biology

These Cancer Cells Are Being Levitated Using Magnets

Magnetic levitation isn’t anything new: you’ve probably seen frogs made to float and maybe even trains hovering above their rails. But now scientists have gained enough subtle control over such forces that they can be used to levitate single cells too.


Why Don't Humans Have As Much Hair As Other Primates?

Although there is no definitive account of why we lost our body hair when every other primate is covered with the stuff, there are a handful of compelling theories that may explain our hairless condition.


Are Plastics Making You Infertile?

Recent research into the health effects of the plastic-making chemicals phthalates has reignited concerns about low sperm counts. But the evidence is far from conclusive.


Why Scientists Have Been Scared Of Space Germs For Almost 50 Years

The 1967 Outer Space Treaty was one of the few things the US and the Soviet Union managed to agree on at the height of the Cold War. Among other things, it forbid both nations from bringing space microbes back to Earth, or spreading Earth germs to other planets.


These Are The Most Awkward Forms Of Biometric Identification

Biometrics are everywhere. Fingerprint scanners are a standard feature in the newest smartphones, DNA testing is common, and facial recognition is getting more and more terrifyingly reliable. But there are many biometric applications still lurking on the fringe, and some of them get really, really personal.


40 Years Of Bad Science: How Jaws Got Everything Wrong About Sharks

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of its original release, Jaws will be shown on the big screen once more on June 21st. Few other movies have cast such a long shadow into the “real” world as the first summer blockbuster. As a marine biologist whose research focuses on shark conservation, I’ve been living in that shadow for my entire professional life.


Yes, We Are In The Early Stages Of A Mass Extinction

A new study suggests that thousands of species on Earth are dying out at a rate that far exceeds normal extinction rates. We are in the beginnings of a mass extinction, argue scientists, and it could lead to global starvation for humans — as well as many other animals.


This Heart-On-A-Chip Uses Gravity To Mimic A Human Pulse

This small, clear block may not look much, but it uses some of the world’s most basic physics to accurately recreate the rhythms of the human heart in the laboratory.


Left In The Brain: The Potentially Toxic Residue From MRI Drugs

Researchers raise alarms about unknown health risks of GE’s Omniscan and Bayer’s Magnevist, drugs injected to get better MRI pictures that contain the heavy metal gadolinium.


African Scientific Academies Say Science Doesn't Support Anti-Gay Laws

Last week, the Academy of Science of South Africa released a comprehensive review of the research on sexual orientation, hammering home that the grand diversity of human sexuality isn’t something people really choose — it’s all biology.