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A lobed leaf next to a rounded leaf, both from the same Boquila trifoliolata vine
Can Plants See? In the Wake of a Controversial Study, the Answer’s Still Unclear
A tiny pilot study found that so-called chameleon vines mimicked plastic leaves, but experts say poor study design and conflicts of interest undermine the report.
Can Plants See? In the Wake of a Controversial Study, the Answer’s Still Unclear
Can Plants See? In the Wake of a Controversial Study, the Answer’s Still Unclear

A tiny pilot study found that so-called chameleon vines mimicked plastic leaves, but experts say poor study design and conflicts of interest undermine the report.

A tiny pilot study found that so-called chameleon vines mimicked plastic leaves, but experts say poor study design and conflicts of interest undermine the report.

citizen science
Giant manta ray swimming
Science Snapshot: Giant Manta Ray Sanctuary
Lisa Winter | May 20, 2022 | 2 min read
Tourist photos help identify endangered manta rays and highlight the efficacy of recovery efforts at Komodo National Park.
Specialized Leaves Keep This Plant’s Fruit Warm
Shawna Williams | Feb 1, 2021 | 4 min read
A volunteer nature guide teamed up with researchers to discover a unique reproductive role for one vine’s leaves.
A Citizen Scientist Makes Her Mark in Microbiome Research
Amy Schleunes | Jun 1, 2020 | 5 min read
The BioCollective, a company that transforms whole stool samples into microbial metadata, is developing the US’s first national microbiome reference material.
Scientists Use Online Game to Research COVID-19 Treatment
Emma Yasinski | Mar 9, 2020 | 3 min read
The creativity of citizen scientists could help researchers design proteins that may be able to fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
RNA design game video artificial intelligence create structure change sequence
Image of the Day: Design Challenge
Chia-Yi Hou | Jul 9, 2019 | 1 min read
An online video game helps researchers create strategies for creating RNA.
smalleye stingray marine ocean biology animal wildlife largest photo id identification migration long distance
Image of the Day: Photo ID
Chia-Yi Hou | Jun 27, 2019 | 1 min read
Marine biologists identify smalleye stingrays using the white spots on their backs.
Researchers Aim to Reestablish an Ancient Fish in an Ohio River
Shawna Williams | Jan 1, 2019 | 5 min read
The sturgeon restoration study’s outcome won’t be known for decades.
Image of the Day: Suckers
The Scientist Staff and The Scientist Staff | Apr 10, 2018 | 1 min read
A recently expanded online database allows researchers and the public to share and view videos of sea lampreys.
A Snake Species Not Seen Alive for 64 Years Appears in Brazil
Ignacio Amigo | Jun 1, 2017 | 4 min read
Locals helped researchers find the extremely rare boa.
Birders Break North American Record
Kerry Grens | Oct 1, 2016 | 4 min read
A nude birder and an Australian zoo owner are competing to set the new bar for the number of species spotted in a single year.
Extreme Birding
The Scientist Staff | Sep 30, 2016 | 1 min read
Oregonian Noah Strycker broke the world Big Year birding record when he saw his 4,342nd species of the calendar year in 2015.
Butterflies in Peril
Bob Grant | Aug 12, 2015 | 2 min read
Several recent studies point to serious—and mysterious—declines in butterfly numbers across the globe.
Bats Make a Comeback
Molly Sharlach | Dec 22, 2014 | 1 min read
Citizen-scientist data obtained through the U.K.’s National Bat Monitoring Programme show that populations of 10 bat species have stabilized or are growing.
Extra Eyeballs on the Eye
Rina Shaikh-Lesko | May 6, 2014 | 1 min read
A legion of citizen-scientist gamers helps a team of researchers explain a long-standing riddle of how the retina processes motion.
Gamers Solve RNA Structures
Abby Olena, PhD | Jan 28, 2014 | 2 min read
An online competition gives citizen scientists a chance to design RNA molecules to generate a target structure.
Waiting in the Wings
Erin Weeks | Dec 1, 2013 | 4 min read
A century’s worth of collected butterflies shed light on how climate change threatens the survival of early-emerging species.
Don’t Fear DIYbio
Jef Akst | Nov 19, 2013 | 2 min read
Biological tinkerers are not the risk that some have made them out to be, according to a new report.
Science on Lockdown
Dan Cossins | Jul 1, 2013 | 4 min read
A forest ecologist comes down from the canopy to bring science to the masses, forming a series of improbable collaborations with prisoners.
Research Behind Bars
Dan Cossins | Jun 30, 2013 | 1 min read
Ecologist Nalini Nadkarni advances forest conservation and science advocacy by enlisting the help of prisoners.
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