1. Animals

    Embracing the swarm

    Entomologist Michael Raupp is enjoying Swarmageddon. The giant batch of cicadas began emerging from the ground in late April and will be heard in some northeastern states through June.

  2. Earth

    The ice keeper

    DENVER — “I’m a little tired of the cold,” Geoff Hargreaves says with a sigh. Vasileios Gkinis of the University of Colorado Boulder examines layers in an ice core that reveal environmental changes over time. Gifford Wong/Wais Jeff Kanipe No surprise there: Hargreaves works in a deep freeze — 38 degrees Celsius below zero (−36° […]

  3. Humans

    Spreading a scientific way of life

    Give a man a fish and he’ll have a seafood supper. Teach a man engineering principles and he could start an aquafarm, devise a better net or fishing pole or maybe even come up with an entirely new way to combat chronic fishlessness. High school students in Panama learned engineering skills and helped install a […]

  4. Humans

    Prisons an unlikely laboratory

    Graduate student Craig Ulrich carried out his first published research project not in a university lab, but as a prison inmate. Two Cedar Creek Corrections Center inmates care for flowering plants destined for the wild. The project teaches prisoners about Northwest landscapes and environmental restoration. Benjamin Drummond Scott Barnett In 2004 Ulrich accidentally shot and […]

  5. A genetic exhibitionist

    Harvard geneticist Joseph Pickrell is part of a new generation of scientists talking about their data not just over the lab bench, but in conversations online. Pickrell uses the Internet to open himself, his research and his thoughts about others’ work to public scrutiny. Geneticist Joseph Pickrell posted his DNA sequence and some identifying tags, […]

  6. Humans

    Baseball’s resident physicist

    Baseball’s resident physicist.

  7. Humans

    Exploring NASA’s quirky places

    Best known for its role in crafting and commanding spacecraft such as Curiosity, JPL is also home to decades’ worth of accumulated oddities.

  8. Leslie Gordon and family

    Rare disease sets mom’s research agenda

  9. Humans

    Tackling women’s pro football

    Tackling women’s pro football.

  10. Through a glass, less darkly

    After finishing his Ph.D. on glass formation, chemical physicist Patrick Charbonneau thought he’d never study the material again. But something kept nagging him: In some experiments, materials would unexpectedly morph into glass, solid as a rock but molecularly disordered like a liquid. The results didn’t match with glass-formation theory, but they were easy to dismiss […]

  11. Genetics

    Contest brings out the biohackers

    Mix one part enthusiasm, two parts engineering and three parts biology — and you’ve got a recipe for do-it-yourself genetic engineering. Every November, college kids from Michigan to Munich descend on MIT, eager to show off their biohacking skills. In the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition, teams battle one another to build the coolest synthetically altered organisms. If you want to create a microbe that will sniff out and destroy contaminants in mining waste ponds, or a cell that will produce drugs right in your body, iGEM is for you.

  12. Alt science

    View the videoAfter a day of computer programming and poring over genetic data, Pardis Sabeti relaxes her brain by writing rock songs. Pardis Sabeti sorts through reams of genetic information to find genes that have been shaped by natural selection to resist disease. Olivier Douliery Born in Tehran, Sabeti is a computational biologist at Harvard […]