NEON’s new CEO promises to ‘build a bridge’ to ecologists

Richard Leonard is a corporate turnaround artist. And the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Arlington, Virginia, is betting on him to turn around its troubled National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). Leonard is the new CEO of NEON, a $433 million facility being built...

Zika causes microcephaly in mice

By far the most alarming feature of the Zika virus now marching across South America and the Caribbean is its threat to fetuses. Last month the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared that “a causal relationship” exists between the virus and brain abnormalities in newbo...

Head of Taiwan’s Academia Sinica resigns

The head of Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s collection of national laboratories, stepped down yesterday under pressure for alleged insider stock trading and a conflict of interest. Wong Chi-Huey, a biochemist, had been president of Academia Sinica since 2006 and was close to completing ...

Legal culls don’t buy goodwill for wolves

It’s counterintuitive, but experts have long argued that one of the best ways to conserve carnivores, such as gray wolves, is to kill them in government-sanctioned culls. Keeping the predators in check is supposed to help persuade carnivore-haters to become more tolerant and deter poach...

New analysis teases out largest ever haul of exoplanets from Kepler data

Astronomers today announced the latest—and largest—batch of confirmed exoplanets from 4 years of observations made by NASA’s Kepler satellite. With the help of a new automated validation technique, they revealed an enormous haul: 1284 new worlds in total, more than doubling the number t...

Gene-edited cattle produce no horns

Nearly 80% of U.S. dairy cows have their horns removed each year to protect their handlers and fellow cattle. But the practice, which is both painful and expensive, has come under increasing scrutiny from animal rights activists. Now, science may be coming to the rescue: A group of...

NSF director unveils big ideas, with an eye on the next president and Congress

France Córdova, the director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Arlington, Virginia, has unveiled a research agenda intended to shape the agency’s next few decades and win over the next U.S. president and Congress. The nine big ideas (see list below) illustrate how increased su...

Which reptile is the next giant panda?

Just a few fuzzy species get most of the public’s attention: Think pandas, cheetahs, and polar bears. Many are mammals. Cute, and sometimes dangerous, they capture our hearts–and most of our conservation dollars. But what about the world’s other inhabitants? Is there a furless version o...

How the Venus flytrap got its taste for meat

Since the dawn of invertebrates, plants have had to defend themselves against hordes of nibblers. On at least a half-dozen occasions, however, plants turned the tables and became predators: the sundew with its sticky tentacles, pitcher plants with their beckoning pools of enzymes, and t...

NIH plans overhaul of clinical center leadership

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is planning a leadership overhaul at its hospital after an outside review found widespread problems with patient safety. The Washington Post reports today that NIH Director Francis Collins plans to replace the NIH Clinical Center’s 22-year di...
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