A contraption used to extract the silk from a spider

The Tangled History of Weaving with Spider Silk

Spider silk is as strong as steel and as light as a feather, but attempts to industrialize its production have gotten stuck, so to speak.
Neon text on the side of a building reads "All we have is words, all we have is worlds."

The Hidden Life of Modal Verbs

A linguist explains why we get so distracted by the fiery language of politics, while ignoring urgent information reported by scientists.
Yaxchilán, Maya ancient city

Why Civilizations End

Scientists studying fallen civilizations suggest that the culprit is overshoot in combination with climate change. What does this mean for our current era?
Microbe plate

Would You Like Some Germs with Your Wheaties?

To fulfill the increasing protein demand, scientists turn to microbes.
fruit fly

New Study Finds Insects Speak in Different “Dialects”

Different fruit flies species can learn each other’s language to warn against parasitic wasps.

Hippo Poop Kills Fish, but There’s an Upside

A robot disguised as a crocodile is helping scientists understand that mass fish die-offs serve a purpose.
Cuckoo chick

Russian Cuckoos are Invading Alaska. Songbirds, Beware!

Songbirds may loose their entire broods to cuckoos’ parasitic tricks.
duck billed platypus

The Platypus is Even Weirder Than You Thought

Platypuses. They’re weird. In fact, platypuses are so unusual that it took taxonomists more than eighty years just to decide what they are.
Hantavirus particles

Solving a Medical Mystery With Oral Traditions

In 1993, Navajo elders provided a key piece of information to CDC scientists and climatologists to help combat a deadly mystery disease.
A wild dingo

The Unexpected Result of Australia’s Dingo Fence

The story of dingoes in Australia is the first recorded case where an introduced predator has taken on such a functional role in its adopted ecosystem.