Life

  1. Ecosystems

    Groundwater pumping is draining rivers and streams worldwide

    Excessive groundwater use could push more than half of the regions that depend on water pumped up from underground aquifers past an environmental tipping point by 2050. That could threaten aquatic ecosystems around the world.

    By
  2. Animals

    Standing out helps barn owls on the hunt

    White barn owls are more successful hunters than red ones — at least when the moon is full.

    By
  3. Earth

    Earthworms lose weight in soils polluted with microplastics

    Bits of plastic pollution in the ground caused earthworms to lose weight. That could hurt the worms’ ability to make soil healthy, and may explain why plants were stunted.

    By
  4. Brain

    The science of ghosts

    One in five Americans say they’ve encountered a ghost. But science has no evidence that ghosts are real. Here are more likely explanations.

    By
  5. Health & Medicine

    Could disabling one protein cure the common cold?

    Cold viruses — and there are many — seem to need this human molecule to spread.

    By
  6. Fossils

    Scientists Say: Paleontology

    This is the study of prehistoric life based on fossils of microbes, plants, and animals found in rock.

    By
  7. Genetics

    What we can — and can’t — learn from our pets’ DNA

    Your dog or cat’s DNA is an open book. DNA tests tell people about their pet’s breed and attempt to predict things about its behavior and health.

    By
  8. Genetics

    Explainer: How DNA testing works

    Lots of companies will now test DNA from people and their pets. How do these gene-sequencing techniques work? We explain.

    By
  9. Genetics

    DNA testing looks into dog breeds and cat history

    Dog and cat breeds can look very different from one another. How does it happen? Combinations of tiny genetic tweaks.

    By
  10. Brain

    Slower brain development ups a teen’s risk of getting into a car accident

    Lack of driving experience isn't the only factor in whether a teen gets into a car crash. Crash risk in young drivers is also related to development of their brains’ working memory.

    By
  11. Life

    Scientists Say: RNA

    This is a molecule that helps cells make proteins from the instructions encoded in DNA.

    By
  12. Chemistry

    Cool Job: One green chemist is mining zoo dung for biological helpers

    Her goal is to convert farm-field wastes into useful fuels and chemicals

    By