How the battle lines over CRISPR were drawn

By Jon CohenFeb. 15, 2017 , 3:30 PM The U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled today in favor of the Broad Institute in the high stakes battle over who will control the valuable intellectual property linked to CRISPR, the powerful genome-editing tool. The ruling came after the feature below, from the 16 February issue […]

When long-lived oysters roamed Earth

By Sarah McQuateFeb. 18, 2017 , 12:15 PM BOSTON—Chesapeake Bay oysters that lived a half a million years ago were on average 1.5 times bigger than the oysters in the bay today, researchers reported here yesterday at the annual meeting of AAAS, which publishes Science. These ancient oysters also lived about four times as long as […]

Biologists propose to sequence the DNA of all life on Earth

By Elizabeth PennisiFeb. 24, 2017 , 1:15 PM WASHINGTON, D.C.—When it comes to genome sequencing, visionaries like to throw around big numbers: There’s the UK Biobank, for example, which promises to decipher the genomes of 500,000 individuals, or Iceland’s effort to study the genomes of its entire human population. Yesterday, at a meeting here organized […]

Watching plants grow has never been this exciting

By Patrick MonahanMar. 20, 2017 , 1:00 PM It’s hard to take a picture of something that’s always moving—just ask anyone who’s had to photograph a child. Now, one team of researchers has solved the problem on a tiny scale, with a program that lets microscopes automatically track objects invisible to the human eye. Normally, […]

The badger that buried the cow

Mar. 31, 2017 , 10:45 AM Watch as a male badger buries a calf nearly double his weight, saving it for a late-night snack. Learn more. Many thanks for Evan R. Buechley and Tara Christensen from the Biodiversity and Conservation Ecology Lab at the University of Utah for all their help with the video!

Watch these microbes hunt their prey with microscopic ‘Gatling guns’

By Patrick MonahanMar. 31, 2017 , 2:00 PM Biologists sometimes use the phrase “arms race” to describe an evolutionary tug-of-war, but it’s rarely this literal. Microbes called dinoflagellates (above) have developed intricate weapons—including a microscopic version of a Gatling gun—to harpoon their dinners, a new study shows. Scientists have known about these harpoons for decades, […]

Indian rocks may harbor 1.6-billion-year-old ancestors of complex life

By David ShultzMar. 14, 2017 , 2:00 PM Life forms that eventually gave rise to animals and plants may have appeared on Earth 400 million years earlier than previously believed. That’s the conclusion a team of scientists is making after discovering 1.6-billion-year-old fossilized cells in sedimentary rocks collected from central India. Based on their size, […]