Life Science

From the smallest microbe to the largest mammal, Life Science explores the origins, evolution and expansion of life in all its forms. Explore a wide range of topics from biology to genetics and evolution.

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Plants Can Defend Themselves by Making Caterpillars Turn Cannibal

An interesting defense mechanism recently observed in tomato plants has caterpillars turning on themselves rather than remaining vegetarian.

Dinosaur Extinction Allowed Frogs to Flourish

Frogs owe a debt to that giant asteroid, a new study finds, opening up evolutionary options previously blocked by dinos.

These Pine Trees Almost Always Lean Toward the Equator

Cook pines are known to be a little tipsy. But a group of researchers just discovered that the trees' tilt isn't random — no matter their location on the globe, they lean toward the equator.

Family Tree of Homo Sapiens Continues to Evolve

Were hobbits and giants real? And are they distant relatives of humans?

Oldest Homo Sapiens Fossils Ever Found Suggest a Human Evolution Rewrite

Remains in Morocco push back Homo sapiens origins at least 100,000 years — and show that our species evolved neither in the way nor place we've assumed.

Too Much Charisma Can Actually Hurt a Leader's Effectiveness

A new study reveals that anything more than a moderate amount of charisma in a leader actually may interfere with his or her effectiveness.

Scientists Control Cells With Light, Make Cool Artwork

But the artwork is just the beginning of how scientists hope to boss around engineered bacteria.

Swearing Makes You Stronger, Study Finds

Yes, there might be another reason we reach for expletives when we're under stress.

New Study Shows Cannabis Boosts Memory in Older Mice

Researchers have shown that THC in marijuana alters the structure of the brains in older mice to be more like brains of younger mice. Could the same be true for humans?

Military Hopes Zapping Brains Leads to Faster Language Learning

Shock yourself by learning Italian, or learn Italian by shocking yourself?

How Guessing Works

Humans do a lot of guessing to make sense of the world, even though we now have books and the internet to help us. So how do we get better at guessing?

Even Cold Hard Cash Isn’t Enough Incentive to Listen to Opposing Views

People on both left and right in the U.S. were unwilling to learn about the others' views, even for pay, according to a new study.

New Analysis Places 'Hobbit' on Unexpected Limb of the Human Family Tree

Homo floresiensis, popularly known as a hobbit, is an extinct, miniature human species that might be much, much older than previously thought.

If You're Missing a Limb, the Brain Recruits Another for the Job

A new study shows that brain wiring might not be body part-specific but function-specific.

Ancient Skeleton DNA Suggests Genetic Link to First Humans in North America

Do ancient human remains mean we've found an ancient ancestor? It's not always that simple.

Our Gut Microbes Have Circadian Rhythms, Too — And They Might Own Us

We've known for while that our microbiomes affect our health, but new research suggest their circadian rhythms are tightly interconnected with ours.

Researchers Pinpoint Genetic Mutation in Chronic Night Owls

It's hard to be a night owl in an early bird world, especially when your genes are working against you.

Study Suggests Early Antibiotics Could Affect Adult Health and Behavior

A new study conducted on mice found a change in anxiety and aggression, and that probiotics could mediate any changes.

Science Takes Another Step Toward Erasing Painful Memories

Israeli researchers have managed to erase fear-inducing memories in mice by weakening the connection between the brain's amygdala and cortex.

The Human Brain Is Hardwired for Poetry

Research suggests the human brain is wired to distinguish the rhyme and rhythm of verse from ordinary prose, and to react to literary contemplation.

Climate Helped Shape the Human Nose, Study Says

Temperature and humidity might have determined nostril width.

Relying on GPS Prevents Parts of Your Brain From Activating

Need a neural workout? Satnav devices may be convenient, but they could diminish our abilities for spatial reasoning.

Seeing Food May Have Lured Fish Onto Land

The ability to see food on land might explain why our fish ancestors evolved, eventually growing limbs so they could stalk the abundance of prey on land.

Female Soccer Players Suffer Most Concussions Among High School Athletes

Traumatic head injuries can be dangerous for teenagers in the long term, but one group of teenage athletes is getting more than its fair share.

How Empathy Works

Empathy is an important emotion that enables healthy relationships and fosters the development of a safe, secure world. But what happens when someone has too little — or too much?