The cockroach

The cockroach

An extermination trick that married insecticide with sugar worked for a while — but then suddenly lost its power against roaches. Now science tells us why, as it highlights once again how human actions affect natural selection. More »

Monkey: When in Rome…

Monkey: When in Rome…

If you teach a group of monkeys that blue corn tastes yucky, they switch to pink corn. What happens when a monkey raised to detest pink corn enters the group? You might be surprised! More »

Problems of the apes

Problems of the apes

Bad feet? Aching back? Impacted wisdom teeth? Blame balky designs inherited from your relatives. How has evolution equipped — or mal-equipped — us for modern life? How do big brains support culture that supports big brains? More »

Moles smell in stereo!

Moles smell in stereo!

A common mole never sees the light of day, but it can pinpoint the source of food in just a few seconds — thanks to its newfound stereo smelling ability. If two ears help you hear in stereo, what good are two nostrils? More »

Store more. Much more!

Store more. Much more!

The explosion of data — in meteorology, genetics, spying and physics — requires new storage technology. DNA has been storing data for billions of years. Could life’s “hard disk” help tame today’s data explosion? More »

Biobombs blast cancer!

Biobombs blast cancer!

We reported on viruses that infect cancer cells, force them to make more virus, and then die. Can viruses become “intelligent bio-agents” against cancer? More »

Freaky fish flirting

Freaky fish flirting

A chemical from plastics “looks” like estrogen to the body. If it makes female fish more likely to flirt with males of a different species, could endocrine disruptors cause cross-breeding, and a decline in native fish after invaders enter their rivers? More »

Love life of the firefly

Love life of the firefly

An alluring flash pattern is only the first step in firefly reproduction. Females actually pay more attention to the “nuptial gift” that carries sperm. A new look at these popular creatures shows that the battle of the sexes is more subtle and complex than we thought. More »

Mock meat: Fit for grilling?

Mock meat: Fit for grilling?

Soy protein: It may look like meat. Could meat be grown, cell by cell, in lab dishes. Could in vitro meat solve health and environmental problems? More »

Dr. Darwin teaches robot!

Dr. Darwin teaches robot!

A crash course in “sink or swim” teaches computerized robots to adapt to changing circumstances. When taught by “directed evolution,” robots that started without legs learned to walk sooner than robots that started with legs! Can you explain? More »

Biology: critters that should not exist!

Biology: critters that should not exist!

Lake Vostok could house ancient bacteria, but we already know that bacteria can live in boiling water or light up a glowing squid. Countless weird-and-weirdest critters live between grains of sand… Curious about biology’s strange shelf? More »

Flight without wings

Flight without wings

Scientists thought wings were the first evidence of flight. But plenty of falling ants can glide back to “their” tree to avoid being devoured on the forest floor. If an ant’s brain and body are able to detect its position and change its flight path, is gliding the first flight? More »

A Story of the Bacterium and the Fly

closeup of fly--yellow and hairy with large red eye

Bacteria can help or harm their hosts. Now we hear how one genus of bacteria can multiply fly reproduction. In this symbiosis, both parties benefit. This bacterium also alters insect immunity, and could lead to new tactics for killing horrific parasites. More »

Genetics of the body snatchers!

Genetics of the body snatchers!

athogens can change the behavior of their hosts — and now we see that a single viral gene forces a caterpillar to climb a tree before it dies. From that high vantage, the virus can infect more caterpillars. It’s nifty and thrifty, unless you’re a gypsy moth! More »

Honor thy mother

Bolivian mother and child smile at camera

Mother is your first — and most important — relationship. What does science tell us about the effects of mothering? What happens when groups of monkeys are raised without a mother? How does a “fragile family” affect young people? What are “social risk factors,” and why should we care about them? More »