Potty Party: Researchers Show Young Cows Can Be Toilet-Trained
Potty Party: Researchers Show Young Cows Can Be Toilet-Trained
Ethologist Jan Langbein and his team trained the cattle as a way to keep solid and liquid cattle waste separate—with the goal of reducing ammonia emissions coming from livestock.
Potty Party: Researchers Show Young Cows Can Be Toilet-Trained
Potty Party: Researchers Show Young Cows Can Be Toilet-Trained

Ethologist Jan Langbein and his team trained the cattle as a way to keep solid and liquid cattle waste separate—with the goal of reducing ammonia emissions coming from livestock.

Ethologist Jan Langbein and his team trained the cattle as a way to keep solid and liquid cattle waste separate—with the goal of reducing ammonia emissions coming from livestock.

Q&A
Q&A: Health of 9/11 First Responders 20 Years Later
Q&A: Health of 9/11 First Responders 20 Years Later
Amanda Heidt | Sep 7, 2021
The Scientist spoke with Rachel Zeig-Owens, the director of epidemiology for the World Trade Center Health Program, about what scientists have learned after two decades of studying illness and disease among survivors.
Talking Duck Stuns Animal Behavior Researcher
Talking Duck Stuns Animal Behavior Researcher
Christie Wilcox | Sep 5, 2021
Leiden University’s Carel ten Cate tracked down 34-year-old duck recordings—and the man who made them—to verify that musk ducks are capable of vocal learning, an ability that hadn’t been thought to exist in waterfowl.
Sea Snake “Attacks” Are Cases of Mistaken Identity: Study
Sea Snake “Attacks” Are Cases of Mistaken Identity: Study
Christie Wilcox | Aug 19, 2021
The Scientist spoke to marine biologist Tim Lynch, who dusted off 25-year-old data from his PhD to figure out why olive sea snakes approach divers so often. He says the animals, especially the males, likely confuse people for potential mates.
Q&A: What You Need to Know About Melioidosis
Q&A: What You Need to Know About Melioidosis
Christie Wilcox | Aug 16, 2021
CDC investigators continue to search for the source of the bacteria that caused four infections—two of them lethal—in four different states. The Scientist spoke with melioidosis expert Bart Currie about the disease.
Freeze-Dried Mouse Sperm Sent by Postcard Produces Baby Mice
Freeze-Dried Mouse Sperm Sent by Postcard Produces Baby Mice
Amanda Heidt | Aug 5, 2021
Rather than relying on samples that need to be shipped in glass vials and on ice, researchers have developed a new method that allows mouse sperm to be sent easily at room temperature using standard mail delivery.
Texas Monkeypox Case Underscores Need for Better Surveillance
Texas Monkeypox Case Underscores Need for Better Surveillance
Christie Wilcox | Jul 30, 2021
A patient caught the rare disease in Nigeria before flying through two US airports, exposing more than 200 people from 27 states.
Sodas, Lemon Juice Cause False Positives in Rapid COVID-19 Tests
Sodas, Lemon Juice Cause False Positives in Rapid COVID-19 Tests
Christie Wilcox | Jul 12, 2021
Lateral flow tests for COVID-19 can be very accurate and specific when used as directed, but introducing acidic fluids can cause the tests’ detecting antibodies to clump, which may read as a positive result.
Pandemic Lockdown Eases Mountain Lions’ Fear of Urban Areas
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.
Tuna Story Exposes Challenges of Seafood Authentication
Tuna Story Exposes Challenges of Seafood Authentication
Christie Wilcox | Jul 1, 2021
A New York Times investigation’s failure to amplify tuna DNA from Subway’s tuna salad sandwiches likely says more about the complexities of identifying processed fish than about the ingredients.
Q&A: Eating Milk Chocolate in the Morning Boosts Fat Metabolism
Q&A: Eating Milk Chocolate in the Morning Boosts Fat Metabolism
Amanda Heidt | Jun 30, 2021
A study of 19 postmenopausal women found that eating a bar of chocolate in the morning affected their bodies differently than eating it at night, but neither led to weight gain.
Q&A: Human Challenge Studies of COVID-19 Underway in UK
Q&A: Human Challenge Studies of COVID-19 Underway in UK
Jef Akst | Jun 18, 2021
Researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Oxford are exposing healthy volunteers to SARS-CoV-2 for science.
Survey Finds Lack of Diversity Among Journal Editors
Survey Finds Lack of Diversity Among Journal Editors
Jef Akst | Jun 14, 2021
Collecting data on the various races, sexual orientations, and gender identities of editors at 25 scientific and medical journals, researchers document the underrepresentation of minority groups.
Why Turkey’s Sea of Marmara Is Full of Marine Snot
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.
How STEM Can Be More Inclusive of Scientists with Disabilities
How STEM Can Be More Inclusive of Scientists with Disabilities
Amanda Heidt | Jun 7, 2021
The culture of academia can make disabled scientists wary of disclosing their conditions or needs. Molecular biologist Justin Yerbury suggests how the system might become more inclusive. 
BioHub Network Aims to Advance Sharing of Pathogens for Research
BioHub Network Aims to Advance Sharing of Pathogens for Research
Shawna Williams | Jun 6, 2021
The World Health Organization–led program will promote equity in addition to facilitating access to samples, a WHO official involved in the project tells The Scientist.
Incest Isn’t Taboo in Nature: Study
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.
Random Plane Boarding Minimizes COVID-19 Risk: Study
Random Plane Boarding Minimizes COVID-19 Risk: Study
Christie Wilcox | Apr 27, 2021
A modeling study of boarding behavior finds filling the plane from back to front extends the close contact time between passengers and therefore increases the risks posed by air travel.
Q&A: George Church’s Genome Up for Auction
Q&A: George Church’s Genome Up for Auction
Jef Akst | Apr 19, 2021
A founder of the field of synthetic biology is selling data from his own DNA as a nonfungible token, or NFT, through Nebula Genomics, a personal genome company he cofounded.
Conservation Biologists May Unintentionally Spread Pathogens
Conservation Biologists May Unintentionally Spread Pathogens
Amanda Heidt | Apr 19, 2021
When conservationists relocate species, they don’t always account for the pathogens hitching a ride, and the consequences of introducing them to a new environment.