Octopus in tank lined with black dots
Do Invertebrates Have Emotions?
And how do scientists go about answering that question?
ABOVE: Robyn Crook
Do Invertebrates Have Emotions?
Do Invertebrates Have Emotions?

And how do scientists go about answering that question?

And how do scientists go about answering that question?

ABOVE: Robyn Crook

news feature

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
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
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 | Apr 11, 2022
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
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
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
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 | Feb 18, 2022
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
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.
illustration of a mitochondrian inside a cell
Could Dad’s Mitochondrial DNA Benefit Hybrids?
Alejandra Manjarrez | Jan 20, 2022
Studies have found that organisms can inherit mitochondria from male parents in rare instances, and both theoretical and experimental work hint that this biparental inheritance is more than just a fluke.
Rapid antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2
Are Rapid Tests Worse at Detecting Omicron—and Does It Matter?
Catherine Offord | Jan 14, 2022
Anecdotal reports and results from small studies on the diagnostics’ accuracy have prompted questions about the devices’ usage with the new variant, but researchers say more data are needed and emphasize the continued importance of SARS-CoV-2 testing.
A person lying on a bed checks the reading on a digital thermometer. A table with a bowl of oranges and various medications is in the background.
How Mild Is Omicron Really?
Dan Robitzski | Jan 14, 2022
Early reports that Omicron causes less-severe disease than Delta seem to be borne out, but it’s not yet clear to what extent that’s due to the variant itself versus the populations it’s infecting.
A white coat-wearing doctor holds the results of an EKG test in one hand and traces over them with a pen in the other hand
Doctors and Researchers Probe How COVID-19 Attacks the Heart
Dan Robitzski | Jan 12, 2022
Experts have a decent grasp on how COVID-19 impacts cardiovascular health in the near term. The implications of long COVID, however, remain mysterious.
A notecard with outdated names of prokaryotic phyla crossed out and replaced with the newer names.
Newly Renamed Prokaryote Phyla Cause Uproar
Dan Robitzski | Jan 4, 2022
The International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes recently pulled the rank of phylum into its code of official nomenclature. Experts say the move will help standardize science in the long run but potentially disrupt research now.
Illustration of clear cells with orange nuclei, Toxoplasma gondii, on colorful background
Turning Toxoplasma Against Cancer
Annie Melchor | Jan 3, 2022
Several research groups have found that Toxoplasma gondii infection can ramp up antitumor immune responses in mice. Can the single-cell parasite be used to develop safe treatments for humans?
Shot of a young woman using a computer while working in a laboratory
Pandemic Amplifies Postdoc Struggles
Bianca Nogrady | Dec 28, 2021
Postdoctoral fellows faced challenges before COVID-19 changed the way academia functions, and these early career scientists report that things have only gotten harder.
black-and-white image of an open mouth
The Common Mouth Microbe That Keeps Popping Up in Tumors
David Adam | Dec 15, 2021
Lab studies link the oral bacteria Fusobacterium nucleatum to cancers from the gut to the head and neck. Could targeting the microbe tackle tumors?
Two vaccine syringes on a baggy labelled with San Diego Zoo and Bonobo
The Rise of COVID-19 Vaccines for Animals
Chris Baraniuk | Dec 9, 2021
Thousands of animals have had their shot already. How many more really need it?
illustration of blue coronavirus particles with snowflakes in the background
Is COVID-19 Seasonal?
Alejandra Manjarrez | Nov 10, 2021
While the weather isn’t currently the dominant factor driving SARS-CoV-2 transmission, experts say that in the future COVID-19 may become a disease of winter.
illustration of people of different genders and races
Does Biological Sex Influence COVID-19 Outcomes?
Annie Melchor | Nov 2, 2021
It’s unclear whether differing odds of dying between men and women reflect inherent differences between male and female immune systems or differences rooted in gender norms.