The Body Electric

Many people struck by lightning endure a lifetime of baffling disorders


Ars Longa

Symbolism emerged in Africa much earlier than previously thought

The New York Times Magazine

The Gene That Jumped

Genes that leap from one species to another shake up the tree of life


Why The Brain Prefers Paper

Even in the digital age, reading on paper has its advantages

Scientific American

An Orangutan Learns To Fish

Orangutans teach each other to fish, use tools, and almost make fire


Emily Dickinson’s Lost Gardens

Archaeologists are reviving the poet’s beloved orchard and conservatory

The New York Times

Living Light

Our long, strange, covetous relationship with bioluminescence


Why Walking Helps Us Think

There’s a deep, intuitive connection between the mind and feet


Time In Other Animals’ Minds

Time may pass at very different

rates for different kinds of creatures


Reviving The American Chestnut

Genetic engineering can rescue chestnut trees from near extinction 

Scientific American

Outgrowing The Grass Lawn

The pristine grass lawn is an

ecological disaster. Time to move on

Scientific American

The Genius Of The Elephant

Can we justify elephant captivity given immense evidence of their sentience? Scientific American

Are Cats Domesticated?

Cats and humans have a relatively young and ambivalent relationship

Is Sugar Really Toxic?

For most Americans sugar is a source

of excess calories, but not a poison

Scientific American

Heaven’s Microbiome

The wind and clouds are full of microbes that change the weather

The New York Times Magazine

Against The Grain

One man’s quest to revive the flavor and nutrition of genuine whole wheat

The New York Times Magazine

Reinventing The Potato

Breeders rediscover the astonishing diversity of the humble spud

Modern Farmer


Why Nothing Is Truly Alive

Life is a useful concept, but it does not reflect reality outside the mind

The New York Times


Can We Talk?

Do prairie dogs, and many other creatures, have genuine language?

The New York Times Magazine

The Plant Doctor

In ancient botanical remedies, new solutions to antibiotic resistance

The New York Times Magazine