Cross Sections


Undark’s home for breaking news, brisk analysis, and reader discussions at the intersection of science and society.

Abstracts: Hyperloops, Zika, Bees, and More

The first comprehensive review of Zika-related birth defects in the US was published this week. Neonicotinoids, the bee-killing pesticides, are showing up in drinking water. Prisoners are raising queen bees to help struggling honeybee populations. Read these stories and more in our twice-weekly news roundup.

Abstracts: Coal, Steel, and More

Trump lifting the Obama administration’s coal mining ban likely won’t revive the industry. Scientists fabricated a new type of steel that mimics the internal structure of our bones. The Zika vaccine enters a new round of testing. Read these stories and more in our twice-weekly news roundup.

Undark Podcast #13: The Great Black Swamp

Journalist Sharon Levy discusses the importance of wetlands and the legacy of Ohio’s Great Black Swamp. Also: Seth Mnookin on why you should be skeptical of scientific studies you read or hear about, and reporter Nina Ignaczak on the fight to restore some of North America’s greatest rapids.

Tapping into Tissue Regeneration

Quick healing is often seen as a superpower in comic books and movies, but it does have a basis in reality. While only young children have been known to regrow fingertips, researchers at MDI Biological Laboratory in Maine have discovered a molecule that may be able to tap into our body’s natural abilities.