Last week, I spoke with one of my punk rock and science heroes, Bad Religion vocalist / evolutionary biologist Greg Graffin, about his new book, Population Wars, which drops today. And he told me why our view of evolution needs to move past pure competition.
The WHO calls tobacco “the single most preventable cause of death in the world”—but cigarettes may also provide a handful of paradoxical, if pyrrhic, health benefits: Smoking will probably take years off your life, but certain things in tobacco smoke may actually do the body good. Here’s what science has to say about…
The sensory chaos of battle has always posed a challenge to armies hoping to prepare for—and recover from—war. And while it’s clear to most people how sight and sound factor into a soldier’s experience and memory of battle, the smells of combat were, for most of history, largely ignored. But by the eve of the 20th…
It used to be that making cheese meant killing cows. Young cows, specifically—a few days old, at most. The stomach of an unweaned calf produces enzymes that turn liquid milk into good, hard, flavorful cheeses like Parmesan and Cheddar. These enzymes, called rennet, are secreted by mucous membranes that line the calf’s…
Last week, researchers announced they had discovered a physical connection between the immune system and the brain’s blood supply. The finding gives researchers a novel approach to understanding diseases ranging from autism to multiple sclerosis, and strengthens the bridge between neuroscience and immunology.
Meet the muntjac — the most interesting deer in the world. It’s the size of a dog, it’s the oldest deer around, it has antlers but fights with tusks, and it even barks loudly at things that threaten it. But its most interesting quality is this — it gets by with fewer chromosomes than any other mammal on Earth.
One in ten Americans takes an anti-depressant drug like Zoloft or Prozac. These drugs have been shown to work in some patients, but their design is based on a so-called “chemical imbalance” theory of depression that is incomplete, at best.
One hundred fifty years ago, the Great French Wine Blight nearly wiped out an industry that today produces some 40 billion bottles of wine a year. The only solution was a radical fusion of species that remains essential to the success of the wine market. Here's the story of how humanity hacked the wine grape.
Bacteria can share vital nutrients if their bacterial neighbors happen to have a surplus. Scientists have now determined that this sharing is accomplished not through diffusion of those nutrients into the surrounding environment, but rather via nanotubes that physically link the insides of two bacterial cells…
A potent psychedelic drug, DOI, was recently shown to be effective in treating asthma in a mouse model.
Male aggression is commonly pinned on testosterone, and estrogen is credited with imparting females with maternal instinct – but the true story of the sex hormones, and their roles in male and female behavior, is a lot more subtle. Here's why estrogen is an important hormone for males and females alike.
Many of us gained our first appreciation for chemistry upon witnessing a high school teacher drop a chunk of sodium into a beakerful of water. You may think you know the explanation behind the explosive behavior that follows, but newly published research suggests there's more to the reaction than previously believed.
The brain's adaptation to hibernation has given scientists a promising lead on a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease.
Stiff, steel microwires can damage tissue when implanted deep into patients' brains. Engineers at MIT have found a way around this problem with a flexible brain-implant technology.
Humans have asked where we come from for thousands of years, across all cultures. But only recently have we started to address the mystery of the evolution of the human brain — the organ that's the source of those existential questions, not to mention our evolutionary success itself.