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The challenges of collecting DNA samples directly from endangered species makes understanding and protecting them harder. A new approach promises cheap, rapid analysis of genetic clues in degraded and left-behind material, such as hair and commercial food products.
A new analysis of biological data reveals that every species from bacteria to primates has developed ways to bypass breakdowns in the networks of proteins vital to sustaining life.
When early humans first started using tools to make things, they kicked off a cycle of people depending on objects and the materials needed to make them – with ripple effects for the global climate today.
The order of arrival determines which invasive grasses predominate, according to a combination of experiments and computational modeling. The results could help in efforts to preserve the native plants that remain.
DNA regions susceptible to breakage and loss are genetic hot spots for important evolutionary changes. New research suggests they may have allowed vertebrates to successfully adapt to rapidly changing environmental conditions.
Why did the first big, complex organisms spring to life in deep, dark oceans where food was scarce? A new study finds great depths provided a stable, life-sustaining refuge from wild temperature swings in the shallows.
As climate change drives mountain-dwelling pikas to higher altitudes, the animals can dial certain genes up or down to make the most of their cooler home’s limited oxygen.
Volcanic carbon dioxide vents off the coast of Italy are rapidly acidifying nearby waters, providing a crystal ball-view into potential future marine biodiversity impacts around the world.
Scientists have debated until now what made Earth's oceans so inhospitable to life that some 96 percent of marine species died off at the end of the Permian period. New research shows the "Great Dying" was caused by global warming that left ocean animals unable to breathe.
Scientists discovered a protein that modifies a microbe’s membrane and helps it survive in hot, acidic environments, proving a long-standing hypothesis that these structures have a protective effect.
A new study shows loss of habitat in Canada’s Peace-Athabasca Delta is likely responsible for the decline of semi-aquatic muskrat, and could have larger implications.
A new study supports the long-debated idea that all species – even highly mobile animals – are clustered together in geographically unique areas, and opens a path to better protection of little-known species.
A new study offers some of the first evidence that coral bleaching may trigger rapid and potentially disruptive change in fish behavior.
A new method for observing water within ice has revealed stored meltwater that may explain the complex flow behavior of some Greenland glaciers, an important component for predicting sea-level rise in a changing climate.
Diversity reigns when water gets scarce. New research suggests the most resilient forests are made up of trees that have a wider variety of rates for water moving up from the soil.
As glaciers melt, nutrients they contain run into the ocean and fertilize local algal blooms. Although these food oases feed local animals, they don’t make up for global challenges produced by melting ice sheets.
New research shows early farmers in southern Anatolia, Turkey turned to drought-resistant sheep and goats during a well-documented climate shift 8,200 years ago.
Federal plans to complete a continuous wall along the U.S.-Mexico boundary would threaten the existence of numerous plant and animal species. Stanford’s Paul Ehrlich and Rodolfo Dirzo look at the region’s unique natural ecosystems, and what they have to lose.
Different species almost always coexist – whether it’s big animals on the plains, bugs in a jungle or yeasts in flower nectar – but how that works is complicated. Now, Stanford researchers have teased apart competing theories of how species live together.