Animal & human behavior

A simple way to reduce mosquito-borne diseases

Stanford researchers working in rural Kenya have identified the most productive breeding habitats for mosquitoes that spread a range of untreatable viruses. Their findings point to more effective health interventions that focus on the purpose of water-holding containers.

Staying off the murder hornet hit list

Experts from the Stanford-based Natural Capital Project explain the value of wild bees in our agricultural systems, especially in light of the increased risk murder hornets pose to domesticated honey bees.

Understanding spread of disease from animals to human

In Uganda, loss of forested habitat increases the likelihood of interactions between disease-carrying wild primates and humans. The findings suggest the emergence and spread of viruses, such as the one that causes COVID-19, will become more common as the conversion of natural habitats into farmland continues worldwide.

Tracking animals with DNA

Genetic material left behind by animals can provide critical clues to aid conservation and research. New research shows studying DNA in soil samples can be more effective, efficient and affordable than traditional tracking methods, such as camera traps, for assessing biodiversity.

Mealworms provide plastic solution

Mealworms are not only able to eat various forms of plastic, as previous research has shown, they can consume potentially toxic plastic additives in polystyrene with no ill effects, a new study shows. The worms can then be used as a safe, protein-rich feed supplement.

First-ever recording of a blue whale’s heart rate

With a lot of ingenuity and a little luck, researchers monitored the heart rate of a blue whale in the wild. The measurement suggests that blue whale hearts are operating at extremes – and may limit the whale’s size.

Drag can lift birds to new heights

Recordings of birds taking off and landing have revealed that conventional ideas about the role of lift and drag during flight might need revisiting. The work could influence the design of aerial robotics.

How citizens become agents of environmental change

Some programs work better than others when it comes to involving citizens in preserving the environment. After reviewing those that worked, Stanford researchers propose a blueprint for how others can educate people to maximize their impact.

Young children have intuitions of great teachers

Even at a young age, children know that deciding what to teach is as important as knowing how to teach. This ability to instruct each other could explain why humans are so adaptable.