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How Do Fireflies Flash in Sync? Studies Suggest a New Answer.
Field research suggests a new explanation for the synchronized flashing in fireflies and confirms that a novel form of “chimeric” synchrony occurs naturally.
Record-Breaking Robot Highlights How Animals Excel at Jumping
Robots can surpass the limitations on how high and far animals can jump, but their success only underscores nature’s ingenuity in making the most of what’s available.
Electric Fish Genomes Reveal How Evolution Repeats Itself
By studying how electric organs arose in different lineages of fish, scientists gain new insights into a long-standing question of evolutionary biology.
Geometric Analysis Reveals How Birds Mastered Flight
Partnerships between engineers and biologists have begun to reveal how birds evolved their superb maneuverability.
Why Do We Get Old, and Can Aging Be Reversed?
Everybody gets older, but not everyone ages in the same way. In this episode, Steven Strogatz speaks with Judith Campisi and Dena Dubal, two biomedical researchers who study the aging process.
How the ‘Diamond of the Plant World’ Helped Land Plants Evolve
Structural studies of the robust material called sporopollenin reveal how it made plants hardy enough to reproduce on dry land.
What Is Life?
Without a good definition of life, how do we look for it on alien planets? Steven Strogatz speaks with Robert Hazen, a mineralogist and astrobiologist, and Sheref Mansy, a chemist, to learn more.
Reshuffled Rivers Bolster the Amazon’s Hyper-Biodiversity
The lush biodiversity of the Amazon may be due in part to the dynamics of branching rivers, which serve as invisible fences that continuously barricade and merge bird populations.
Brain-Signal Proteins Evolved Before Animals Did
Some animal neuropeptides have been around longer than nervous systems.