Is It Possible to Be Just Terrified Enough This COVID Halloween?

A Biologist of Animal Behavior Explains Why This Primordial Emotion Can Help Guide Us Through an Especially Spooky Season

It’s Halloween, the season when we go out and try to spook each other—at least in normal years. Indeed, fears of contracting and spreading the novel coronavirus have drastically impacted many of our Halloween plans. Should they? And more importantly, how do our fears impact our behavior to make us safe? I’m a biologist who studies animal behavior—including what scares creatures ranging from giant clams and other immobile marine invertebrates to a variety of birds and mammals, and why. Animals’ responses to frightening things—reactions that have helped species survive over …

An Intimate Portrait of a Coronavirus | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

An Intimate Portrait of a Coronavirus

Biologist David Goodsell Uses Watercolors to Explore Viruses and Cells Molecule by Molecule

Humans have probably always known about what viruses can do: throughout the ages, people have endured the familiar sniffles of a cold, the tell-tale rashes of measles, the occasional devastation …

What One New England Tree Can Tell Us About the Earth’s Future

By Studying a Single Massachusetts Oak, I Recorded How Climate Change Is Confusing Nature

Trees are up to more than we think. Belying their image as mute, unmoving, and solitary, trees are not just standing there. They move. Breathe. Communicate. Politically astute and nimbly …

Why Fruit Flies Are the New Lab Rats

These Quick-Breeding Insects Have Similar Genetic Cellular Functions as Humans

Set out a bowl of fruit, and they will arrive: small, buff-colored flies with garnet eyes and an attraction to fermenting bananas. Annoying but not harmful, they are easy to …

Why Scurvy Is Still a Snake in Our Nutritional Lost Paradise

To Absolve Mankind’s Genetic Original Sin, Drink Your Orange Juice

At some time in the evolution of the human organism, the gene that had allowed the body to synthesize vitamin C mutated, and the liver enzyme responsible for the synthesis …