How Do People Actually ‘Die From Old Age’?

Thousands are currently engaged in solving the problem of death. Maybe they’ll succeed, and out of sheer boredom I’ll reread this sentence when I’m 900 years old, reflecting fondly on the first wasted century of my life. In the meantime, billions are going to die – some from disease, some in freak accidents, and a substantial number from what we generally call “old age.” That last sounds like a pleasant way to go, comparatively – a peaceful winding-down. But what exactly does it look like? What does it really mean to die from old age? For this week’s Giz Asks, we reached out to a number of experts to find out. Read More >>

This Snake-Like Amphibian Might Actually Pack a Venomous Bite

Scientists have detected snake-like dental glands in caecilians, which means these serpentine creatures might actually be venomous – an unheard of trait among amphibians. Read More >>

Is Plant ‘Intelligence’ Just a Human Fantasy?

Although plants make up over 80% of the biomass on Earth, for centuries they have been thought of as inanimate and passive things. Researchers even coined the term “plant blindness” to refer to a cognitive bias that literally makes our brains zone out plants in our view and underestimate their importance. Read More >>

Trees are Getting Shorter and Younger

The world’s collective forests have become shorter and younger overall in the past 50 years, according to a study published in the journal Science on Friday. This means that forests have less capacity to remove carbon from the atmosphere and are less hospitable to the many species that rely on them for shelter. Oh, and it’s going to get worse. Read More >>

It Could Take Decades for the Ocean Floor to Recover From Deep Sea Mining

A new study has found that the impacts of deep sea mining are still felt a quarter of a century later. Read More >>

Viruses Make Us Question What It Means to Be Alive

As the world struggles to contain covid-19, we’re reminded of the ways viruses aren’t like other organisms. In fact, these tenacious microbes defy traditional notions of life itself. Read More >>

This Freaky Spiral Thing is Alive

More than 2,000 feet beneath the ocean surface, an otherworldly, 50-foot-wide marine organism floats... and feeds. Read More >>

Scientists Find Evidence of Deep-Sea Fish Migration Route

Marine biologists have found evidence of a previously unobserved deep-sea migration route more than 4,500 feet (1.4 kilometres) beneath the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, according to a new paper. Read More >>

Scientists Make Breakthrough Toward Mapping All Cells in the Human Body

Researchers around the world are working to construct an atlas of all the different cells in the human body. A team in China has just released the results of a huge step toward that goal. Read More >>

Life Is Thriving 2,600 Feet Beneath the Seafloor

You won’t see many living things above the ocean surface hundreds of miles southeast of Madagascar – an albatross or the occasional fishing vessel may break up the hours of solitude. But beneath the surface, lava from Earth’s mantle has uplifted a long, underwater mountain range with a flat top extending 5 kilometres above the seafloor. Its name, the Atlantis Bank, is oddly appropriate; here, microbial communities have somehow found a way to thrive, deep in Earth’s lower crust. Read More >>

This New Species Is Named After the Plastic Inside It

Some species are named after beloved teen activists or Lady Gaga. Others are named after plastic. Before science even discovered this deep-sea crustacean, plastic had infiltrated its stomach. So scientists named it accordingly. Meet Eurythenes plasticus. Read More >>

Scientists Put Trackers on Cats to Reveal the Extent of Their Ecological Destruction

Domestic cats are an ecological catastrophe, and a new study shows specifically how they enact their destruction. Read More >>

New Study Shows Sea Turtles Eat Plastic Because It Smells Like Food

There have been more than enough horrific viral videos of the turtles with straws stuck in their noses to show that plastic is a threat to them (I’ll spare you by not linking them). Studies have found that every minute, the equivalent of one dump truckload of plastic gets into the ocean, and researchers estimate every species of sea turtle in the world is full of microplastic. Eating all that plastic is often fatal. Read More >>

Bizarre Discovery Reveals Chlamydia-Like Bacteria Beneath the Arctic Seafloor

A plethora of previously unknown bacterial strains related to chlamydia have been found in the unlikeliest of places: sediment under the Arctic seafloor. The discovery is posing new questions about this diverse and durable group of bacteria and how they came to infect humans and other animals. Read More >>

Scientists Create Snapshot of How the New Coronavirus Latches Onto Human Cells

As countries attempt to contain the spread of the disease COVID-19 and the accompanying virus, SARS-CoV-2, scientists have produced a high-resolution image of how the virus attacks cells. Read More >>