Mapping evolution

Mapping evolution

Research in salty ponds shows how one species of pupfish becomes three — in a few cases. More important, it shows why this did not happen in thousands of other locations. Does an impenetrable “death valley” isolate viable species? More »

Final score: Mustard-bomb plant 1, mouse 0

close-up photo of mouse face eating seeds

Plants and animals are in a constant struggle for survival and reproduction. Plant toxins prevent most animals from eating their seeds and destroying them. No kidding: A desert mouse is smart enough to eat edible fruit flesh without triggering the “mustard-oil bomb”! 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 »

Enter the realm of the ants

close up of ant faces with revolutionary-themed background

In many environments, ants know the tricks of survival, even domination. Skeptical? Ask the fire ant. Ask the army ant. A series of studies is revealing the genetic basis for survival and domination. What genes are active, and which have disappeared after prolonged unemployment? More »

Genetic solution to cancer, diabetes?

Genetic solution to cancer, diabetes?

People with a genetic case of dwarfism in Ecuador don’t get cancer or diabetes, and a new study links that benefit to the genetic changes we see when calories are severely restricted. Could blocking growth hormone in adulthood lead to serious health benefits? More »

Untangling cancer’s genetic trajectory

Untangling cancer's genetic trajectory

Until now, getting a picture of genetic change in a tumor over time has been next to impossible. A new study reveals that cancer’s genetic tangle gets more complicated with time. More »

Genetic tests go mainstream

Genetic tests go mainstream

Companies are marketing genetic tests direct to consumers. Some tests can be lifesavers. But many tests return confusing results, which even doctors have a hard time interpreting. More »

Celebrating Darwin and evolution

Celebrating Darwin and evolution

The theory of evolution is 150 years old, but forever young. We examine proofs for evolution, and four cool studies showing just how correct Charles Darwin was. Want to talk about silent crickets? More »

Nobel goes to gene-knockouts

A technology that revolutionized medicine and genetics gets the big Nobelian Nod. Cancer. Heart disease. Obesity. Research into virtually every major disease has gotten a boost from the Knockout Nobel! More »

Study finds key to colony-collapse disorder

Fast genomic analysis could open the door to breakthroughs in health, ecology and genetics. How do these machines work, and what have they taught about obesity, microbial diversity, and drug treatment? More »

Ants: My Family, Right or Wrong!

The Argentine ant invaded California 100 years ago, forming “super-colonies” that stretch hundreds of miles. Most ants attack nearby nests. Why have Argentine ants declared peace with neighbors? More »

GM Food + 10 Years: Safe to Eat?

More than 100 million hectares are planted each year. What do we know about food safety? How is GM food doing amid the explosion in sales of organic foods? More »

Malaria Defense: Can Mosquitoes Help?

Mosquitoes feed on a membrane containing blood.

Malaria harms people and mosquitoes. Some skeeters already kill malaria. Shouldn’t we work together to control this global blood parasite? More »

Growing Teeth in the Lab

Developmental biology meets dentistry as scientists grow human teeth in test tubes. All the latest on test-tube teeth. Sounds better than the iron teeth that the Romans used… More »