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  • Mutation

    Mutations make us what we are, linking and blurring the harmful and the helpful. Even the most intricate biological mechanisms, with the most important functions, are already slipping into the future to do something else. In this issue, we trace the outlines of a world that is continually abandoning and inventing itself, often with our […]

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    Evolution’s Contrarian Capacity for Creativity

    The easily confused willow tit and black-capped chickadeef.c.franklin via Flickr / Brandon Keim One of my favorite pastimes while traveling is watching birds. Not rare birds, mind you, but common ones: local variations on universal themes of sparrow and chickadee, crow and mockingbird. I enjoy them in the way that other people appreciate new food […]

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    What’s Worse: Unwanted Mutations or Unwanted Humans?

    Three of the rare Przewalski’s horses that now roam the area near the Chernobyl nuclear plant.Sergey Gaschak After a fatal series of errors and malfunctions in the early morning of April 26, 1986, the core of the Chernobyl nuclear facility melted down and then exploded, killing 31 workers at the plant. The accident spewed massive […]

  • Shubin_HERO

    When We Were Fish

    Paleontologist Neil Shubin explains how he charts evolution in the human body.

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    Carriers, Part 5: The Aftermath

    This is the final installment of a five-part series. First read Part 1 , Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 to get caught up.  Correction: The text about tests that can be done 10 weeks into pregnancy was changed to clarify the difference between CVS—an invasive test that is available now and can determine whether […]

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    Carriers, Part 4: The Results

    This is the fourth installment of a five-part series. First read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 to get caught up; then go on to Part 5. Lauren R. Weinstein is a cartoonist, cartooning teacher, and avid gardener who lives in scenic Maplewood, New Jersey. She is currently working on a teenage memoir entitled How to Draw a […]

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    Carriers, Part 3: The Wait

    This is the third installment of a five-part series. First read Part 1 and Part 2 to get caught up; then go on to Part 4 and Part 5. Lauren R. Weinstein is a cartoonist, cartooning teacher, and avid gardener who lives in scenic Maplewood, New Jersey. She is currently working on a teenage memoir entitled How to Draw […]

  • mosquito hero

    If You Can’t Beat Diseases, Domesticate Them

    A tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) sucking blood from human skinMarco Uliana via Shutterstock For most of our history, wolves have been a menace to humanity. Sharp teeth, raw speed, and pack coordination put us at serious risk. Their howls still send chills down our spines for good reason. But some thousands of years ago, some […]

  • Carriers Part 2 hero

    Carriers, Part 2: The Test

    This is the second installment of a five-part series. See Part 1 first; then go on to Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.  Lauren R. Weinstein is a cartoonist, cartooning teacher, and avid gardener who lives in scenic Maplewood, New Jersey. She is currently working on a teenage memoir entitled, How to Draw a Nose.

  • CHH_HERO

    Why I Traveled the World Hunting for Mutant Bugs

    A researcher who works through painting tells her story.