Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.

  1. Health & Medicine

    Infected cutting boards

    Germs can hitchhike into the kitchen on meat and many types of produce. A new study finds that some of those germs are particularly nasty. They are immune to the one or more of the drugs doctors would prescribe to wipe out the infection.

  2. Animals

    These insects thirst for tears

    In some parts of the world, insects will drop by for a savory beverage. Interestingly, neither a croc — nor a scientist who offered his eyes up to ‘tear-sipping’ bees — seemed bothered much by the freeloaders.

  3. Health & Medicine

    New ‘Heartland’ disease emerges in U.S. Midwest

    A new viral disease causes major pain and flu-like symptoms. At present, no treatment or cure exists.

  4. Plants

    Wily bacteria create ‘zombie’ plants

    Scientists have discovered how some plant pathogens ensure their own survival by transforming flowering plants into strictly leaf-producing ones. These green ‘zombies’ attract insects that the parasites need to help them spread to other plants.

  5. Animals

    Sea otters picked up swine flu

    A new study finds that large numbers of sea otters off of the U.S. Pacific coast have been exposed to the ‘pandemic’ type of this killer virus.

  6. Animals

    When a species can’t stand the heat

    When temperatures rise, New Zealand’s tuatara produce more males. With global warming, that could leave the ancient reptile species with too few females to avoid going extinct.

  7. Animals

    Explainer: How invasive species ratted out the tuatara

    The introduction of rats to New Zealand led to huge population losses of the ancient tuatara. These uncommon reptiles vanished from the mainland. This left isolated populations to survive on several dozen isolated islands.

  8. Animals

    Kangaroos have ‘green’ farts

    The farts and belches of these animals contain less methane than do those from other big grass grazers. Microbes in their digestive tract appear to explain the ‘roos lower production of this greenhouse gas, a new study finds.

  9. Animals

    Quieter vibes for city spiders

    How much a web vibrates affects how well a spider senses when that web has captured prey. But webs attached to concrete, plastic and other artificial materials vibrate less than do those built on natural materials, such as twigs or leaves.

  10. Environment

    Burning to learn

    Fires cause billions of dollars of destruction to homes and forests every year. But not all fires are bad, especially for forests. With a better understanding of fire, scientists can both help people prevent dangerous fires — and identify which ones it would be better to let burn.

  11. Environment

    Explainer: How and why fires burn

    A fire’s colorful flame results from a chemical reaction known as combustion.

  12. Animals

    Passing diseases from bee to bee

    A study finds that the viruses and parasites that plague honeybees can infect bumblebees too, sickening another important pollinator.