Planet discoveries boost LifeSearch 2.0

Planet discoveries boost LifeSearch 2.0
Almost 1,900 planet detections force the question: How to find life? Radio signals have produced nothing. Primitive life could exist deep inside Mars or around a distant star. How can we tell? What does ancient Earth tell us about life in space? More »

Meet the mosquito: Annoying, deadly

Meet the mosquito: Annoying, deadly

Malaria is declining slowly, but skeeters carry other diseases, including dengue and West Nile. How do mosquitoes reproduce? What are the lessons of the anti-malaria campaign? Why not genetically alter mosquitoes so they will kill the malaria parasite by themselves? More »

To heal hearing, try temporary blindness?

To heal hearing, try temporary blindness?
Think hearing and sight were separate? Think again. After seven days in darkness, mice detected quieter sounds, and recognized subtle changes in pitch. What does this suggest about new ways to support failing hearing? More »

Winter woes? No problem! say plants

Winter woes? No problem! say plants
Plants have evolved numerous ways to endure cold, wind and ice formation. How do they do it? How is climate change affecting plants and plant communities? 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 »

Roads: helpful here, harmful there

Roads: helpful here, harmful there

Roads are the first insult to pristine natural areas — and a key to agricultural productivity in places where farming makes sense. Here’s a proposal to decide where roads make sense, and where they make mayhem. More »

Wolf mystery solved at last!

Wolf mystery solved at last!

And how did it traverse 460 kilometers of ocean? Apparently by crossing a narrow band of ice during the last Ice Age. A new study echoes evolutionary giants Darwin and Wallace and highlights the role of sea level in animal migration. More »

Warming: A bad climate for endangered species?

newborn sea turtle on sand

How will rising temperatures affect endangered species? Are there ways to abate the consequences, and are they being tested? Can we even be certain that climate change is the cause of specific declines? More »

Odder than odd!

Odder than odd!

Dig the dung beetle. Sample the belly button. Tilt your brain — and see what happens. Watch bees cook their enemies. Drive through the cabbie’s brain. Check out pretty pix of pretty chicks. All weird. All here! More »

After the flood, the menace of mold

After the flood, the menace of mold

After Sandy’s soaking: How dangerous are molds and bacteria that grow in a soggy house? What is the best way to salvage a water-damaged home? Do you need expert help? More »

Energy report: Plentiful supplies, warning signs

Energy report: Plentiful supplies, warning signs

Conservation and fracking will help United States reach energy independence by 2030. How will cheap natural gas affect renewable energy? How will a one-third increase in fossil fuel use affect greenhouse warming? Are we about to be locked into a 3.6ºC of global warming? More »

The science of cheese

The science of cheese

Cheesemaking is older than Homer’s Odyssey, but questions remain. Which bacteria make the best cheese? Must low-fat cheese taste like cardboard? Why is small-producer, “artisan” cheese becoming so popular? Why does one cheese taste different than another. More »

Light at night: Mixed blessing!

Light at night: Mixed blessing!

Researchers are finding more links to obesity, cancer, and sleep disturbances. Light blocks the release of melatonin, a hormone involved in the body clock. Wildlife scientists are finding effects on competition, predation and reproduction. Could light pollution from streets, cars and buildings drive animal evolution? 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 »

Flying robots

small robotic, red and white plane on surface of water

Compared to regular airplanes, radio-controlled craft are safer, cheaper, and easier to use for observing wildlife and environmental conditions. Where are these robots being used? What are they finding? And as prices continue to fall, what stands in the way of much broader use? More »