Weekend Links: Tweaking a Gene with CRISPR Reversed the Spiral of a Snail Shell, Escaped Pet Parrots Are Doing Great in the Wild and More

Snail on a purple flower

Welcome to Weekend Links, a collection of fascinating science stories from across the web, curated by your science-loving friends at the Mass General Research Institute.

Science Images Can Capture Attention and Pique Curiosity in a Way Words Alone Can’t

Felice Frankel writing for The Conversation

It’s no longer good enough to create photographs or other visuals only for the experts. Learning how to speak to non-experts is essential if scientists are to combat the frightening present atmosphere of scientific mistrust.

Boredom in the Mating Market: Guppies Demonstrate Why It’s Good to Stand Out

Mitchel Daniel writing for The Conversation

If you’re looking for love, it pays to stand out from the crowd. Or at least that’s how it works in some parts of the animal kingdom. Scientists have found that in several species – green swordtail fish, Trinidadian guppies, fruit flies, Poecilia parae fish – ladies overwhelmingly go for the guy that looks different from the rest.

Escaped Pet Parrots Are Doing Great in the Wild

Brigit Katz writing for Smithsonian

The United States was once home to two endemic parrots species: the Carolina parakeet, which was hunted to extinction, and the thick-billed parrot, a Mexican species that was driven out of its American range by a combination of shooting, logging and development. And yet, it is still possible to spot parrots in the wild in nearly all American states.

Scientists Find Genetic Reason Why Store-Bought Tomatoes Taste So Bland

Roni Dengler writing for Discover

Store-bought tomatoes taste horrifically disgusting — err, bland. Now scientists have discovered a version of a gene that helps give tomatoes their flavor is actually missing in about 93 percent of modern, domesticated varieties.

Tweaking One Gene with CRISPR Switched the Way a Snail Shell Spirals

Tina Hesman Saey writing for Science News

A genetic spin doctor sets snail shells to swirl clockwise, new research confirms. And the twist in this story comes at the beginning — when snail embryos are just single cells.

About the Mass General Research Institute
Massachusetts General Hospital is home to the largest hospital-based research program in the United States. Our researchers work side-by-side with physicians to develop innovative new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent disease.
Support our research


Five Things to Know: Nature Article Advocates for Open Data Sharing in Science


Why We Need More Diversity in Genetics Research

%d bloggers like this: