Imagine the forests of Chilean Patagonia: wet and cold, dense with monkey puzzle trees and other hardy conifers. Now imagine it with dinosaurs walking around. And on fire. This is what Antarctica was like 75 million years ago during the Cretaceous period, an era known by researchers as a “superContinue Reading

For the past few centuries, the Yup’ik peoples of Alaska have told gruesome tales of a massacre that occurred during the Bow and Arrow War Days, a series of long and often brutal battles across the Bering Sea coast and the Yukon. According to one account, the carnage started whenContinue Reading

The brain of a fruit fly is the size of a poppy seed and about as easy to overlook. “Most people, I think, don’t even think of the fly as having a brain,” said Vivek Jayaraman, a neuroscientist at the Janelia Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute inContinue Reading

In the wild, a worm blob looks like any other mud ball lolling around the bottom of a pond. But if you poke an unassuming worm blob, it will respond in a way a mud ball never would, wriggling out into a noodly shape that a Pastafarian might mistake forContinue Reading

Sean O’Keefe, the NASA administrator who named the telescope in 2002, said in an email that Webb was “a champion of education, technology, science, aeronautics and human exploration.” “Arguably, were it not for James Webb’s determination to fulfill the most audacious vision of his time, our capacity to explore todayContinue Reading

The authors of the new paper intentionally chose to invite only active practitioners of ancient DNA research, according to Kendra Sirak, a paleogeneticist at Harvard Medical School and one of the authors. They also emphasize that these guidelines come from a particular group of scholars in the ancient DNA community.Continue Reading

Upending centuries of medical dogma, a team of South African researchers has found that breathing may be a bigger contributor to the spread of tuberculosis than coughing, the signature symptom. As much as 90 percent of TB bacteria released from an infected person may be carried in tiny droplets, calledContinue Reading

The death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Monday from complications of Covid-19 has provided fuel for vaccine skeptics and opponents, who immediately seized on the news that Mr. Powell had been vaccinated to stoke doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccines. But Mr. Powell’s immune system hadContinue Reading

After a brutal summer surge, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, the coronavirus is again in retreat. The United States is recording roughly 90,000 new infections a day, down more than 40 percent since August. Hospitalizations and deaths are falling, too. The crisis is not over everywhere — theContinue Reading

In the summer of 2020, half a year into the coronavirus pandemic, scientists traveled into the forests of northern Laos to catch bats that might harbor close cousins of the pathogen. In the dead of night, they used mist nets and canvas traps to snag the animals as they emergedContinue Reading