The curious case of the shrinking genome

Scientists are exploring why some creatures throw away bits of their DNA during development

Alla Katsnelson • knowable
Oct. 21, 2021 ~13 min

Bee gold: Honey as a superfood

From pesticide detox to increased longevity, the benefits of the sweet stuff go well beyond simply nourishing the hardworking insects in the hive

Berly McCoy • knowable
Oct. 20, 2021 ~11 min

Chloroplasts do the darndest things

As if harvesting the sun’s energy to sustain life on Earth weren’t enough, the small green organelles and their relatives are involved in a broad range of other tasks, from manufacturing nutrients and signaling stress to fostering plant immunity

Diana Kwon • knowable
Oct. 13, 2021 ~11 min

Using virtual reality to help counter domestic abuse

In immersive interventions, batterers can experience what it’s like to be attacked and learn some empathy

Dinsa Sachan • knowable
Oct. 11, 2021 ~13 min

Dignity therapy: Making the last words count

Guided conversations with the terminally ill are popular with patients, families and doctors who’ve experienced them. But are they truly beneficial? Researchers are looking beneath the anecdotal appeal.

Lola Butcher • knowable
Oct. 4, 2021 ~13 min

Now is the time to prepare for the economic shocks of battling climate change

Shedding reliance on fossil fuels is key to making the leap from a carbon-intensive present to a greener future. Experts say that smart planning and transparent policymaking can ease the transition — and balance the worst financial risks.

Eryn Brown • knowable
Sept. 30, 2021 ~14 min

How to handle climate anxiety

Worry over the planet’s future is taking a toll on emotional well-being, researchers say. Here’s how to cope so we don’t lose hope for our planet and for ourselves.

James Gaines • knowable
Sept. 29, 2021 ~15 min

Why we are developing a patent-free Covid antiviral therapy

OPINION: During global health crises such as pandemics, drug discovery should be publicly funded and open, with no research secrets locked away

Alpha Lee • knowable
Sept. 27, 2021 ~11 min

Can ranked-choice voting heal our poisoned politics?

The electoral reform also known as instant-runoff voting promises bridge-building and broad appeal instead of culture war and gridlock

M. Mitchell Waldrop • knowable
Sept. 24, 2021 ~18 min

Animals that take advice from bacteria

The larvae of many marine creatures drift in the plankton, then settle to the seafloor and transform into adults. Bacteria often help the critters pick where to settle — and that may be just a snippet of a far more extensive conversation.

Bob Holmes • knowable
Sept. 22, 2021 ~9 min