Photograph of drought land due to climate change
An Earthy-Smelling Substance, 1964
Lisa Winter | Nov 1, 2021
How the pungent odor that occurs after a light rain became a well-studied phenomenon
Illustration showing how seagull chicks know when predators are lurking
Infographic: Animal Embryos Coopt Sound to Survive and Thrive
Amanda Heidt | Nov 1, 2021
Across the tree of life, animals use sound and other vibrations to glean valuable sensory information about their environments even before they are born.
Photograph looking up a tree trunk
Contrary to Common Belief, Some Older Trees Make Fewer Seeds
Annie Melchor | Nov 1, 2021
An analysis of more than half a million trees reveals that many species begin to taper off seed production once they hit a certain size.
Conceptual image of an embryo with sound waves
Embryonic Eavesdropping: How Animals Hear and Respond to Sound
Amanda Heidt | Nov 1, 2021
Recent findings buck the traditional idea that embryos are passive agents and instead suggest that by tuning into vibrations, organisms can better prepare to enter the outside world.
Several tadpoles in clear eggs
Slideshow: How Animal Embryos Eavesdrop on the Outside World
Amanda Heidt | Nov 1, 2021
Watch and listen to reptiles, amphibians, insects, and birds respond to sound from inside their eggs.
Dongsha Atoll in the South China Sea
Ubiquitous Little Earthworms Might Have Got Around on Driftwood
Annie Melchor | Nov 1, 2021
Researchers also tried placing the worms on pigeons as part of a study aiming to uncover how the tiny invertebrates ended up all around the world.
Colorized satellite image of milky sea
Milky Seas Can Be Spotted from Space
Connor Lynch | Nov 1, 2021
Analysis of data from a new satellite sensor helps researchers detect large patches of bioluminescence in the oceans faster than ever before.
view from below of hundreds of silver sardines swimming in the same direction
Famous South African Sardine Run Doesn’t Benefit Sardines: Study
Alex Billow | Oct 19, 2021
An analysis suggests that a commercially important mass migration of fish may have no real adaptive value.
dead fish piled in boxes along a pier, with a boat and snowy mountains in the background
Fish Poop a Big Player in Ocean Carbon Sequestration
Katarina Zimmer | Oct 8, 2021
A modeling study estimates that by drastically reducing fish biomass over the past century, industrial fishing may be affecting ocean chemistry, nutrient fluxes, and carbon cycling as much as climate change.
snails and algae on a rock
Warm-Water Species Remain 5 Years Post-Heatwave
Erica Nielsen, Sam Walkes | Oct 7, 2021
Five years after largest marine heatwave on record hit northern California coast, many warm-water species have stuck around.
Photograph showing plastic waste polluting the beach
Book Excerpt from Thicker Than Water
Erica Cirino | Oct 1, 2021
In Chapter 5, "Pick Up the Pieces," author Erica Cirino investigates the potential health risks of the small plastic particles that permeate the planet.
Problem plastic bottles and microplastics floating in the open ocean
Opinion: Plastic Pollution May Endanger Brains
Erica Cirino | Oct 1, 2021
Plastic waste pervades every ecosystem on Earth and is likely affecting neurobiology as well.
close-up of a mosquito on human skin
West Nile Virus and Climate Change: It’s Complicated
David Adam | Sep 28, 2021
Warmer temperatures are likely to increase the prevalence of the mosquito-borne disease in many places, but not all.
brown and white calf stares straight into the camera with a surprised look
Potty Party: Researchers Show Young Cows Can Be Toilet-Trained
Annie Melchor | Sep 14, 2021
Ethologist Jan Langbein and his team trained the cattle as a way to keep solid and liquid cattle waste separate—with the goal of reducing ammonia emissions coming from livestock.
two people in scrubs in front of downed trees
Louisiana Scientists Are Still Reeling from Ida
Emma Yasinski | Sep 14, 2021
Some Louisiana research centers lost samples and reagents, and with power only just now being restored, there’s a long road ahead to full recovery.
woman in mask on balcony looks at smoky landscape
How Wildfire Smoke Raises Infectious Disease Risk
Amanda Heidt | Sep 8, 2021
As fires blanket growing swathes of the West, scientists are beginning to understand more about how their smoke affects the transmission and severity of COVID-19 and other illnesses, and how it differs from that of other types of air pollution.
satellite image of hurricane
Researchers in Ida’s Destructive Path Brace for Disruptions
Amanda Heidt, Annie Melchor | Aug 30, 2021
The storm, which made landfall over the weekend as a Category 4 hurricane and has since weakened, forced the evacuation of multiple Louisiana campuses.
sea snake swimming in blue water
Sea Snake “Attacks” Are Cases of Mistaken Identity: Study
Christie Wilcox | Aug 19, 2021
The Scientist spoke to marine biologist Tim Lynch, who dusted off 25-year-old data from his PhD to figure out why olive sea snakes approach divers so often. He says the animals, especially the males, likely confuse people for potential mates.
Forest fire wildfire at night time on the mountain with big smoke in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Global Temperatures to Top Paris Agreement Limit by 2060: Report
Annie Melchor | Aug 9, 2021
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says some changes are already irreversible, and warns of even more dire ramifications if global carbon emissions aren’t reduced immediately.