COMIC: The feisty orange-black butterfly uses a toolbox of biological tricks to find its way down to Mexico for winter and flap north again in spring. Here’s how scientists figured out those tricks — and what they don’t yet understand.
Story by Tim Vernimmen and Illustrated by Maki Naro
The field has long been more mice than men. New technologies and systems-based approaches with human cells may soon fill gaps in our understanding of autoimmune disease and health, Mark Davis says in a Q&A.
Can we use the tools of psychology to understand how colonies of social insects make decisions?
A newfound peace has spurred the hunt for disease-resistant wild cacao within the nation’s borders. What scientists find could help the country expand its role in the global trade.
A satellite image reveals how humans and their herds are changing the Arctic from the ground up
By Tim Vernimmen
Slumbering bugs offer clues to explaining humans’ need for shut-eye
The little that we know about breastfeeding tells us a lot — imagine if we knew more
Tiny charges inside human cells spur development of an embryo’s form and structure. In a Q&A, Michael Levin talks about using those sparks to fix birth defects, control cancer and regrow tissues.
Sure they cause disease, but the microbes can be a help as well. Witness long-lasting pepper seeds, drought-resistant crop plants and even our own placentas.
By Amber Dance
Cells build an elegant, symmetrical structure. How they do it is intriguing on its own, but recent insights could also help explain some developmental disorders.
An invasive fly could mean the loss of bird species on the Galápagos Islands. To save them, scientists may introduce another invasive insect.
First came fugu. Then he took a bite out of sharks. Now a pioneer in genome research helps lead the effort to sequence every lineage of vertebrates.
Flipping the scientific thinking on our species’ “difficult childbirth”
Global warming and agricultural runoff have driven the loss of oxygen in oceans around the world, with looming ecological consequences.
Despite numerous studies and 30-plus genomes under their belts, scientists are still struggling to nail down the defining traits of these tall, long-lived, woody plants
Artificial lights spell darker times for much of the planet’s wildlife — but it doesn’t have to be that way
Genetic advances may make it possible to grow transplantable tissues in other species. That could solve immunity and availability issues, but raises ethical concerns.
Passing chunks of ice can fertilize ocean waters and play a role in the planet’s carbon cycle
Medications can control HIV, but not eliminate it. Scientists hope to one day vanquish it completely.
The world’s earliest aeronauts possess a panoply of adaptations to help them navigate the skies.
The mass die-offs of Earth’s past may hold clues to our future