A Reptile With No Penis Just Solved a Baffling Scientific Mystery

The tuatara isn’t actually a lizard. It’s the last survivor of a 250 million year old group of reptiles that mostly went extinct with the dinosaurs. It doesn’t have a penis, and ironically, that’s made it a linchpin for understanding how penises evolved in vertebrates.

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A Man is His Son’s Uncle, Thanks to a Vanished Twin

Last week at Buzzfeed News, Dan Vergano described the surprising results of a paternity test–the first known case of a man fathering the son of a brother he didn’t know existed. It’s an example of a rare genetic condition known as chimerism.

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Salt Lake City Wants to Put Buildings In the Medians of Its Extra-Wide Streets 

A few months ago I wrote about a proposal to fix the housing crisis in San Francisco by building skinny apartments in the medians of its streets. Little did I know this idea was already being prototyped in a place that has even bigger streets than San Francisco, due to its unique development history.

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Testosterone in the Womb Affects How Our Faces Look After Puberty

Hormone surges at puberty trigger a lot of physical changes in both men and women, morphing child-bodies into adult forms. Genitals, hips, and muscle mass change, obviously–but so do faces. A new study suggests those facial changes are primed to happen by the presence of testosterone in utero.

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How Low-Tech Farming Innovation Can Make African Farmers Climate-Resilient

Scientists, politicians and the Pope are not the only ones calling for action on climate change these days. Farmers are observing changes in rainfall, temperature and other patterns in weather that have spurred them into shifting their farming methods. In fact, while climate change is not a source of scientific contention, how to farm in the future is a hot topic in the scientific realm.

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