close up of yellow and brown striped caterpillar on a strawberry
Genes Shared With Viruses Protect Caterpillars from Parasitic Wasps
A newly identified gene family named “parasitoid killing factor” is found in both insect-infecting viruses and their hosts, although researchers can’t yet tell where they originated.
Genes Shared With Viruses Protect Caterpillars from Parasitic Wasps
Genes Shared With Viruses Protect Caterpillars from Parasitic Wasps

A newly identified gene family named “parasitoid killing factor” is found in both insect-infecting viruses and their hosts, although researchers can’t yet tell where they originated.

A newly identified gene family named “parasitoid killing factor” is found in both insect-infecting viruses and their hosts, although researchers can’t yet tell where they originated.

extinction, evolution, ecology
a micrograph of putative sponge fossils with small tunnel-like structures in white on a black background
890-Million-Year-Old Fossils Are Sponges, Oldest Animals: Study
Abby Olena | Jul 28, 2021
If confirmed, the findings indicate that animals appeared on Earth millions of years earlier than previously believed.
juvenile salmon with parasitic infection
A “Climate Catastrophe”: Western US Salmon on the Brink
Lisa Winter | Jul 27, 2021
A recent sampling from two California streams found nearly all juvenile salmon were infected with deadly parasites, and conditions are expected to worsen.
Photo of newborn mouse pups
Retinal Activity Prepares Blind Newborn Mice for Vision
Ruth Williams | Jul 22, 2021
Spontaneous waves of nerve impulses flowing across the retina help mouse pups practice motion detection for when they eventually open their eyes.
With Video
An Australian water beetle walks on the underside of the water's surface.
Australian Beetles Walk on the Underside of Water’s Surface
Lisa Winter | Jul 15, 2021
Watch one scurry around upside down in a remarkably unusual form of locomotion.
a purple betta with white fins in a tank
My Daughter’s First Pet—the Next Big Model Organism?
Christie Wilcox | Jul 15, 2021
Bettas were likely the first fish welcomed into human homes. Now, scientists are welcoming them into the lab to learn how genes dictate their appearance and behavior.
Microbial Fossils Found in 3.4-Billion-Year-Old Subseafloor Rock
Ruth Williams | Jul 14, 2021
The material, now part of an African mountain range, bolsters the idea that hydrothermal veins supported early forms of life.
Mice Plague Eastern Australia in Record Numbers
Bianca Nogrady | Jul 12, 2021
A population explosion that began late last year has yet to abate. Meanwhile, researchers are exploring novel approaches to combat the nonnative species.
A puma walking through the woods at night
Pandemic Lockdown Eases Mountain Lions’ Fear of Urban Areas
Jef Akst | Jul 2, 2021
Six GPS-tracked wild cats wandered closer to Santa Cruz, California, and surrounding towns as human activity died down under shelter-in-place orders last March.
Illustration of humans and mice and their gut microbiota
Infographic: Microbiome-Driven Adaptations in Animals
Catherine Offord | Jul 1, 2021
Researchers are using experiments and observational studies to look for host genetic variation that could be partly determined by the gut microbiota.
An illustration of green bacteria floating above neutral-colored intestinal villi
The Inside Guide: The Gut Microbiome’s Role in Host Evolution
Catherine Offord | Jul 1, 2021
Bacteria that live in the digestive tracts of animals may influence the adaptive trajectories of their hosts.
Screams Communicate Human Emotions
Phil Jaekl | Jul 1, 2021
A group of self-styled screamologists are sifting through the noisiness of nonverbal human vocalizations and finding previously undemonstrated forms of communication.
the molecular structure of interferon-alpha
Lots of Rapid Evolution in Interferon-Stimulated Genes: Study
Christie Wilcox | Jul 1, 2021
A comparison of interferon-related genes across 20 primate genomes reveals differences in the speed at which they evolve and new targets for antiviral discovery efforts.
More Images
An artist's depiction of a new species of Homo, H. longi
“Dragon Man” May Replace Neanderthal as Our Closest Relative
Amanda Heidt | Jun 25, 2021
A massive, well-preserved skull discovered in China in the 1930s belongs to a new species called Homo longi, researchers report, but experts remain skeptical about the evidence.
A blue coelacanth with white speckles in the ocean
African Coelacanths May Live to Be 100: Study
Catherine Offord | Jun 18, 2021
This evolutionarily ancient fish species has a lifespan that’s around five times longer than previously thought, and a gestation time of more than five years.
man in motorboat by a pier with the sea surface covered in marine mucilage
Why Turkey’s Sea of Marmara Is Full of Marine Snot
Christie Wilcox | Jun 11, 2021
Turkish officials are scrambling to clean up a massive, gooey plankton bloom that’s sliming the country’s ports and could suffocate the area’s marine ecosystems.
WITH VIDEO
A micrograph with a grey background shows both purple bacteria and green algae within a ciliated microorganism
A Protist Hosts Both Green Algae and Purple Bacteria Symbionts
Abby Olena | Jun 11, 2021
Having two different endosymbionts may allow the ciliate Pseudoblepharisma tenue to live in both oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor zones of the muddy bogs of southern Germany.
Dead fish due to lack of oxygen floating on water.
Oxygen Levels Dropping in US and European Lakes: Study
Lisa Winter | Jun 7, 2021
Researchers find a widespread decline in dissolved oxygen levels in lakes, which is known to reshape ecosystems.
Calcite crystals covered in small grains of pyrite, with pincers
Signs of Ancient Microbial Life Abundant in Earth’s Crust: Study
Catherine Offord | Jun 3, 2021
Researchers report chemical and molecular signatures of microbial activity from millions of years ago in mineral samples from abandoned mines in Sweden and nearby countries.
Adriana L. Romero-Olivares kneels in the lab next to dry mushrooms in oven.
Adriana L. Romero-Olivares Tracks Fungi’s Response to Climate Change
Amanda Heidt | Jun 1, 2021
The New Mexico State University soil microbiologist uses molecular tools to understand how fungi are adapting to a warming world and what that might mean for global nutrient cycles.