Which Primate Is the Most Likely Source of the Next Pandemic?

To help anticipate the next outbreak of an emerging infectious disease, scientists scrutinize our closest relatives in the animal kingdom

ZnO Fall Flowers. Image by Audrey Forticaux, a graduate student in the Chemistry Department

Intriguing Science Art From the University of Wisconsin

From a fish's dyed nerves to vapor strewn across the planet, images submitted to a contest at the university offer new perspectives of the natural world

Polar bear-brown bear hybrids like this pair at Germany’s Osnabrück Zoo are becoming more common as melting sea ice forces the two species to cross paths.

Brown Polar Bears, Beluga-Narwhals and Other Hybrids Brought to You by Climate Change

Animals with shrinking habitats are interbreeding, temporarily boosting populations but ultimately hurting species' survival


Do Drone Pilots Deserve Their Own Medal?

It’s never been easy, but drones and cybersystems are making it more difficult than ever to decide which servicemen are deserving of what


The (Natural) World, According to Our Photo Contest Finalists

From a caterpillar to the Milky Way, the ten finalists in the contest's Natural World category capture the peculiar, the remarkable and the sublime


This 33,000-Year-Old Skull Belonged to One of the World’s First Dogs

A new DNA analysis confirms that an ancient skull found in a Siberian cave was an early ancestor of man's best friend

A bull male forest elephant in Gabon. A new study published in the PLOS ONE shows that African forest elephants are being poached into extinction.

Miniature African Forest Elephants Could Be Extinct in 10 Years

Ivory poachers slashed the population of the small elephants by 62 percent in the past decade--future losses at those rates will doom the species

The human heart

Growing New Hearts Without Using Embryonic Stem Cells

A different type of stem cell—one used in asexual reproduction—can create new heart muscle tissue without raising ethical questions, new studies show


Why Dogs are More Like Humans Than Wolves

The dumb dog days are over, says evolutionary anthropologist Brian Hare

Mates for Life

A Valentine for Sci-Art Lovers

A clever print by designer Jacqueline Schmidt pays homage to 12 different species with one thing in common—they mate for life


Outrageous Taxidermy, the Subject of a New Show on AMC

Former Smithsonian taxidermist Paul Rhymer is a judge on "Immortalized," a TV competition that pits up-and-comers against superstars in the field

The Indian Peafowl may need help adapting to climate change.

Can Birds Survive Climate Change?

Predicted increases in torrential rain and severe drought will force birds in Asia to relocate in search of food and viable habitat, a new study finds


The Year’s Most Outstanding Science Visualizations

A juried competition honors photographs, illustrations, videos, posters, games and apps that marry art and science in an evocative way


Solving the Mystery of Owls’ Head-Turning Abilities

New research shows how owls can swivel their heads around without cutting off blood supply to their brains

The utterly strange-looking star-nosed mole sees the world with one of the most sensitive touch organs in the animal kingdom.

How the Star-Nosed Mole ‘Sees’ With Its Ultra-Sensitive Snout

The utterly strange-looking creature sees the world with one of the most sensitive touch organs in the animal kingdom

A feral cat, just trying to get by.

Feral Cats Kill Billions of Small Critters Each Year

A new study shows that cats--especially feral ones--kill far more birds and small mammals than scientists previously thought

Baby bonobos share papayas

Bonobos Offer Banana Bribes for Friendship

Chimpanzees will sooner kill than share food, but bonobos will sacrifice some of their own goods for the pleasure of interacting with strangers


The Ten Best Ocean Stories of 2012

From deep-sea squid habits to vanishing coral reefs, here are the ocean stories we couldn’t stop talking about this year.


The Scientific Reason Why Reindeer Have Red Noses

Some reindeer really do have red noses, a result of densely packed blood vessels near the skin's surface


The Persistence of Memory in Mice

A new study shows that female mice who smell pheromones in potential mates' urine will constantly return to the site of exposure even weeks later

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