Blue Whales - Sri Lanka April 2012
The Evolutionary Shaping of Modern Whales
Connor Lynch | Oct 3, 2022
A survey of more than 200 whale skulls has unveiled bursts of evolution over the past 50 million years.
Illustration of blue and gray amino acids loosely forming protein
Fungal Cold Adaptation Linked to Protein Structure Changes: Study
Patience Asanga | Sep 20, 2022
Environmental pressure seems to spawn changes in the intrinsically disordered regions of enzymes in polar yeasts, allowing them to adapt to extreme cold.
The Scientist Speaks Podcast – Episode 6
The Scientist Creative Services Team
A Game of Cancer and Evolution
Illustration of pink and blue DNA molecules.
Historic Adaptations May Now Make Us Susceptible to Disease
Dan Robitzski | Sep 16, 2022
Researchers made the find using an algorithm that purportedly distinguishes between mutations that were selected for and those that came along for the ride by coincidence, a feat that has long eluded scientists.
Drawing of fish with internal anatomy.
Researchers Visualize Heart From 380-Million-Year-Old Fish
Natalia Mesa | Sep 15, 2022
A team of researchers in Australia have imaged fossilized soft organs of early jawed vertebrates for the first time, finding that our ancient fish ancestors’ hearts, livers, and stomachs are strikingly similar to ours.
A California coyote above Santa Monica beach
Human Gut Bacteria Show Up in Urban Wildlife
Bianca Nogrady | Sep 12, 2022
The gut microbiomes of city-dwelling animals, including coyotes, lizards, and birds, show similarities to those found in humans who also live in urban environments.
Illustration of a human and Neanderthal skull side by side.
Mutation Linked to Difference Between Human and Neanderthal Brains
Dan Robitzski | Sep 9, 2022
A single amino acid substitution in a protein causes increased neuron production in the frontal lobes of humans compared to Neanderthals—a tiny difference that could have given our species a cognitive edge, researchers say.
Two donkeys interacting at the Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark
Science Snapshot: Pin the Domestication on the Donkey
Lisa Winter | Sep 8, 2022
A genomic analysis reveals that humans domesticated donkeys more than 7,000 years ago.
Brown coral in shallow water branching upward with blue fish in front. 
Corals Upend Longstanding Idea About Genetic Inheritance
Natalia Mesa | Sep 1, 2022
Most animals can’t pass on mutations that arise spontaneously throughout their lives—but Elkhorn corals can.
Karyotype with most chromosomes in blue, one in red and green. 
Researchers Fuse Mouse Chromosomes in Scientific First
Natalia Mesa | Aug 25, 2022
The findings will likely help elucidate the effects of chromosome fusions, which can cause disease but have also contributed to evolution.
Various primate 
Science Snapshot: An Arm and A Leg
Lisa Winter | Aug 24, 2022
3D modeling of 7 million-year-old hominin bones hints at bipedality occurring earlier than previously thought.
Green frog in trees with green leaves
For Frogs, Bigger Brains Mean Worse Camouflage
Natalia Mesa | Aug 23, 2022
Frogs invest in cognitive capacity to avoid predators—up until there are too many hungry snakes around for the evolutionary strategy to pay off.
A black dog with tearful eyes looks at the camera
Dogs Cry Tears of Joy: Study
Christie Wilcox | Aug 22, 2022
Pet dogs produce a larger volume of tears when they are reunited with their owners than with acquaintances, possibly because of surging oxytocin levels—findings that could be the first evidence of emotional crying in nonhuman animals.
Elderly African man smiling
Famed “Turkana Boy” Discoverer Kamoya Kimeu Dies
Lisa Winter | Aug 19, 2022
The paleoanthropologist was widely celebrated for his unmatched ability to find and identify fossils.
Woman with buns and blue sweater chewing gum, smiling, and stretching it out of her mouth.
The Energetic Cost of Chewing May Have Shaped Hominin Evolution
Natalia Mesa | Aug 17, 2022
The simple act of chewing gum can raise the body’s metabolic rate by as much as 15 percent, a study finds.
Ferns bounced back much faster than other plants after the meteor impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.
Why Did Ferns Persist When All Other Plants Perished?
Amanda Heidt | Aug 15, 2022
A strange layer in the fossil record contains evidence that fern populations exploded following the mass extinction that ended the Cretaceous period. Scientists want to know why.
Woman and baby chimpanzee face to face, as if they were talking to each other
Could a Less Complex Larynx Have Enabled Speech in Humans?
Alejandra Manjarrez | Aug 11, 2022
A paper argues that the evolutionary loss of a thin vocal membrane in the larynx may have facilitated oral communication.  
Artist&rsquo;s rendition of multiple <em>Neisseria gonorrhoeae</em>, the bacteria that causes gonorrhea, depicted as two spheres stuck together, each covered in tendrils.
Gonorrhea-Blocking Mutation Also Protects Against Alzheimer’s: Study
Holly Barker | Aug 5, 2022
Research traces the evolution of a gene variant that reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, finding that it originally evolved in response to infectious bacteria.
Close up of ant mandible
Science Snapshot: The Need for Speed
Viviane Callier | Aug 4, 2022
Understanding the biomechanics of the trap-jaw ant could help humans build better, faster robots.
Male common fruit fly (Drosophila Melanogaster) - about 2 mm long - sitting on a blade of grass with green foliage background
The Sex Appeal of Symmetric Songs
Mary Bates | Aug 1, 2022
Female fruit flies assess the physical symmetry of male suitors through the songs they sing, a study claims.