A herd of wildebeest sharing the task of watching out for predators.
Images of Africa Photobank / Alamy Stock Photo
False alarms are common in prey animals, but what causes them and how can they be avoided?
The new BA.5 subvariant has caused a sharp rise in cases and hospitalizations throughout much of the United States.
Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Face masks are still an effective way to help stop the spread of the BA.5 subvariant.
A great hammerhead shark’s two eyes can be 3 feet apart on opposite sides of its skull.
Ken Kiefer 2/Image Source via Getty Images
The first hammerhead shark was likely the result of a genetic deformity. A biologist explains how shark DNA reveals hammerheads’ history.
A long-term study of wild animal populations shows each generation is on average almost 20% genetically ‘better’ than their parents at surviving and reproducing.
Identifying the difference between normal genetic variation and disease-causing mutations can sometimes be difficult.
Andrii Yalanskyi/iStock via Getty Images Plus
Tumors contain thousands of genetic changes, but only a few are actually cancer-causing. A quicker way to identify these driver mutations could lead to more targeted cancer treatments.
Where’s next for Homo Sapiens?
We’ll probably be less aggressive and more agreeable, but have smaller brains – a bit like a Golden Retriever, we’ll be friendly, but maybe not that interesting or bright.
A female pollinating wasp,
Platyscapa awekei, which pollinates the Wonderboom fig, a famous fig tree in South Africa.
Simon van Noort
Assuming that natural selection shapes all animal and plant traits is a false impression. Natural selection is a mindless process.
The huge number of active coronavirus infections offers plenty of opportunity for mutations to occur and new variants to arise.
Eoneren/E+ via Getty Images
When the coronavirus copies itself, there is a chance its RNA will mutate. But new variants must jump from one host to another, and the more infections there are, the better chance this will happen.
New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman routinely tops 100 mph with his fastball.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images Sport via Getty Images
We’re the only species that can throw at speeds that kill.
First published 150 years ago, this work is shaped by Victorian-era sexual and racial stereotypes. But at a time when other evolutionists stressed humanity’s uniqueness, Darwin emphasised our ‘lowly nature’.
Finches have evolved to feed off blood from red-footed and Nazca boobies – and we’ve seen it first-hand.
Governments will need to determine how best to allocate COVID-19 vaccinations.
When allocating resources, we prioritize members of the social groups we belong to, rather than including others in our allocations. This will determine how the COVID-19 vaccine is distributed.
W.E.B. Du Bois in his office at The Crisis in New York City, 1925.
W. E. B. Du Bois Papers (MS 312). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries
As editor of the magazine for 24 years, Du Bois featured articles about biology, evolution, archaeology in Africa and more to refute the rampant scientific racism of the early 20th century.
We propose same-sex attraction evolved to allow greater social integration and stronger same-sex social bonds.
Scientists don’t ask how some people evolved to be tall. In the same way, asking how homosexuality evolved is the wrong question. We need to ask how human sexuality evolved in all its forms.
For millennia, theologians taught that the sole purpose of sex was reproductive. Now, almost everyone agrees that sex has many purposes – and benefits.
The purpose of sex may seem obvious, but it has perplexed and intrigued a variety of great minds for millennia.
An Indonesian island was home to
H. Floresiensis – but how did the dwarfed human species evolve?
New research models how the Homo floresiensis species could have evolved its small size remarkably quickly while living on an isolated island.
Darwin wondered: what if species change over time in response to their environment?
In science, we look at the evidence and try to find the theory that best explains it. And that’s what happened when it came to figuring out evolution.
Evolution has no final endpoint in mind.
If you go by editorial cartoons and T-shirts, you might have the impression that evolution proceeds as an orderly march toward a preordained finish line. But that’s not right at all.
Cell Press © Du et al
How and why animals develop as male or female is far more complex than we ever imagined.
Modern science clashes with the idea that the rise of Homo Sapiens was a fluke.