Calcite crystals covered in small grains of pyrite, with pincers
Signs of Ancient Microbial Life Abundant in Earth’s Crust: Study
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.
Signs of Ancient Microbial Life Abundant in Earth’s Crust: Study
Signs of Ancient Microbial Life Abundant in Earth’s Crust: Study

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.

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.

human behavior, evolution
Wild water striders (Microvelia longipes) on a puddle. The animals with long third legs are the males; the others are females.
A Multipurpose Gene Facilitates the Evolution of an Animal Weapon
Viviane Callier | May 11, 2021
A single gene called BMP11 regulates not only the size and proportions of a water strider’s massively long third legs, but also how it uses the limbs in fights.
Regina Vega-Trejo holding a net
Incest Isn’t Taboo in Nature: Study
Christie Wilcox | May 7, 2021
Avoiding inbreeding appears to be the exception rather than the norm for animals, according to a new meta-analysis of experimental studies.
A reticulated giraffe in Samburu National Park, Kenya
Whole-Genome Data Point to Four Species of Giraffe
Ruth Williams | May 6, 2021
The genome sequences of 51 giraffes from all over Africa contribute to the latest attempt in an ongoing pursuit to pin down a species number.
A scanning electron micrograph of the picozoan Picomonas judraskeda
Picozoans Are Algae After All: Study
Christie Wilcox | May 6, 2021
Phylogenomics data place the enigmatic plankton in the middle of the algal family tree, despite their apparent lack of plastids—an organelle characteristic of all other algae.
Infographic: Animals of Different Species Hybridize
Ashley Yeager | May 1, 2021
The offspring of crosses between related species can sometimes fill a new environmental niche, and such hybridizations may even lead to speciation.
Hybrid Animals Are Not Nature’s Misfits
Ashley Yeager | May 1, 2021
In the 20th century, animals such as mules and ligers that had parents of different species were considered biological flukes, but genetic sequencing is beginning to unravel the critical role of hybridization in evolution.
Early Humans’ Brains Were More Apelike than Modern
Abby Olena | Apr 8, 2021
Impressions that ancient brains left in fossilized skulls reveal that the first human ancestors to migrate out of Africa had much more primitive brains than previously thought.
“Rogue” Protein Could Contribute to Humans’ High Cancer Rates
Asher Jones | Apr 1, 2021
A mutant protein called Siglec-XII may promote carcinoma progression in humans, but inactivation of its gene seems to avoid the problem, according to a study.
whitefly horizontal gene transfer plant animal virus crop pest agriculture BtPMaT1 Bemisia tabaci
First Report of Horizontal Gene Transfer Between Plant and Animal
Emma Yasinski | Mar 25, 2021
Whiteflies overcome a toxin in plants they eat through the use of the plant’s own genetic protection, likely ferried from plant to insect millions of years ago by a virus.
giraffe, genetics & genomics, CRISPR, gene editing, genome, physiology, hypertension, bone growth, techniques, mouse model
Genome Reveals Clues to Giraffes’ “Blatantly Strange” Body Shape
Amanda Heidt | Mar 19, 2021
The physiological demands of that long neck get support from a gene involved in strengthening bones and blood vessels, researchers find after inserting the sequence in mice.
lightning, life, Earth, meteorite, phosphorous, fulgurite, schreibersite, DNA, RNA, microbes, evolution
Lightning Might Have Sparked Early Life on Earth
Asher Jones | Mar 17, 2021
Electrical storms, rather than meteorites as scientists had previously thought, could have unlocked phosphorus necessary for the development of ancient life, according to a new study.
Cuttlefish, cephalopod, mollusk, mollusca, animal behavior, marshmallow test, cognition, intelligence, evolution
Cuttlefish Delay Gratification, a Sign of Smarts
Asher Jones | Mar 5, 2021
The cephalopods resisted temptation for up to 130 seconds to earn their favorite food, hinting at sophisticated cognitive abilities such as planning for the future.
Free Fallin’: How Scientists Study Unrestrained Insects
Amanda Heidt | Mar 1, 2021
Researchers are pulling from video games, sports broadcasting, meteorology, and even missile guidance technology to better investigate how insects have mastered flight.
Infographic: VR, Radar, and Other Tricks for Studying Insects
Amanda Heidt | Mar 1, 2021
Researchers are getting creative to understand flight behavior in the fast-moving and tiny animals.
Lessons from Darwin’s “Mischievous” Birds
Jonathan Meiburg | Mar 1, 2021
An unsung group of South American falcons yields clues to the prehistory of a continent, and hints at secrets of the avian brain.
Questions Raised About How an Ancient Hominin Moved
Abby Olena | Feb 24, 2021
A new analysis of the hand of the 4.4-million-year-old partial skeleton of Ardipithecus ramidus indicates that the human ancestor may have climbed and swung through trees like chimpanzees do.
SARS-CoV-2 with Genomic Deletions Escapes an Antibody
Abby Olena | Feb 16, 2021
Researchers identify deletions in the N-terminal domain of the spike protein that allow the coronavirus to avoid antibody neutralization and that may contribute to the emergence of new variants.
moon, lunar, woman, biology, reproduction, fertility, menstrual cycle, menstruation, menses, period, synchronization
Menstrual Cycles Intermittently Sync with Moon Cycles: Study
Asher Jones | Feb 5, 2021
A long-term study finds that these rhythms align at certain times of women’s lives, shedding new light on the controversial idea that lunar phases influence human reproduction.
A Simple Genetic Change Adds Limb-Like Bones to Zebrafish Fins
Abby Olena | Feb 5, 2021
A gain-of-function mutation in a single gene reveals ancient limb-forming capacity that has been preserved for hundreds of millions of years.