Sternocera aequisignata)</em>.
Why Are Some Beetles Shiny? It’s Not What Researchers Thought
Connor Lynch | Mar 1, 2022
The glossy shell of some beetles, it has long been speculated, helps hide the insects from predators. A recent paper put the hypothesis to the test—and found it wanting.
An artistic rendering of a dinosaur fleeing a wall of water
Cretaceous Meteor That Killed Most Life on Earth Hit in Spring
Amanda Heidt | Feb 24, 2022
Researchers determined the season during which the meteor struck by studying the bones of fish excavated from a contentious field site.
Sunflowers, in visible spectrum on left half (yellow colors) and UV spectrum on right half (purple and white colors).
Sunflowers’ Bee-Attracting Ultraviolet Also Helps Retain Moisture
Natalia Mesa | Feb 8, 2022
The dual purposes of the plants’ hidden colors may conflict as the climate warms, authors of a new study suggest.
A photo of a skeleton on a black background
Ancient DNA Boom Underlines a Need for Ethical Frameworks
Amanda Heidt | Jan 27, 2022
The field of ancient DNA, which combines archaeology and anthropology with cutting-edge genetics, is requiring scientists to have frank conversations about when research is justified and who it benefits.
A close-up image of pale green seeds inside of a green capsule taken by a scanning electron microscope
Essential Genes Protected from Mutations
Dan Robitzski | Jan 25, 2022
Epigenetic structures appear to reduce the rate of changes in genes essential for survival and reproduction, a study finds, challenging the notion that mutations are evenly distributed throughout the genome prior to selection.
Human DNA abstract dotwork vector illustration made of cloud of colored dots.
Adapting with a Little Help from Jumping Genes
Christie Wilcox | Jan 17, 2022
Long lambasted as junk DNA or genomic parasites, transposable elements turn out to be contributors to adaptation.
Organisms from infographic about transposable elements
Infographic: How Transposable Elements Can Shape Evolution
Christie Wilcox | Jan 17, 2022
The movements of so-called jumping genes can generate the genetic diversity needed to drive evolutionary change in populations over time.  
shrew
Researchers Identify 14 New Shrew Species 
Chloe Tenn | Jan 5, 2022
The discovery, made on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, constitutes an exceptionally high number of new mammals to be described in a single paper.
man in suit
Paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey Dies at Age 77
Chloe Tenn | Jan 3, 2022
The Kenyan fossil finder is known for his discoveries of various Stone Age artifacts and ancient human skulls and skeletons.
school of fish
Making Waves and Avoiding Beaks
Chloe Tenn | Dec 23, 2021
Moving collectively on the water surface could help protect schools of fish from being eaten by predatory birds.
a microscope image of mouse fur
Some Mammals May Use Specialized Hairs to Detect Predators’ Heat
Amanda Heidt | Dec 16, 2021
When observed under a microscope, guard hairs from mice resemble optical sensors used in thermal cameras to detect heat, according to a new study.
A hydrothermal vent spewing hot, mineral-rich fluid
Hydrogen Fueled Life’s Origins: Study
Sophie Fessl | Dec 15, 2021
A thermodynamic analysis of more than 400 chemical reactions that likely took place in the ancestor of all life finds most would spontaneously occur at hydrothermal vents, thanks to the hydrogen these geological formations emit.
A semi-translucent hydra, complete with a body column, head, and multiple tentacles, is pictured in front of a gray background.
How Hydras Regenerate Decapitated Heads
Dan Robitzski | Dec 14, 2021
Hydra vulgaris constantly replenish the cells in their heads and grow new ones to reproduce asexually. But gene expression analyses reveal that regenerating a head after an injury is a very different process.
Reconstruction of an indeterminate theropod running on lacustrine sediments during low water timespan
Car-Sized, Meat-Eating Dinosaur Could Run Faster Than Usain Bolt
Christie Wilcox | Dec 10, 2021
A new analysis of fossil footprints suggests that the 2-meter-tall, 4- to 5-meter-long carnivores that left them could run nearly 45 kilometers per hour, bolstering the evidence that at least some dinosaurs were speedy, agile hunters.
Cranes in flight
Why Migratory Birds Often Have Paler Wings Than Other Birds
Amanda Heidt | Dec 7, 2021
A new study suggests that lighter colors may help these species stay cool on their long journeys, when birds are pushing themselves to their physiological limits.
Multiple purple and pink renditions of stem cells appear as spherical clusters enveloped in translucent bubbles
Mammalian Embryos Might Not Need Primitive Streaks After All
Dan Robitzski | Dec 2, 2021
The primitive streak, a structure that emerges during mammalian and avian gastrulation, might be a byproduct rather than a landmark of the embryonic development process.