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Amazing Animation Meets Mouse Genetics

Amazing Animation Meets Mouse Genetics

How does a mouse build a burrow, and do genes help control this behavior? This was a question asked by members of the Hoekstra lab at Harvard.

May 6, 2014 — Joanne Manaster
Cool Sh*t I’ve Read Lately, II

Cool Sh*t I’ve Read Lately, II

Last month, in an effort to make this blog more upbeat, I started a monthly column called “Cool Sh*t I’ve Read Lately.” My stated intention was to draw attention to “well-written articles about compelling topics.” In this second installment, I’m breaking that rule by mentioning not only articles but also books, including a novel...

April 30, 2014 — John Horgan

Upcoming Science-Art Events Around the Country

This is the dish on the latest exhibits combining science and art around the country. This time the prize for the most bumpin’ scienceArt scene goes to the Northeast, amirite?

April 29, 2014 — Kalliopi Monoyios

Blue-Footed Boobies Have Stopped Breeding, But Why?

One of the most delightful bird species of the Galápagos has almost completely stopped breeding there. According to a new study published this week in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology, blue-footed boobies (Sula nebouxii) have seen a population drop of more than 50 percent over the past two decades...

April 23, 2014 — John R. Platt
Finally! A Science-Themed Miley Cyrus Parody…

Finally! A Science-Themed Miley Cyrus Parody…

Those of you familiar with my blog here at SciAm will know that I’m a little obsessed with science-themed music videos. When I saw the ‘Wrecking Ball’ masterpiece of Ms...

January 13, 2014 — Carin Bondar
What Ultramarathons Do to the Body

What Ultramarathons Do to the Body

Its hard for many people to imagine running (or walking) a standard marathon of 26.2 miles, let alone topping that distance with a so-called ultramarathon that could stretch to as much as 100 miles or more...

January 8, 2014 — Dina Fine Maron
Sunday Species Snapshot: Forest Owlet

Sunday Species Snapshot: Forest Owlet

Scientific fraud almost led to this tiny owl’s extinction. Species name: Forest owlet (Heteroglaux blewitti). Known locally as dongar dudaa.

January 5, 2014 — John R. Platt
Evolving proteins – no DNA required

Evolving proteins – no DNA required

Prions are the infective agents that cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies such as Mad Cow Disease in humans. All prions affect the brain or neural tissues and are currently untreatable...

January 5, 2014 — S.E. Gould
A Paper Puppet Animation on Evolution’s Forgotten Hero

A Paper Puppet Animation on Evolution’s Forgotten Hero

When people think about evolution, the most obvious name that comes to mind is Charles Darwin. Alfred Russell Wallace is rarely given the credit he deserves for his work on the subject, which is unfortunate...

December 31, 2013 — Carin Bondar
Top Ten Strangest Animal Moments of 2013

Top Ten Strangest Animal Moments of 2013

Its been a good year for strange animals. Which is something you could probably say about every year ever because animals are strange. So heres my Top Ten Strangest Animal Moments of 2013, ordered from most strange to slightly less strange...

December 24, 2013 — Bec Crew
Sunday Species Snapshot: Alaotran Gentle Lemur

Sunday Species Snapshot: Alaotran Gentle Lemur

A primate that lives only in wetlands? That alone makes the Alaotran gentle lemur unique. But this tiny lemur lives in incredibly limited constrained habitat, which continues to shrink around it...

December 22, 2013 — John R. Platt
Octopus, How Do You Count Your Suckers?

Octopus, How Do You Count Your Suckers?

We all know that the male octopus uses his third right arm as a penis. (Oh, you didn’t? It’s true. Sometimes he even detaches it to give to the female.) In fact, all of the arms, if not so specialized, are easily identifiableas numbers one, two, three or four on the left or right side...

December 22, 2013 — Katherine Harmon Courage
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Lifestyle Changes. Lifetime Benefits.

Lifestyle Changes. Lifetime Benefits.

A New Outlook for Old Age