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A black-and-white photo of a person’s hands holding a black-and-white barred chicken. The feathers of its breast have been pulled back to reveal a large tumor.
Transmissible Tumors, 1909
Pathologist Peyton Rous made a groundbreaking discovery in the early 20th century, but his work wasn’t widely recognized until more than 40 years later. 
Transmissible Tumors, 1909
Transmissible Tumors, 1909

Pathologist Peyton Rous made a groundbreaking discovery in the early 20th century, but his work wasn’t widely recognized until more than 40 years later. 

Pathologist Peyton Rous made a groundbreaking discovery in the early 20th century, but his work wasn’t widely recognized until more than 40 years later. 

chickens
A dead northern gannet (Morus bassanus) on a beach
Unprecedented Avian Flu Epidemic Could Presage Year-Round Outbreaks
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Oct 4, 2022 | 2 min read
Nearly 50 million birds have been culled amid efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus, which continues to ravage the Northern Hemisphere.
A rooster crowing in a tree
Domesticated Chickens Were Initially Friends, Not Food
Amanda Heidt | Jun 7, 2022 | 4 min read
Analyses of bones found across the world suggest that the birds entered human settlements more recently than previously thought. But they don’t seem to have immediately made their way to the table, raising questions as to why people started keeping them.
Chickens in front of brown mesh coops
Bird Flu Hits US Hard
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Apr 8, 2022 | 3 min read
So far this season, tens of millions of birds have died of disease or been culled, driving up prices of eggs, chicken, and turkey meat.
indoor chicken farm
Avian Flu Case Numbers Soar in Europe
Chloe Tenn | Jan 7, 2022 | 6 min read
The Scientist spoke with the UK’s chief veterinary officer, Christine Middlemiss, about this winter’s high bird flu prevalence, the effects of the disease, and efforts to combat it.
Caudipteryx Dinosaur Flock stock photo
Paleontologists Find Possible Dinosaur DNA
Chloe Tenn | Oct 26, 2021 | 3 min read
A report of preserved fragments of nuclei and chromatin in a fossilized femur of a 125-million-year-old Caudipteryx dinosaur elicits skepticism.
Image of the Day: Wonderchicken
Amy Schleunes | Mar 20, 2020 | 1 min read
A newly discovered fossilized skull is between 66.8 million and 66.7 million years old and bears similarities to modern-day chickens and ducks.
Image of the Day: Eggshell Edifice
The Scientist Staff and The Scientist Staff | Apr 6, 2018 | 1 min read
A new 3-D model plumbs the molecular intricacies of eggshell composition.
Image of the Day: Stretchy Chicken Skin
The Scientist Staff | Aug 25, 2017 | 1 min read
In a developing chicken embryo, skin cells pull on each other, forming multicellular mounds that eventually turn into properly-spaced feathers.
Imperfect Poultry Vax
Amanda B. Keener | Jul 27, 2015 | 2 min read
Chickens immunized against Marek’s disease virus are apt to spread more-virulent versions of the pathogen, a study shows.
Counting Chicks?
Jenny Rood | Jan 30, 2015 | 1 min read
Like humans, baby birds visualize increasing numbers from left to right, a study suggests.
Behavior Brief
Rina Shaikh-Lesko | Apr 28, 2014 | 4 min read
A round-up of recent discoveries in behavior research
Pharma Firms Comply with New Antibiotics Rules
Rina Shaikh-Lesko | Mar 31, 2014 | 1 min read
Most drug manufacturers agree to follow the Food and Drug Administration’s new labeling guidelines for antibiotics used in farm animals.
Why Many Birds Don’t Have Penises
Kate Yandell | Jun 7, 2013 | 2 min read
In avian species, a gene induces programmed cell death during development in the area where a phallus would otherwise grow.
H7N9’s Lineage
Kate Yandell | May 2, 2013 | 2 min read
An analysis of the novel virus indicates it’s descended from at least four different bird flu strains.
Characterizing H7N9
Kate Yandell | Apr 26, 2013 | 6 min read
What scientists are learning about the zoonotic flu virus that has infected more than 100 people in China since February
Prenatal Stress Ages Offspring
Tia Ghose | Nov 9, 2011 | 3 min read
High stress during fetal development could  cause premature aging, according to a study in chickens, which published today (November 9) in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 
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