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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
Forced to respond to a climate that’s changing faster than it ever has, it remains unclear whether species’ adaptations can keep pace.
Animals Are Shape-Shifting in Response to a Warming World
Animals Are Shape-Shifting in Response to a Warming World

Forced to respond to a climate that’s changing faster than it ever has, it remains unclear whether species’ adaptations can keep pace.

Forced to respond to a climate that’s changing faster than it ever has, it remains unclear whether species’ adaptations can keep pace.

news feature
Illustration of viruses represented with different colors overlapping each other.
What Happens When You Catch More than One Virus?
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | Dec 7, 2022 | 8 min read
The “tripledemic” shines a spotlight on viral interference, in which one infection can block another.
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.
News feature
Photo of a shallow, drying pond blocked off by a low fence in a hilly grassland with trees in the background.
Severe Drought, Heat Upended Research This Summer
Dan Robitzski | Oct 13, 2022 | 8 min read
Researchers scramble to adapt as bouts of severe heat and aridity increasingly become the norm.
News feature
Photo of a long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis) sitting on a rock overlooking a large body of water.
What Happens to Science When Model Organisms Become Endangered?
Dan Robitzski | Oct 13, 2022 | 9 min read
The long-tailed macaque and pig-tailed macaque are now endangered in the wild according to the IUCN Red List, which says exports for monkey research are partially to blame.
News feature
Vector image of black body with head surrounded by white clouds
Multiple Possible Causes of Long COVID Come into Focus
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Sep 28, 2022 | 10+ min read
Recent studies have lent support for a variety of hypotheses explaining the debilitating symptoms affecting millions of people after SARS-CoV-2 infection.  
A close up of filing folders with tabs that read "funding," "grants," and "projects"
Agreement Reached on Research Assessment Reforms
Sophie Fessl, PhD | Aug 19, 2022 | 5 min read
The document, which was facilitated by the European Commission, establishes new benchmarks regarding how research assessments should be performed.
An illustration of a pregnant women wearing a mask, surrounded by microbes
How COVID-19 Affects Pregnancy
Amanda Heidt | Aug 16, 2022 | 10 min read
Evidence thus far shows that pregnant people infected with SARS-CoV-2 are at higher risk for severe disease and death, as well as complications in their pregnancies.
Four glass vials sit on a reflective tabletop next to a syringe. Each is labeled as a subsequent dose in a four-dose series of COVID-19 vaccines.
What We Know About Getting a Second Booster Shot of COVID-19 Vaccines
Dan Robitzski | Aug 11, 2022 | 10+ min read
Studies show that a fourth mRNA vaccine dose offers the elderly and other high-risk groups strong protection against hospitalization and death from COVID-19, but experts say benefits for other populations may be more limited.
EXCLUSIVE
Colorful pills and capsules on a calendar background
Clinical Trial Registry Errors Undermine Transparency
Catherine Offord | Aug 2, 2022 | 10 min read
A lack of comprehension among some researchers about how to use ClinicalTrials.gov may be hindering public access to trial information and holding up drug study results, an investigation by The Scientist finds.
A section of a mouse distal colon showing luminal contents with bacteria in magenta, the mucus lining (green) and the epithelial cell barrier of the gut (blue, right).
Mapping the Neighborhoods of the Gut Microbiome
Abby Olena, PhD | Jul 1, 2022 | 7 min read
Researchers are going beyond fecal samples to understand how the patterns of commensal microbes in the gastrointestinal tract influence development and health.
Octopus in tank lined with black dots
Do Invertebrates Have Emotions?
Natalia Mesa, PhD | May 26, 2022 | 10+ min read
And how do scientists go about answering that question?
hands of a person checking their blood glucose level with a monitor
Growing Evidence Ties COVID-19 to Diabetes Risk
Bianca Nogrady | May 3, 2022 | 7 min read
Studies suggest SARS-CoV-2 infection could trigger the development of diabetes in some people, even those with no other risk factors.
Tiled blue-gray MRI readouts of a human brain.
Cancer Tied to Reduced Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
Dan Robitzski | Apr 14, 2022 | 7 min read
Observational evidence for the connection is solidifying, and some clues are emerging about the mechanisms that may explain it.
Ramified cells in a lilac background
Could Vitamin Supplementation Help Alzheimer’s Patients?
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | Apr 11, 2022 | 8 min read
Niacin, a form of vitamin B3 used to treat cardiovascular disease, helps immune cells in the brain fight neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s in mice models, according to recent studies. Researchers hope that human clinical trials will swiftly follow.
Special Report
lone birch tree growing sideways in a field
Amid the Terror of War, Efforts to Keep Science Alive in Ukraine
Katarina Zimmer | Mar 28, 2022 | 10+ min read
Ukrainian scientists and universities face extraordinary challenges as the Russian invasion continues.
special report
cracked and jagged Russian flag
Russian Scientists Grapple with an Uncertain Future
Anna Azvolinsky | Mar 25, 2022 | 10+ min read
The now month-long invasion of Ukraine has resulted in changes in policies and severances of international scientific collaborations with Russian universities and researchers. The war has also precipitated a moral reckoning for many scientists in Russia.
masked teacher sitting on floor showing masked students something on a tablet
Does Science Support Lifting School Mask Mandates?
Rachael Moeller Gorman | Feb 28, 2022 | 10+ min read
The CDC has given the OK to lift indoor mask mandates in much of the US, and a growing number of states no longer require face coverings in schools. But most experts agree that masks slow school spread of SARS-CoV-2, and whether now is the right time to allow teachers and students to unmask is a matter of debate.
Woman waiting in line at the airport, carrying a bag and standing next to two other suitcases. She is wearing a N95 face mask.
SARS-CoV-2 in the Air: What’s Known and What Isn’t
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | Feb 18, 2022 | 9 min read
Evidence suggests that COVID-19 is primarily an airborne disease. Yet the details of how transmission occurs are still debated and frequently misunderstood.
A photo of a skeleton on a black background
Ancient DNA Boom Underlines a Need for Ethical Frameworks
Amanda Heidt | Jan 27, 2022 | 10+ min read
The field of ancient DNA, which combines archaeology and anthropology with cutting-edge genetics, is requiring scientists to have frank conversations about when research is justified and who it benefits.
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