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Articles on Reproduction

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Art historians have long used traditional X-rays, X-ray fluorescence or infrared imaging to better understand artists’ techniques. Metropolitan Museum of Art/Wikimedia Commons

How AI is hijacking art history

Breathless headlines of artificial intelligence discovering or restoring lost works of art ignore the fact that these machines rarely, if ever, reveal one secret or solve a single mystery.
The story of Walatta Petros, a 17th-century Ethiopian noblewoman who was later made a saint, shows that Christianity has a complex history with abortion and contraception. A 1721 manuscript/Wikimedia Commons

Christian attitudes surrounding abortion have a more nuanced history than current events suggest

Abortion and contraception were quite common among premodern Christians, who also celebrated women’s celibacy as superior to marriage and childbearing.
Poisonous or edible? Ekaterina Morozova/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Why are some mushrooms poisonous?

Poison can be a deadly defense that helps a mushroom make sure its spores are spread to new places to grow into baby mushrooms.
Getting the job done. A female Asian water dragon (Physignathus cocincinus) produced a daughter (left) without the assistance of a male. Skip Brown/Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Virgin births from parthenogenesis: How females from some species can reproduce without males

Parthenogenesis, a form of reproduction in which an egg develops into an embryo without being fertilized by sperm, might be more common than you realized.
When they suck your blood they can leave behind the parasite that causes sleeping sickness. Patrick Robert/Sygma via Getty Images

Bloodthirsty tsetse flies nurse their young, one live birth at a time – understanding this unusual strategy could help fight the disease they spread

This insect’s unique reproductive biology could lead to new ways to control the species in the environment – and prevent the deadly sleeping sickness it spreads to people.
Although the United Nations has raised concerns about the rights of children, advocates say a baby hatch, like the one shown here in Karlsruhe, Germany, can save lives. (Hardt Foundation)

After a newborn was found in a recycling bin, a safe haven baby hatch may save lives

Since an infant was found in a recycling bin last fall in Saskatoon, advocates have renewed their campaign for baby hatches, places mothers can leave newborns safely and anonymously.
For millennia, theologians taught that the sole purpose of sex was reproductive. Now, almost everyone agrees that sex has many purposes – and benefits. Dean Drobot/Shutterstock.com

What is sex really for?

The purpose of sex may seem obvious, but it has perplexed and intrigued a variety of great minds for millennia.
According to the United Nations, the world’s population could reach 10 billion by 2050. Shutterstock

How many humans tomorrow? The United Nations revises its projections

The UN’s new global population projections include some surprises – in particular, that the global population in 2100 will be 3% less than they projected in 2017.

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