Photo by Robbie Shone

A team of geologists has been exploring the caves beneath the table mountains of Venezuela, where new lifeforms may have been quietly developing for millions of years. Journalist Lars Abromeit describes the expedition into the unknown.

Paul Thomas

Personal DNA testing machines are bringing lab-grade genetic science within reach of more people. A look at how a farmer is using DNA testing to cultivate the most elusive — and prized — of foods.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Woolly_mammoth.jpg

TED science curator David Biello explores the odd couple behind the de-extinction movement — scientists and hunters — and what this says about our ambivalent attitude towards animals

featured3_oil_spill_no_01

Artist Fabian Oefner works with everyday materials to create astonishing, unrecognizable images. He shares a look at how he does it.

In the Appalachian firefly Photinus carolinus, flying males flash in synchrony with their neighbors, creating a symphony in light. Photo by Radim Schreiber.

Sara Lewis studies fireflies. And it turns out they’re not just a pretty flashing light on a summer night. She explains how a firefly glows — and how humans are harnessing that glow for health and medical research (and even to make our food safer).

Simulation of merging black holes radiating gravitational waves.
NASA/Ames Research Center/C. Henze

How do you build a real-world machine to test the most abstract of theories? Janna Levin talks with Rai Weiss, one of the original designers of LIGO, the four-kilometer-long sensors that have now twice detected the distant reverberations of two black holes crashing into one another.

vaccine_hesitation_v2

The million-headed dragon of online anger has a great mouthful of fire for parents who don’t vaccinate their kids. But such scolding misses the mark, alienating caring parents who just want their children to be safe.