For the first time ever, scientists have sequenced the genome of the world’s tallest land species, the giraffe. Surprisingly, this majestic creature required only a small handful of mutations to attain its remarkable physical stature and physiology—but these mutations packed an evolutionary punch.
A 64-year-old man who lost his penis to cancer is the nation’s first recipient of a penis transplant. The experimental procedure is poised to help thousands of men who have lost their genitals to disease, accident, or combat.
Earlier this week, over a hundred scientists, lawyers, and entrepreneurs gathered to discuss the radical possibility of creating a synthetic human genome. Strangely, journalists were not invited, and attendees were told to keep a tight lip. Which, given the weighty subject matter, is obvious cause for concern.
Bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics far more quickly than humans are discovering new ones. That’s why a DARPA-funded research team is exploring a fascinating new way we might win the war against germs: not with drugs, but with predatory bacteria that sound like monsters from science fiction.
Many of us have experienced prolonged stretches of driving where we’re seemingly oblivious to our surroundings, and we’re left dumbfounded that we didn’t get into a serious accident. A new study suggests that a specific brain function protects us from these bouts of absentminded driving—but that it completely breaks…
The consequences of not getting enough sleep are evident to all of us—and yet we’re constantly staying up later than what our internal biological clocks are telling us. A new study shows the elusive nature of what’s to blame.
Newborn infants are supposed to be capable of imitating our facial expressions, like sticking out our tongues and opening our mouths. A new study in Current Biology suggests there’s no actual imitating going on—and that it’s all in our heads.
In a lush conservation park in central Kenya, the world’s last three northern white rhinos are unable to breed. When they die, the subspecies will go extinct. That is unless a complex, controversial plan involving tissue cryobanks and test tube embryos can actually work.
The burgeoning industry of biological design is in the headlines every day. Yet even science journalists have had trouble explaining concepts like CRISPR in terms that everyone can understand. A new exhibition at a Silicon Valley museum skillfully explains the technically and ethically complicated field of…
An international team of scholars has just unveiled plans to science the shit out of Leonardo da Vinci, the man who gave us the Mona Lisa and envisioned futuristic technologies like helicopters and tanks 500 years ago. Goals of the fledgling “Leonardo Project” include recovering the famous Renaissance figure’s remains…
Scientists have sustained human embryos in a petri dish for 13 days, shattering the previous record of nine days. The breakthrough will allow researchers to study early fetal development in unprecedented detail, and brings us one step closer to viable “artificial wombs.” But it’s adding fuel to an already heated…
Using state-of-the art microscopy, scientists have peered inside cardiac cells while they beat, revealing tube-like structures that buckle and then snap back into shape, much like shock absorbers. The details now appear in Science.
As a breed, labrador retrievers often have serious food-related issues—a behavioral quirk that often leads to over-eating and canine obesity. Researchers have finally figured out why, and the answer could influence the way we treat human obesity.
New research shows that the mere presence of a first class cabin on an airplane—plus the added experience of having to shuffle through this cabin while boarding—contributes to “air rage,” both among economy and first class passengers.
It looks like the set from a 1950s scifi flick, but this toxic, funhouse-colored hot spring isn’t humanity’s first deadly encounter with alien biology. Although it is home to some very strange life forms, and we’re not sure what would happen if those gloves came off.
Plants have an incredible knack for greening and flowering in sync with the seasons. We’ve been trying to figure out how they do it for years, and now, scientists have uncovered evidence that memory is involved.
Titanosaurs were the largest land animals to ever appear on this planet, but even these lumbering beasts had humble beginnings. The discovery of a baby titanosaur fossil suggests that these dinosaurs were born with very adult-like features—and wow did they ever grow fast.
Majestic North American elk are known for producing high-pitched, screeching calls that carry for miles, particularly during breeding season. Known as “bugling,” it sounds for all the world like the piercing shrieks of the Ringwraiths from Lord of the Rings. This has puzzled scientists, because the pitch of an…
Ants are amazing at co-operation, using their bodies to form parts of chains, ladders, walls, and even rafts. A new study shows that the rafts built by ants are surprisingly well organized, the product of specialized skills and complex memorization tasks.
Most science labs maintain a temperature far below levels preferred by mice, and it’s taking a toll on their health. New research suggests these chilly mice are skewing science results across a wide range of research areas—and the problem is far worse than anyone realized.