People who have “experimented” with LSD know that its mind-altering effects can last upwards of 18 to 24 hours, which is unusual for a hallucinogenic drug. After nearly 30 years of research, scientists have finally mapped the physical structure of this fascinating molecule, revealing why it tends to linger in the…
Cone snails employ a fast-acting venom to paralyze their prey. But what is bad news for fish is good news for diabetics. New research suggests the “weaponized insulin” produced by these sea critters is far more efficient than conventional medicines used to treat high blood sugar.
Last year, a biotech startup called Clear Labs performed DNA testing on a bunch of hot dogs and discovered that they often contain more than the label advertises. The same company has now used its arsenal of molecular technologies to break down America’s other favorite meat-on-a-bun product: burgers. Once again, there…
In a lush conservation park in central Kenya, the world’s last three northern white rhinos are unable to breed. When they die, the subspecies will go extinct. That is unless a complex, controversial plan involving tissue cryobanks and test tube embryos can actually work.
Ticks—those unbreakable, blood-lusting arthropods that haunt your summer camp memories—have some fascinating genetic secrets. The tick genome tells a tale of weaponized spit, expandable armor, and how to drink 100 times one’s body weight in blood. Strangest of all, it’s utterly enormous.
In the highly unfortunate case you’re infected with Ebola, you really need to catch it ASAP so that you can quarantine yourself and get treated. That’s why scientists are now developing a portable ‘Ebola chip’ that optically analyzes fluid samples and sniffs out nasty virus particles within minutes.
You are looking at freshly-made human neurons, or brain cells. But they used to be common skin cells. And their existence could change how we treat Alzheimers.
With the world population projected to soar past the 11 billion mark by 2100, we’re going to need to find some creative new ways of putting food on the table. The latest science-powered plan to feed the world? Hacking photosynthesis.
Twenty five years ago, Michael Crichton captured our imaginations with the crazy idea that scientists might one day resurrect dinosaurs. But on the eve of Jurassic World’s release a quarter century later, the prospect of bringing back extinct creatures is looking a lot less science fictional.
Many people have strong opinions about genetically modified plants, also known as genetically modified organisms or GMOs. But sometimes there’s confusion around what it means to be a GMO. It also may be much more sensible to judge a plant by its specific traits rather than the way it was produced – GMO or not.
While many of us hold the opossum in about as much esteem as a sewer rat, turns out, we ought to be showing this particular urban trashivore a lil' more respect. Opossums may end up saving thousands of humans from deadly snakebites each year.
The antioxidant resveratrol, which is found in red wine and other foods like nuts and soy, is known for its ability to decrease incidence of heart disease and other illnesses, leading some to call it the "elixir of youth." Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute now have an explanation for how it works.
Mike Cahill's new movie I Origins, out tomorrow, is about a molecular biologist studying the evolution of the human eye. And Cahill tells io9 he was absolutely determined to get the science right — not just having scientific advisers, but giving them headphones and planting them in front of monitors on set.
By using an advanced microscopy technique, researchers have collected the most precise measurements to date of DNA's tangled structure. Their results showed significant variations to the well-known double helix — variations that are offering fresh insights into the inner workings of this life-bearing molecule.
Prior to her death at the tender age of 115, Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper was the world's oldest woman. Recently, scientists had the opportunity to study her blood — and what they discovered could have serious implications to the future of rejuvenation therapies.
British scientists have finally figured out how sperm is able to connect with an egg. The process is facilitated by a molecule dubbed Juno, a protein that allows sperm to dock to the surface of an egg. The discovery could introduce new fertility treatments and birth control.
What started as an investigation into developmental mouse biology has become a lot more than that. Biologist Katsuhiko Hayashi discovered a way to turn mouse skin cells into sperm and egg cells — and actually used these modified cells to create a living baby mouse. The question is, can it work in humans?
As food science and our understanding plant proteins expands by leafs and stems, some food-thinking entrepreneurs are looking for ways to make our agricultural products safer, more environmentally sustainable, more humane, and yes, cheaper. Recently, I paid a visit to food science startup Hampton Creek Foods to learn…
No, this isn't something out of an Octavia Butler novel. It’s Tetrahymena thermophila — a single-celled organism that goes way beyond male and female. It has seven different sexes to choose from. Now a new study published in PLOS has finally made sense of its bizarrely complex and seemingly random sex life.