Amy McDermott

Summer 2016 Science Writing Intern

All Stories by Amy McDermott

  1. Fairy barf lichen
    Life

    Lichens are an early warning system for forest health

    Lichens, fascinating mosaics of fungi and algae or cyanobacteria, are made for sensing environmental change.

  2. Coral reef
    Oceans

    Reef rehab could help threatened corals make a comeback

    Reefs are under threat from rising ocean temperatures. Directed spawning, microfragmenting and selective breeding may help.

  3. muscular legs of a bicyclist
    Genetics

    Endurance training leaves no memory in muscles

    Unlike strength training, endurance workouts left no genetic trace months later, calling into question idea of a general muscle memory.

  4. hen taking a dust bath
    Animals

    Sandboxes keep chicken parasites at bay

    Fluffing feathers in sand and dust prevents severe mite infections in cage-free hens.

  5. Southern tidewater goby
    Life

    California’s goby is actually two different fish

    One fish, two fish: California’s tidewater goby is two species.

  6. Streptococcus B
    Health & Medicine

    Bacterial weaponry that causes stillbirth revealed

    Vaginal bacteria may cause stillbirth by deploying tiny weapons

  7. Snowy owl in flight
    Animals

    For snowy owls, wintering on the prairie might be normal

    Some snowy owls leave the Arctic for winter. That’s not a desperate move, new study says.

  8. painted turtle and zebra finch
    Genetics

    Ancient reptiles saw red before turning red

    The discovery that birds and turtles share a gene tied to both color vision and red coloration is more evidence that dinosaurs probably saw the color red — and perhaps were even red, too.

  9. person holding snail
    Animals

    Getting rid of snails is effective at stopping snail fever

    For the tropical disease snail fever, managing host populations is more effective than drugs.

  10. silhouettes of primates
    Genetics

    Evolution of gut bacteria tracks splits in primate species

    Primates and microbes have been splitting in sync for at least 10 million years.

  11. Iranian archaeology site
    Anthropology

    Two groups spread early agriculture

    The Fertile Crescent was a diverse place. Multiple cultures were involved in the dawn of farming.

  12. bearded capuchin monkey cracks nut
    Anthropology

    Earliest evidence of monkeys’ use of stone tools found

    600- to 700-year-old nut-cracking stones from Brazil are earliest evidence that monkeys used tools.