science
Model Brains-on-a-Chip Reveal the Physics of Brain Folding

Brains fold in on themselves as they grow. That’s just what they do. How and why they do it is a different story, and studying it requires some pretty interesting science. Science like growing simple mini-brains on a chip under a microscope. Read More >>

science
These Freaky Fish Can Turn Their Eyes Into Flashlights

At slightly less than two inches long, triplefin fish don’t seem like much of a threat. But as new research shows, these aquatic carnivores have a rare organ that turns their eyes into veritable flashlights—an ability they can switch on when needed. Read More >>

science
Earth’s First Land Plants May Have Sprouted 80 Million Years Earlier Than Previously Thought

For hundreds of millions of years, life on Earth was a purely aquatic phenomenon. The jump from the oceans to the continents was a monumental event, one that would irrevocably change the face of our plants. A new study suggests the first plants to make this evolutionary leap appeared much earlier than we thought. Read More >>

science
Secrets of The Cuttlefish’s Uncanny Camouflage Abilities Revealed

Octopus, squid, and cuttlefish can change their skin’s colours, patterns, and textures in ways not seen anywhere else in the animal kingdom. You see what looks to be a clump of seaweed, and then it suddenly springs to life in the form of a retreating cephalopod. The changing of skin texture is a particularly impressive skill—one that marine biologists are now a step closer to understanding. Read More >>

science
These Asexual Animals Don’t Need Love

Does all the stress of finding a partner get you down? Do you ever wish you could just start a family of your own, with kids that looked just like you, but without all of the trouble of finding another individual to mix sex cells with? Read More >>

science
Transgender Woman Breastfeeds Her Baby After Experimental Treatment

A medical team from Mount Sinai in New York City is the first to formally report on the details of an experimental therapy that allowed a transgender woman to breastfeed her baby for six weeks. Read More >>

photography
Picture of Single Trapped Atom Wins UK Science Photography Prize

Zoom in close on the centre of the picture above, and you can spot something you perhaps never thought you’d be able to see: a single atom. Here is a close-up if you’re having trouble: Read More >>

science
Cautious Optimism as Scientists Grow Human Eggs From Immature Cells in the Lab

In a scientific first, researchers from the UK and US have taken early-stage human egg cells and grown them to full maturity in the lab. It’s an important proof-of-concept that could eventually yield new infertility treatments for women. Read More >>

science
Snakes Could Be Spreading Flowers By Pooing Mice

You probably have this image of the circle of life in your head where a zebra eats a plant, a lion eats the zebra, the lion dies and fertilises the soil, and then new plants grow. I mean, that sort of happens, but have you considered where snakes fit into all of this? Read More >>

biology
Swallowed Bombardier Beetles Spew Hot Chemicals From Their Butts to Make Predators Barf

These crafty bombardier beetles are able to escape after being swallowed by toads, which they do by ejecting hot, noxious chemicals that forces the predator to barf. It ain’t pretty, but it works. Read More >>

science
Scientists Sequence Human Genome With Handheld USB Device

Scientists reported this week that they have sequenced and assembled the human genome using a pocket-sized sequencer for the first time. Read More >>

science
Frog Species Breaks Record for Most Sex Chromosomes in a Vertebrate

You may have learned in school that humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes: 22 “autosomes” and their partners, which contain pretty much the same genes and in the same order, plus one pair of sex chromosomes that lead to the differentiation in sexual traits. But enough about us. The Amazonian Leptodactylus pentadactylus (smoky jungle frog) has six pairs of sex chromosomes. Read More >>

science
The ‘Shower Rat’ is Very Obviously Not Showering

It’s very easy to look at an animal mimicking a human-like behavior and think “Wow! That animal is doing a human thing! It looks so cute and happy” (because humans are so cute and happy, right?) That is almost never the case. If an animal looks weird, it probably is weird—and not in a good way. Read More >>

biology
Holy Crap These Leech Cocoons Are Incredible

Leech cocoons, the sacks in which leeches lay their eggs, have an incredible solid-foam surface, as the image below shows: Read More >>

science
How Evolution Turned Lions and Cheetahs Into Such Formidable Killing Machines

When we see a large cat capturing its prey on the African savannah, we’re literally watching millions of years of evolution in action. But these attacks don’t always end in a meal, as “survival of the fittest” sometimes means the target gets to make a daring escape. New research uncovers the athleticism involved in these predator-prey encounters, and the best strategies for capturing prey—or avoiding being eaten. Read More >>