A composite image of a grey squirrel and a red squirrel

Can CRISPR Save Tufty Fluffytail?

When Beatrix Potter wrote The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin, it was 1903, and the squirrels that populated her books were the English countryside’s native Eurasian red (Sciurus vulgaris), with tufted...
An octopus

Stuck in the Midden with You

To paraphrase an old adage, one species’ garbage is another’s bounty (of research material). Refuse sites called middens can be as simple as a single household’s outdoor pit, or an...
Mussels

When Cancer Spreads Between Species

If you’re a multicellular organism (and you are), you’re at some risk to get cancer (with very few exceptions). The disease is both simple (uncontrolled cell proliferation) and exceedingly complex...

What’s in a (Planet) Name?

January 1, 2020 will be the first anniversary of the spacecraft New Horizon’s visit to Arrokoth, a minor planet 4 billion miles away from ours—the farthest object ever visited by...
Molecular model of Penicillin by Dorothy Hodgkin, c.1945

We’re Living in a Post-Antibiotic World

On November 13, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a 148-page report on antibiotic resistance in the U.S., and the threat it poses to us. It presents...
A smart toilet

Smart Toilets: The Jetpack of the Bathroom

On first read, “smart toilet” may sound oxymoronic, but with the advent of receptacles that can play music, warm their seats, double as bidets, and even adjust themselves for elderly...
Author

Liz Tracey

Liz Tracey teaches microbiology and studies genetics in Cleveland, OH.
brass sundial

Sundials, Sentiments, and S-Town

S-Town , the record-breaking podcast released on March 28th to a wave of critical acclaim and (some concern), was envisioned by its creators to be a podcast as novel. Host...
His Girl Friday

Rory Gilmore: The New New Woman

Recently, Netflix brought us the Gilmore Girls revival–Rory, Lorelei, and Emily 10 years on, able to “end” the show as its creator intended. The return prompted multiple articles about whether...
Vespasian

The Rise and Fall of Pay Toilets

Ever wondered who first invented the pay toilet? The institution may just go back longer than you’d suspect. The Ancient Romans were not the first to have sophisticated sewers and...