A close up of a tick held in a pair of forceps, with Kevin Esvelt’s face out of focus in the background.
CRISPR Gene Drives and the Future of Evolution
Hannah Thomasy, PhD | Mar 15, 2024 | 10+ min read
Genetic engineering pioneer Kevin Esvelt’s work highlights biotechnology’s immense potential for good—but also for catastrophe.
front view of a green grasshopper with a white and orange face.
Why Do Male Organisms Exist?
Hannah Thomasy, PhD | Mar 1, 2024 | 2 min read
Some species of lizards, grasshoppers, and crustaceans have adopted a ladies-only lifestyle.
The Scientist Speaks Podcast – Episode 6
The Scientist | 1 min read
A Game of Cancer and Evolution
Yeast Made to Harvest Light Hint at Evolution’s Past
Kamal Nahas, PhD | Feb 21, 2024 | 6 min read
Scientists transferred light-harvesting proteins into yeast for the first time, shining a light on the past lives of eukaryotic cells.
Photographic rendering of Woolly Mammoth and elephant with background elements merging together
Measuring Mammoth Mutations
Hannah Thomasy, PhD | Dec 1, 2023 | 2 min read
Comparing mammoth and elephant genomes revealed genetic mutations that may have helped mammoths survive in the Arctic.
Digital illustration of a brain, constructed by tiny dots and lines. Most dots and lines are teal-colored; others are green, yellow, red, and purple to denote areas of activity.
What Was the First Animal to Evolve a Brain?
Ida Emilie Steinmark, PhD | Sep 1, 2023 | 1 min read
In the absence of a precise definition of brain, pinning down its origins is difficult. But scientists have a theory.
The illustration shows floating chromosomes with a Y-shaped chromosome in the foreground.
Closing the Gaps in the Human Genome: Why Y Was the Final Hurdle
Kamal Nahas, PhD | Aug 28, 2023 | 4 min read
For two decades, scientists struggled to fully sequence the Y chromosome. Finally, researchers have mapped its full length thanks to recent advances in sequencing technology.
Image of ancestor with hair all over body
Why Don’t Humans Have Fur?
Mariella Bodemeier Loayza Careaga, PhD | Aug 1, 2023 | 2 min read
Humans are often referred to as “hairless apes.” But how did this trait evolve given that fur provides significant advantages to many mammals?
A monogenean flatworm
Ecologists Use Museum Specimens to Dig into the Parasitic Past
Ian Rose | Mar 1, 2023 | 4 min read
New techniques to quantify what lived in and on preserved animals throw light on how parasite abundance has changed over time.
Infographic showing the process of tail regeneration in tadpoles
Infographic: How Tadpoles Use Glucose to Fuel Tail Regrowth
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Mar 1, 2023 | 1 min read
Unlike other fast-growing cells, regenerating tadpole cells fuel growth using the pentose phosphate pathway rather than glycolysis, a study indicates.
a trio of infant mice, two brown mice on the ends and one white mouse in the middle
Mice Pass Epigenetic Tweaks to Pups
Katherine Irving | Feb 17, 2023 | 5 min read
An engineered methylation pattern persisted for four generations of mice, demonstrating transgenerational epigenetic inheritance can occur in mammals.
A green and white fish swimming underwater
Rockfish Genes Hold Clues to Human Longevity
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Jan 12, 2023 | 3 min read
By analyzing the genomes of 23 remarkably long-lived fish species, a study found two metabolic pathways associated with longevity.
Artist’s rendering of a reflective metallic DNA double helix.
Humans Are Still Evolving Thanks to Microgenes
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Jan 4, 2023 | 3 min read
A study sheds light on the tiny genes that have evolved in human genomes since we split from our mammalian ancestors.
A Cape ground squirrel sits upright on its hind legs, holding its forelimbs up to its face.
Animals Are Shape-Shifting in Response to a Warming World
Andy Carstens | Jan 3, 2023 | 10 min read
Forced to respond to a climate that’s changing faster than it ever has, it remains unclear whether species’ adaptations can keep pace.
A fossilized mammoth tusk sitting in a grassy field during sunset 
Woolly Mammoth Genomes Reveal Genetic Adaptations to Cold
Hannah Thomasy, PhD | Dec 12, 2022 | 2 min read
Researchers identified mutations in genes that may be involved in fat regulation, fur growth, and morphology.
<em >Lymantria&nbsp;</em>species make ultrasonic, mechanical rasping noises when they hear bats nearby.&nbsp;
Many Moths Speak Up to Ward Off Bats
Connor Lynch | Dec 1, 2022 | 5 min read
A decade-long, multicontinent study suggests that acoustic defense strategies are more common among moths than previously imagined.
Brown-red ants climb over a pile of white translucent larvae and orange pupae. Some use their mandibles to position the larvae.
Ant Pupae Feed Adults, Larvae with Secreted Liquid 
Viviane Callier | Nov 30, 2022 | 4 min read
The molting fluid of ant pupae functions as “metabolic currency” in the ant colony and may have enabled the evolution of eusociality. 
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
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Nov 30, 2022 | 10+ min read
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 brown and gray Daubenton&rsquo;s bat in midair, flying in the general direction of the camera with wings outstretched and mouth open.
Duplicated Gene Helps Bats Survive “Arms Race” With Viruses
Dan Robitzski | Nov 23, 2022 | 5 min read
Bats are known for staying healthy even while harboring viral infections. Now, research sheds light on how their unusual immune system evolved.
Orange and blue spring with steam rising&nbsp;
Archaea Sport Structures that Shuttle Genes Among Microbes
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Nov 16, 2022 | 3 min read
Researchers find so-called integrons, previously known only in bacteria, in their distantly related microbial relatives.