Oceanfront property doesn’t come cheap. Except, perhaps, for some seafaring microbes.
Steady streams of tiny plastic pieces making their way into the ocean give microbial squatters a place to take up residence. Each plastic home comes equipped with a solid surface to live on in an otherwise watery world. These floating synthetic dwellings and their microbial inhabitants have a name: the...
After the decision in November that deemed genetically engineered salmon safe for eating — the first animal to garner such approval — the Food and Drug Administration is now treading regulatory water. On January 29, the FDA issued an...
Florida harvester ants “make a nest that is truly beautiful in its architecture,” says Walter Tschinkel. He has poured molten metal or plaster into the underground nests and dug up the hardened casts to reveal their multilevel shapes. Much about these ant nests, however, defies explanation.
For reasons still unknown,...
Environmentalists hoping that micromanaging Europe’s forests will help curb climate change may be barking up the wrong tree.
Retracing changes in forestry since 1750, researchers report in the Feb. 5 Science that forest management in Europe has made climate change worse, not better. Despite an...
Brown bears have all the luck. They can eat and eat and eat all summer, gain lots of weight and then lose it all by the next year. And they don’t have to worry about type 2 diabetes or other conditions that can plague humans who get too fat.
The big difference (one of them, anyway) between bears and people is that the bears...
It is ethically permissible to create “three-parent babies” in clinical experiments, as long as certain guidelines are followed, a U.S. panel of experts has concluded.
These babies result from a procedure known as mitochondrial replacement therapy, mitochondrial transfer or three-person IVF. ...
A rapid loss of phytoplankton threatens to turn the western Indian Ocean into an “ecological desert,” a new study warns. The research reveals that phytoplankton populations in the region fell an alarming 30 percent over the last 16 years.
A decline in ocean mixing due to warming surface waters is to blame for...
Letters to the Editor
Gene drives at the wheel
Tina Hesman Saey discussed the power of a new gene-editing technique to boost the development of gene drives in “Gene drives unleashed” (...
Broad generalizations can provide for powerful rhetoric. Whether discussing a moonshot to cure cancer or the merits of genetically modified foods, the strongest statements lump distinct things together — the dozens of types of cancer, for instance, or the myriad crops that...
Arriving home after work a few summers ago, agricultural economist Matin Qaim found several disturbing messages on his home phone. A study by Qaim had shown that small-scale farmers in India who grew genetically modified cotton had larger harvests compared with conventional cotton growers. Those better yields resulted in greater profits...