Coral in shallow beach branching upward with blue fish in front
Corals Upend Longstanding Idea About Genetic Inheritance
Most animals can’t pass on mutations that arise spontaneously throughout their lives—but Elkhorn corals can.
Corals Upend Longstanding Idea About Genetic Inheritance
Corals Upend Longstanding Idea About Genetic Inheritance

Most animals can’t pass on mutations that arise spontaneously throughout their lives—but Elkhorn corals can.

Most animals can’t pass on mutations that arise spontaneously throughout their lives—but Elkhorn corals can.

fertilization
A small brown crustacean with white spots on it moving on a red branch.
Seaweed Has Its Own Matchmakers: Small Crustaceans
Alejandra Manjarrez | Jul 28, 2022
A species that transports the spermatia of red algae is the first known instance of an animal facilitating fertilization in this ancient photosynthetic lineage.
southeaster pocket gopher's head emerging from tunnel
Are Pocket Gophers Underground Farmers?
Andy Carstens | Jul 11, 2022
A study finds that roots grow deeper than typical into southeastern pocket gophers tunnel networks, raising the possibility that the rodents cultivate their food.
Eight Proteins Turn Mouse Stem Cells into Egglike Cells
Ashley Yeager | Dec 16, 2020
The identification of the transcription factors that elicit oocyte growth will aid reproductive biology research and might help women with fertility issues, scientists say.  
Herbivore Body Size Influences Grazing Behavior, Poop Quality
Catherine Offord | Nov 1, 2020
Researchers disentangle complex connections among vegetation, herbivores, and dung in the South African savanna.
Infographic: Herbivore Dung Nutrients Vary Across the Savanna
Catherine Offord | Nov 1, 2020
In South Africa, the composition of droppings varies by species’ body sizes, and which animals are found where depends on vegetation density.
Image of the Day: Self-Insemination
Carolyn Wilke | Feb 1, 2019
Videos reveal how a female squid fertilizes her eggs—one at a time and without spilling much stored sperm.
Researchers Develop Sperm-Robot Hybrids to Deliver Drugs, Assist Fertilization
Diana Kwon | Apr 1, 2018
The artificially motorized cells may one day help fight cancers in the female reproductive tract.
New Techniques Detail Embryos’ First Hours and Days
Jef Akst | Dec 1, 2017
New technologies reveal the dynamic changes in mouse and human embryos during the first week after fertilization.
Infographic: How Embryos Take Control of Their Own Development
Jef Akst | Nov 30, 2017
The switch from maternal factors involves dynamic reprogramming of the zygotic genome.
Three-Parent IVF Advances
Anna Azvolinsky | Nov 30, 2016
Differences in the replicative advantages conferred by some mitochondrial DNA haplotypes have implications for mitochondrial replacement therapy, researchers report. 
Ocean Acidification Affects Fish Spawning
Alison F. Takemura | Jul 26, 2016
Researchers report the first evidence that acidified waters alter the ocellated wrasse’s reproductive behavior in the wild.
Inhibiting Sperm Protein Causes Infertility
Karen Zusi | Oct 5, 2015
Two drugs targeting a protein in sperm cause reversible infertility in male mice, providing new hope for a male contraceptive.
Semen Says
Rina Shaikh-Lesko | Jul 1, 2014
Scientists report for the first time that a snail’s seminal fluid proteins can suppress the mating success of the male side of its hermaphroditic partner.
Spiders Try to Ensure Paternity
Bob Grant | Jun 11, 2014
Male dwarf spiders deploy sperm-blocking plugs to thwart the reproductive chances of their mate’s subsequent suitors.
Female Pigs May Sense Sex of Sperm
Anna Azvolinsky | May 21, 2014
The oviducts of pigs exhibit different gene expression profiles depending on their exposure to sperm with either an X or a Y chromosome, a study shows. 
Coming to Terms
Anna Ajduk and Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz | Nov 1, 2012
New noninvasive methods of selecting the most viable embryo could revolutionize in vitro fertilization.
A Gamete Matchmaker
Hannah Waters | Mar 22, 2012
Chemical cues dispersed by mussel eggs may attract sperm that are their perfect match.
Double the Mutations
Hannah Waters | Jan 30, 2012
Irradiated sperm of young male mice induce mutations in eggs upon fertilization, a phenomenon that may pose risks for the children of cancer survivors.