Evolutionary tradeoffs: How DNA works so living things have a 'competitive advantage' to survive

Evolutionary tradeoffs: How DNA works so living things have a ‘competitive advantage’ to survive

Evolution is a game of trade-offs. Every trait an organism inherits may have benefits and drawbacks; what matters to natural ...
Chimeras: The genetics behind this amazing-looking 'two-faced' cat

Chimeras: The genetics behind this amazing-looking ‘two-faced’ cat

Meet Quimera the cat—she’s no ordinary feline! You’ve probably never seen any animal quite like her. Her furry face is ...
How our autistic ancestors helped shape human evolution

How our autistic ancestors helped shape human evolution

[W]hen we talk about the autism spectrum – we are all “a bit autistic” – and we all fit somewhere ...
Evidence Earth is billions of years old abounds, so why don't creationists believe it?

Evidence Earth is billions of years old abounds, so why don’t creationists believe it?

[Editor's note: Sabine Hossenfelder is a physicist and Research Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies.] Planet Earth formed around ...
What are the genetics behind this amazing-looking 'two-faced' cat?

What are the genetics behind this amazing-looking ‘two-faced’ cat?

Meet Quimera the cat—she’s no ordinary feline! You’ve probably never seen any animal quite like her. Her furry face is ...
Kissing cousins: Understanding the genetic risks and benefits when close relatives marry

Kissing cousins: Understanding the genetic risks and benefits when close relatives marry

Endogamy––the marriage of relatives––is a controversial cultural practice. It can play surprising roles in health and disease ...
Brain addiction: Why stopping drug use is so difficult

Brain addiction: Why stopping drug use is so difficult

Drug addiction is a commonly misunderstood disease. Once addicted, it’s not only about pleasure seeking or choice, but chemical reactions ...
Should we 'genetically modify' humans to fit the demands of space travel?

Should we ‘genetically modify’ humans to fit the demands of space travel?

It takes something special to be an astronaut – an extraordinary combination of bravery, fitness, intelligence, lightning-fast decision-making and calmness ...
Viewpoint: Newsweek's surprisingly unscientific view of the genetics of obesity

Viewpoint: Newsweek’s surprisingly unscientific view of the genetics of obesity

[Editor's note: Dr. Charles Dinerstein is a retired vascular surgeon.] In a nod to science, Newsweek reported that there might be genetic underpinnings ...
Challenging Mendel: Does the female egg woo sperm with specific genes?

Challenging Mendel: Does the female egg woo sperm with specific genes?

[Researcher Jon Nadeau’s] hypothesis—that the egg could woo sperm with specific genes and vice versa—is part of a growing realization ...
How evolution contributed to the demise of the passenger pigeon

How evolution contributed to the demise of the passenger pigeon

Passenger pigeons were once the most abundant bird in North America, and quite possibly the world. … In a matter ...
The leaves on the tree of life are almost all microbes

The leaves on the tree of life are almost all microbes

Planet of the insects? Heck no. Planet of the microbes. Science has long struggled with estimating how many species of ...
Stressed out? It could alter your sperm

Stressed out? It could alter your sperm

Sperm from stressed-out dads can carry that stress from one generation to another. “But one question that really hasn’t been ...
How choosing genetically similar partners shapes our genomes

How choosing genetically similar partners shapes our genomes

Chances are, you’re going to marry someone a lot like you. Similar intelligence, similar height, similar body weight. A new ...
Evidence ancient humans not 'violent apes' but distinctly compassionate

Evidence ancient humans not ‘violent apes’ but distinctly compassionate

[Editor's note: Penny Spikins is an archaeologist who specializes in early prehistory and human origins.] Yes, there is evidence of interpersonal violence ...
Have humans or any of Earth's creatures stopped evolving?

Have humans or any of Earth’s creatures stopped evolving?

Some of the planet's more bizarre creatures have prompted some observers to suggest that evolution, on occasion, is stopped in ...
Genetics of mental health yield surprising connections but no cures

Genetics of mental health yield surprising connections but no cures

Scientists are slowly uncovering the genes and mechanisms that cause mental health disorders, but we are a long way from ...
Genetics can’t determine your indigenous heritage

Genetics can’t determine your indigenous heritage

Collectively, genetics studies have shown us that the indigenous inhabitants of the Americas are descended from a group that diverged ...
Has the mystery of who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls been solved?

Has the mystery of who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls been solved?

Dozens of skeletons discovered in the Judean Desert may finally reveal who wrote the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, a mystery that ...
'Fault-free obesity': How much are fat-storing genes causing expanding waistlines?

‘Fault-free obesity’: How much are fat-storing genes causing expanding waistlines?

Obesity is often attributed to a simple equation: People are eating too much and exercising too little. But evidence is ...
Searching for extraterrestrial life: Finding the right communication technology

Searching for extraterrestrial life: Finding the right communication technology

Scientists are looking for evidence of extraterrestrial communication across interstellar space. But what if other intelligent life forms are using ...
How tracing the evolutionary family tree of all female lab mice will help improve medical research

How tracing the evolutionary family tree of all female lab mice will help improve medical research

Adam and Eve, a pair of black mice, lived for less than two years and never left their home at ...
Our brains grow and shrink when we learn—which is how we continue to absorb knowledge

Our brains grow and shrink when we learn—which is how we continue to absorb knowledge

Our past understanding of the brain would suggest that new knowledge requires new brain cells, and as a result our ...
Viewpoint: We need a conversation about gene editing and eugenics

Viewpoint: We need a conversation about gene editing and eugenics

[Editor's note: Karin Christiansen is head of research at the Centre for Health Technology at the Faculty of Health, VIA ...
Biopesticides: Creating a mosquito-fighting bacteria wasn't easy—or fast

Biopesticides: Creating a mosquito-fighting bacteria wasn’t easy—or fast

[A]fter decades of international scientific effort, a new mosquito biopesticide (a pesticide that uses natural bacteria) has been approved. And it only took a year and ...
Saving the Galapagos: Gene drives could help rid invasive pests

Saving the Galapagos: Gene drives could help rid invasive pests

Eradicating invasive species can be a brutal job. On the island of Floreana, a plan to eliminate the rodents that ...
Asteroid that killed dinosaurs had only 1-in-10 chance of causing extinction

Asteroid that killed dinosaurs had only 1-in-10 chance of causing extinction

The smack of the asteroid against Earth released energy on the order of billions of atomic bombs. Dinosaurs were the cataclysm's most famous ...
Dog genome project: How your breed originated

Dog genome project: How your breed originated

From the 80-kilogram Great Dane to the 1-kilogram tiny teacup poodle, there seems to be a dog for everyone. Now, ...