Articles on Biology

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Scientific testing has zeroed in on the advantages of a zebra’s striped coat. Tim Caro

Zebra’s stripes are a no fly zone for flies

How the zebra got its stripes is not only a just-so story, but an object of scientific inquiry. New research suggests that stripes help zebras evade biting flies and the deadly diseases they carry.
Photo by Mikhail Vasilyev on Unsplash

Curious Kids: do ants have blood?

Ants have something similar to blood, but it's called haemolymph. Some insects use it in unusual ways. When threatened by a predator, blister beetles can squirt haemolymph from their knees.
Lots of positive pregnancy tests this time of year. Kristina Kokhanova/Shutterstock.com

‘Tis the season for conception

Did you ever consider that human beings might have a breeding season? Birth seasonality exists – and has interesting implications for childhood disease outbreaks.
Generations of giraffes. Shutterstock.

Curious Kids: what is a species?

It can actually be very tricky to define a species, but in the 1900s, scientists found a pretty good way.
Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) at the Houston Zoo. Josh Henderson

Caught on camera: The fossa, Madagascar’s elusive top predator

The fossa, Madagascar's largest predator, is a cat-like carnivore that eats everything from insects to lemurs. Because they are rare and elusive, scientists know very little about them, including how many there are.
Zebrafish are known for their black and gold stripes. NICHD/flickr

How the zebrafish got its stripes

Zebrafish are known for their black and gold stripes, but researchers are still figuring out how pigment cells interact to form these patterns.
Rita Levi-Montalcini celebrates her 100th birthday in 2009. Presidenza della Repubblica Italiana/Wikimedia Commons

Dismissed under Mussolini, later Nobel prize winner – the importance of scientist Rita Levi-Montalcini

Born in Italy in 1909, Levi-Montalcini avoided being transported to Auschwitz as a young woman and rose to prominence as a neurobiologist. She was a co-recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize for Medicine.

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