Capsicum annum peppers

Some Like Them Hot!

The long, wonderful history of the chili pepper.
An illustration of the coronavirus in front of a strand of DNA

Can We Protect Against Coronavirus by Rewriting Our Genomes?

Genome recoding could offer new modes of virus resistance, but the technology raises serious ethical concerns.

How to See the Invisible Universe

Telescopes that detect long-wavelength signals offer clues about the Big Bang, the centers of black holes, and the origins of life.
Mint

Plant of the Month: Mint

From the fields of ancient Egypt to the present-day American Pacific Northwest, the history of mint goes beyond the search for fresh breath.
Chattering teeth, human hands gesturing, and people working

Dating Apps Are Intensifying Online Partisanship

Some social scientists argue that dating and mating patterns may be the real drivers of polarization.
Three spoonfuls of red microplastic on a green background.

We Consume a Spoonful of Plastic a Week

You've heard about all the microscopic plastic in our water supply. But did you know there are ways to limit how much you ingest?
Brain organoid

Is It Ethical to Grow a Brain in a Petri Dish?

Brain organoids could be the key to understanding brain diseases, which is why we should think carefully about how far we are prepared to take them.
Two people gathering seeds

Can Crops’ Wild Relatives Save Troubled Agriculture?

Cultivating a limited number of crops reduced the genetic diversity of plants, endangering harvests. Seed collectors hope to fix it by finding the plants’ wild cousins.
Several lab mice in a container

An Epidemic of Retractions

Nicolas Chevassus-au-Louis's new book, Fraud in the Lab, offers some tough love for the scientific community.