Read our COVID-19 research and news.


Top stories: a one-word Turing test, honey bees at risk, and Indigenous genome experts

Want to convince someone that you’re human? This one word could do the trick

Researchers asked 2000 people were to determine whether an online message came from a human or a robot based on only one word. The giveaway? Humans say poop.

Common weed killer—believed harmless to animals—may be harming bees worldwide

Glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide and one long touted as harmless to animals, might be taking a toll on honey bees and other pollinators. The chemical appears to disrupt the microbial community in the bees’ digestive system, making them more vulnerable to infection.

To overcome decades of mistrust, a workshop aims to train Indigenous researchers to be their own genome experts

For centuries, tensions have run high between Western scientists and Indigenous communities around the world. Now, the Summer Internship for Indigenous Peoples in Genomics is trying to improve that relationship by training Indigenous scientists in genomics so that they can introduce that field’s tools to their communities as well as bring a sorely needed Indigenous perspective to research. The program has created a strong community of Indigenous scientists and non-Indigenous allies who are raising the profile of these ethical issues and developing ways to improve a historically fraught relationship.

Skepticism surrounds renowned mathematician’s attempted proof of 160-year-old hypothesis

Mathematicians around the world were buzzing about the prospect of renowned theorist and geometer Michael Atiyah presenting a simple, new proof to the Riemann hypothesis, a challenging problem that has remained unsolved for 160 years. But closer examination of Atiyah’s presentation has left many in the field skeptical of his proof’s accuracy.

Cornell nutrition scientist resigns after retractions and research misconduct finding

Brian Wansink, the Cornell University nutrition researcher known for probing the psychology behind human eating habits, has resigned after a university misconduct investigation, and following the retraction this week of six of his papers. A statement issued by Cornell said the investigation had revealed “misreporting of research data, problematic statistical techniques, failure to properly document and preserve research results, and inappropriate authorship.”