1. Life

    A ‘ghost’ gene leaves sea mammals vulnerable to some toxic chemicals

    Manatees, dolphins and other warm-blooded marine animals can't break down some common pesticides. The newfound reason: Long ago, their genes lost the ability to do so.

  2. Genetics

    Koala genes could help scientists save these furry animals

    Scientists have examined the clues within koalas’ genetic instruction book. They are learning more about how to save these cuddly creatures.

  3. Genetics

    Toxic toads pose threat to Madagascar’s predators

    The Asian common toad, an invasive species in Madagascar, produces a chemical in its skin that’s probably toxic to most of the island’s predators.

  4. Genetics

    Scientists Say: Intron

    These are sections of DNA that are trimmed out before the DNA is copied RNA and translated into protein. But they still have important jobs to do.

  5. Genetics

    Your DNA is an open book — but can’t yet be fully read

    There are many companies that offer to read your DNA. But be prepared: They cannot yet fulfill all those promises you read in their ads.

  6. Animals

    Living Mysteries: Meet Earth’s simplest animal

    Trichoplax is the simplest animal on Earth. It has no mouth, stomach or brain. Yet it can teach how these and other organs evolved.

  7. Genetics

    Scientists recruit bloodsucking leeches as research assistants

    By analyzing a slimy, bloodsucking leech’s last meal, scientists can identify which animals had been living near it.

  8. Genetics

    Explainer: DNA hunters

    Snippets of DNA can be left behind by a passing organism. Some researchers now act as wildlife detectives to identify the sources of such cast-off DNA.

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    Can DNA editing save endangered species?

    Scientists may be able to help endangered species by changing the genes of a whole population of wild animals. But some question whether that is wise.

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    Increasingly, chocolate-makers turn to science

    Chocolate is delicious and may even have health benefits. To make sure there’s enough to go around, scientists are growing heartier cacao trees.

  11. Health & Medicine

    Janet’s chocolate mousse pie

    The top two ingredients — dark chocolate and tofu — both have a reputation for being healthy. The good news for those who don’t like tofu: You can’t taste it in this pie. It just tastes like a very rich, thick chocolate mousse.

  12. Agriculture

    How to grow a cacao tree in a hurry

    Chocolate is made from the pods of the cacao tree. To reproduce this plant quickly for research, scientists use clones.