Biology


Latest Popular


Astronomy Biology Biotechnology Chemistry Computing and artificial intelligence Cosmology Deep time Earth science and climate Ecology and environmental sciences Engineering Evolution Genetics History of science Human evolution Human reproduction Illness and disease Mathematics Medicine Oceans and water Palaeontology Physics Quantum theory Space exploration

A red deer stag in autumn mist. Photo by Arterra/Sven-Erik Arndt/Getty

Essay/
Biology
Sex is real

Yes, there are just two biological sexes. No, this doesn’t mean every living thing is either one or the other

Paul Griffiths

Illustration by Richard Wilkinson

Essay/
Evolution
Catastrophes and calms

Evolution is extraordinarily creative in the wake of a cataclysm. How does life keep steadily ticking over in between?

Renée A Duckworth

The cleaner wrasse (pictured here accompanying the larger black-and-white snapper) can seemingly recognise itself in a mirror. Photo by Ullstein Bild/Getty

Essay/
Biology
The face of the fish

They’re not cuddly, they don’t behave at all like us – yet they are sentient. Why fish belong in the moral community

Michael Woodruff

On a mountain road from Koya to Ryujin, Japan. 1998. Photo by Peter Marlow/Magnum

Essay/
Physics
From chaos to free will

A crude understanding of physics sees determinism at work in the Universe. Luckily, molecular uncertainty ensures this isn’t so

George Ellis

A 3D-printed model of a protein nanoparticle, shown here in orange and white. Scientists at the University of Washington are using protein design to create candidate nanoparticle vaccines. Photo by Ian C Haydon/Institute for Protein Design

Essay/
Future of technology
Engines of life

At the level of the tiny, biology is all about engineering. That’s why nanotechnology can rebuild medicine from within

Sonia Contera

Photo by Elliott Erwitt/Magnum

Essay/
Animals and humans
Canine exceptionalism

Trainers working with dogs every day have documented extraordinary talents and skills. Will science ever catch up?

Jessica Hekman

Antarctic Beeches (Nothofagus moorei) in temperate rainforest, Lamington National Park, Queensland, Australia. Photo by Minden Pictures/National Geographic

Essay/
Nature and landscape
Rooted

What if, rather than mere props in the background of our lives, trees embody the history of all life on Earth?

Dalia Nassar & Margaret M Barbour

Coloured scanning electron microscope (SEM) of a water bear (Paramacrobiotus craterlaki) in moss. Photo by Eye of Science/Science Photo Library

Essay/
Evolution
Life is tough

Human life is fragile but tardigrades and other extremophiles show that life itself is in little danger of disappearing

David P Barash

Photo by Thomas Hoepker/Magnum

Essay/
Neuroscience
Human magnetism

For centuries, people have navigated the globe using instruments. But what if the Earth itself can help us feel our way?

Philip Jaekl

Detail of White Cat (1935-38), by Gertrude Abercrombie. Courtesy the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Essay/
Biology
Life ≠ alive

A cat is alive, a sofa is not: that much we know. But a sofa is also part of life. Information theory tells us why

Michael Lachmann & Sara Walker