Life Sciences

What is this thing called life? Biologists are life's detectives, discovering how life works and what makes animals, plants and microbes "alive." Organisms don't remain the same forever. Without change, life on Earth would stagnate. Species are in a constant dance with their environment. When an environment changes, the species that live within must change too, evolving to better adapt in order to survive. The end result is the diversity of life we see around us.

Secrets of butterfly wings revealed!

George Washington University evolutionary geneticist Arnaud Martin is using CRISPR Cas9, a gene editing technique, to determine how changes in the "painting gene" WntA result in different wing shapes and patterns in butterflies

The beginning of a new species

The direct observation of the origin of a new species occurred during field work carried out over the last four decades by a wife-and-husband team of scientists from Princeton University on the small island of Daphne Major in the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean

Bumblebees in peril!

Researchers have discovered that climate change, warmer temperatures and earlier snow melt are causing flowers to bloom earlier, affecting bumblebees

NSF Science Now: Episode 54

In this week's episode, we discover why some bumblebees are in peril and that some of the earliest primates were adept leapers. We also explore a new technique that can print drugs, and learn about a new app capable of detecting concussions right on the sideline

How mosquitoes get away

Scientists have found the key to mosquitoes' stealth takeoffs: They barely push off when making a fast getaway, but instead rely on strong and rapid wing beats to quickly get aloft without anyone noticing

NSF Science Now: Episode 53

In this week's episode, we discover a new species of titanosaurian dinosaur and how airline boarding procedures might be making you sick; we explore a compact mass spectrometer for use in the field; and finally, we learn how vertebrate tails actually provide greater speed