Life sciences writer Susan Milius has been writing about botany, zoology and ecology for Science News since the last millennium. She worked at diverse publications before breaking into science writing and editing. After stints on the staffs of The Scientist, Science, International Wildlife and United Press International, she joined Science News. Three of Susan's articles have been selected to appear in editions of The Best American Science Writing.

All Stories by Susan Milius

  1. panda eating bamboo
    Animals

    Pandas’ share of protein calories from bamboo rivals wolves’ from meat

    The panda gut digests protein in bamboo so well that the animal’s nutritional profile for calories resembles a wolf’s.

  2. Chiasson, Ricci and Snorkel
    Agriculture

    Can Silicon Valley entrepreneurs make crickets the next chicken?

    Entrepreneurs are bringing automation and data analysis to insect agriculture to build a profitable business that helps feed the planet.

  3. Animals

    How aphids sacrifice themselves to fix their homes with fatty goo

    Young aphids swollen with fatty substances save their colony by self-sacrifice, using that goo to patch breaches in the wall of their tree home.

  4. black coucal
    Animals

    Parenting chores cut into how much these bird dads fool around

    Frantic parenting demands after eggs hatch curtail male black coucals’ philandering excursions the most, a study finds.

  5. mosquito
    Health & Medicine

    Testing mosquito pee could help track the spread of diseases

    A new way to monitor the viruses that wild mosquitoes are spreading passes its first outdoor test.

  6. Silverleaf whiteflies
    Plants

    A major crop pest can make tomato plants lie to their neighbors

    Insects called silverleaf whiteflies exploit tomatoes’ ability to detect damage caused to nearby plants.

  7. mosquito
    Animals

    Geneticists close in on how mosquitoes sniff out human sweat

    A long-sought protein proves vital for mosquitoes’ ability to detect lactic acid, a great clue for finding a human.

  8. male bee
    Animals

    The first male bees spotted babysitting are mostly stepdads

    Some male bees guard young that are likely not their own while mom looks for pollen, a study finds.

  9. black bear eating trash
    Animals

    Bears that eat ‘junk food’ may hibernate less and age faster

    Wild black bears snacking on leftovers of sugary, highly processed foods in Colorado show possible signs of faster cellular wear.

  10. greater ani bird
    Animals

    This parasitic cuckoo bird shows cheaters don’t always get ahead

    Birds called greater anis that can slip extra eggs into other nests create a natural test of the benefits of honest parenting.

  11. House fly
    Climate

    Climate change could increase foodborne illness by energizing flies

    Warmer, more lively house flies could spread more Campylobacter bacteria by landing on more food.

  12. joshua tree
    Plants

    Shutdown aside, Joshua trees live an odd life

    Growing only in the U.S. Southwest, wild Joshua trees evolved a rare, fussy pollination scheme.