Row of cows being milked in a dairy farm.
Deciphering the Unusual Pattern of Bird Flu Symptoms in Cows
Danielle Gerhard, PhD | May 15, 2024 | 6 min read
The distribution of flu virus receptors in cow mammary glands helps explain the high H5N1 viral loads in milk, but it also raises concerns about risks to human health.
A woman is outside with a scent trail behind her that attracts two hungry mosquitoes.
Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others?
Tanvir Khan, PhD and Laura Tran, PhD | Feb 6, 2024 | 2 min read
Scientists itch to decipher the cues that make some people mosquito magnets.
Conceptual image of DNA strands
Downsizing DNA
Aparna Nathan, PhD | Dec 4, 2023 | 10 min read
Some species remove up to 90 percent of their genomes during development, but why or how this happens is still a mystery.
Infographic showing how some species undergo DNA elimination
Infographic: Programmed DNA Elimination
Aparna Nathan, PhD | Dec 4, 2023 | 3 min read
Removing parts of the genome is a key step in some species’ development.
Image of Hawaiian Bobtail squid
To Boldly Go Where No Squid Has Gone Before
Hannah Thomasy, PhD | Dec 1, 2023 | 2 min read
Jamie Foster’s space-faring squid and its symbiotic bacteria illuminate host-microbe communication.
A blue gloved hand holding a long, brown cotton swab with a dirty tip. 
A Menagerie on a Leaf
Rachael Moeller Gorman | Nov 6, 2023 | 4 min read
A simple rainforest leaf swab revealed DNA from dozens of animal species, possibly improving biodiversity monitoring in the future.
2023 Ig Nobel Prize for Gripping Work on Dead Spiders
Meenakshi Prabhune, PhD | Sep 15, 2023 | 3 min read
Rice University researchers claimed the Ig Nobel Prize for upleveling biorobotics by transforming deceased spiders into robotic grippers.
Tasmanian devil wrapped in blanket
Tasmanian Devils Face Threats from Rapidly Evolving Facial Cancers 
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Jun 30, 2023 | 3 min read
A genetic study tracked the evolution of two transmissible cancers currently ravaging populations of Tasmanian devils.
Like many animals, field mice (<em >Apodemus agrarius</em>) fight to protect their territories.
Mouse Brain Cells Activate When They Witness a Fight
Mariella Bodemeier Loayza Careaga, PhD | Jun 1, 2023 | 2 min read
A subset of hypothalamic neurons mirrors aggression in mice, challenging previous views on the location and functional role of these cells.
Scientists or veterinary workers doing experiments in lab with experimental animals biological genetic engineering research
Addressing the Problematic Past of Animal Behavior Research
Holly Root-Gutteridge, PhD and Anna Korzeniowska | Apr 3, 2023 | 4 min read
Some of the foundational studies in the field were neither ethical by today’s standards nor replicable. But we can do better.
A male and female Chiriqui harlequin frog (<em>Atelopus chiriquiensis</em>) photographed in 2010. The species was declared extinct in 2019.
How Do Scientists Decide a Species Has Gone Extinct?
Andy Carstens | Mar 1, 2023 | 10 min read
Getting it wrong can harm the very creatures that scientists are trying to protect.
Glass blown and sculpted model of the golden bellapple (<em>Passiflora laurifolia</em>)
Glass Menagerie, 1863–1936
Dan Robitzski | Feb 1, 2023 | 3 min read
The father-and-son duo Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka crafted thousands of scientifically accurate models of plants and sea creatures as teaching aids. 
Glass-blown and sculpted model of the sea anemone (<em>Phymactis florida</em>)
Slideshow: The Lifelike Glass Models of Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka
Dan Robitzski | Feb 1, 2023 | 3 min read
The father-and-son duo, the last generations of a long line of renowned glassworkers, crafted thousands of realistic models of plants and sea creatures.
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
Andy Carstens | Jan 3, 2023 | 10 min read
Forced to respond to a climate that’s changing faster than it ever has, it remains unclear whether species’ adaptations can keep pace.
Slideshow: Meet the Neuston, the Diverse Organisms Living at the Ocean’s Surface
Amanda Heidt | Jan 2, 2023 | 2 min read
The ocean’s surface harbors an ecosystem of colorful, understudied life, ranging from protists and cnidarians to insects.
Illustration showing where neuston reside
Infographic: Neuston Drift Atop the World’s Oceans
Amanda Heidt | Jan 2, 2023 | 1 min read
The sea surface is home to a diverse group of animals adapted to life in the open ocean, but increasingly, they’re sharing that space with plastic debris.
A fishing cat with a fish in its mouth
Genome Spotlight: Fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus)
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Dec 22, 2022 | 5 min read
A high-quality reference genome for this vulnerable feline may help scientists understand why they’re so prone to transitional cell carcinoma in captivity.
A grayscale tomography image of snake tissue
Snakes Have Clitorises After All, Study Finds
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Dec 13, 2022 | 4 min read
Researchers visualize the snake clitoris in detail for the first time, finding evidence that the organ may be evolutionarily important for snake sex.
Modified from the cover of <em >The Sounds of Life</em>
Opinion: Listening to the Biosphere Is Key Step in Saving It
Karen Bakker | Dec 12, 2022 | 4 min read
New insights into the functionality of nonhuman sound may help us conserve nature and protect ourselves from excessive noise.
Photo of floppy disks and motherboards
Inside the Project Trying to Save Datasets from Extinction
Ian Rose | Dec 1, 2022 | 5 min read
Researchers race to find ecological data kept on outdated media or in dusty backroom boxes—before they’re lost forever.