Biology

Insects took off when they evolved wings

Now buzzing and whizzing around every continent, insects were mysteriously scarce in the fossil record until 325 million years ago – when they first took flight and, according to a new study, evolutionarily took off.

Starting small on the path to rebuilding our bodies

Biologists have wondered for centuries why plants and animals take the shapes they do. Now, researchers exploring the mechanics of cells and tissues are finding answers that might one day help engineers rebuild our bodies.

Breast cancer research gets a mechanical boost

Stanford researchers say one way to solve the mystery of why some breast cancers are more likely to spread could come from studying the cell’s mechanical properties.

Cooling glove helps athletes and patients

What unites the needs of Ebola workers, people with multiple sclerosis and athletes comes down to one thing – cold hands. A device that cools the hands is finding widespread use from the playing field to the clinic.

Ocean monuments face possible loss of protection

Federal regulators have indicated they may open some marine national monuments to commercial fishing. Researchers who have studied these and adjacent areas discuss their value and the potential impacts of a change in protected status.

Miniature droplets could solve an origin-of-life riddle

Before life could begin, something had to kickstart the production of critical molecules. Chemistry Professor Richard Zare says that something may have been as simple as a mist made up of tiny drops of water.

Animal biodiversity key part of carbon cycle

With abundant data on plants, large animals and their activity, and carbon soil levels in the Amazon, Stanford research suggests that large animal diversity influences carbon stocks and contributes to climate change mitigation.