Articles on Biology

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Researchers have discovered a lineage of yeast species that ignores the laws of cell growth. Alexander Kirch/Shutterstock.com

An outlaw yeast thrives with genetic chaos – and could provide clues for understanding cancer growth

Yeast isn't just important for the foods we consume. A rogue lineage of yeast species that evolves faster than any other is revealing secrets that may help illuminate the molecular causes of cancer.
Activated platelets (purple) on their way to heal a wound. Sebastian Kaulitzki/Shutterstock.com

Platelets: The chameleons of cancer biology

Platelets heal wounds. But they also seem to play a paradoxical role in both promoting and inhibiting the growth of solid tumors.
Yolks are a great source of vitamins, minerals, fats and proteins packaged up by the female animal for an embryo. Emily Nunell/The Conversation CC-NY-BD

Curious Kids: why do eggs have a yolk?

A yolk allows a developing animal to stay in an egg longer, boosting its chance of survival. The downside is the mother has to work hard finding extra food so her body can create a nutritious yolk.
What’s the best way to put the brakes on current research? Okrasyuk/Shutterstock.com

A case against a moratorium on germline gene editing

Scientists and ethicists have called for a five-year moratorium on editing human genes that will pass on to future generations. Yes, society needs to figure out how to proceed – but is this the best way?
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.

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