Rachel Nuwer, National Geographic

Rachel Nuwer

National Geographic

New York, United States

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Past articles by Rachel:

Baby apes are being stolen for pets—and little is being done to stop it

With baby gorillas fetching up to $550,000, the illicit trade is booming as demand for African great apes rises in China, the Middle East, and Pakistan. → Read More

How the global donkey skin trade risks spreading deadly diseases

China imports millions of donkey skins from Africa to make traditional medicine. But the skins can carry dangerous diseases—a recent sample from Kenya tested positive for MRSA. → Read More

Mountain Goats Battle Bighorn Sheep over Climate-Limited Resources

Climate change may be leading to strange hostilities between different animal species over limited resources → Read More

Why Elephants Don’t Get Cancer

Elephants use 20 copies of a key cancer-fighting gene—and humans just have one → Read More

Two Cancer Patients Battle to Make Psilocybin Accessible for Palliative Care

Their efforts could benefit countless others in need of an end-of-life measure → Read More

Ancient Giraffe Relative Was Evolution’s Headbutting Champion, Perhaps Besting Dinosaurs

Natural selection propels the giraffe family to absolute extremes—and it is not just about the absurdly long necks → Read More

The Scientists Fighting for Parasite Conservation

Parasites play an outsize role in balancing ecosystems, and some species may be in danger → Read More

Fish Rub Up Against Sharks, for Exfoliation or Maybe Just Good Feels

Various species were found deliberately chafing on sharks around the world, though why they do so is not entirely clear → Read More

Natural Mosquito Repellent’s Powers Finally Decoded

Mosquito-borne diseases kill about 700,000 people every year. Lives can be spared by applying insect repellents, including a chrysanthemum flower extract called pyrethrum that humans have used for thousands of years. A new study in Nature Communications finally shows how pyrethrum works, with two components acting synergistically to deter the pesky bloodsuckers. Mosquitoes tend to develop… → Read More

The First ‘Google Translate’ for Elephants Debuts

An online animal catalogue lets you decode communications and other behaviors for everyone’s favorite pachyderm → Read More

How This Zombie Fungus Turns Cicadas into Horror-Movie Sex Bots

Researchers explore how an amphetamine and a psychedelic help parasitic fungi spread their spores through insects’ doomed mating attempts → Read More

Bird Brawlers Love Spectators—Other Avian Species Are Welcome at Ringside

Tufted titmice scuffle more vigorously in front of a crowd—even if some of the onlookers are woodpeckers → Read More

How Cher Helped Rescue the World's Loneliest Elephant

A new documentary follows the five year struggle to save an elephant named Kaavan from abuse—and seeks to inspire similar efforts around the world → Read More

The Asteroid That Killed the Dinosaurs Created the Amazon Rain Forest

Fossilized pollen and leaves reveal that the meteorite that caused the extinction of nonavian dinosaurs also reshaped South America’s plant communities to yield the planet’s largest rain forest → Read More

Vaccine Could Save Critical Tiger Population

Canine distemper threatens a key group of Amur tigers, but an unconventional vaccination program could help → Read More

Baby Talk and Lemur Chatter—but Not Birdsong—Help an Infant’s Brain Develop

Researchers probe the outer boundaries of what types of sounds human infants tune in to for building cognition → Read More

People Literally Don’t Know When to Shut Up—or Keep Talking, Science Confirms

We are really bad at navigating a key transition point during one of the most basic social interactions → Read More

The World’s Oldest Animal Paintings Are on This Cave Wall

Depictions of pigs found in Indonesia date back at least 45,500 years → Read More

Young Ravens Rival Adult Chimps in a Big Test of General Intelligence

At just four months of age, the birds performed equally well as great apes on understanding numbers, following cues and many more tasks → Read More

Presidential Debates Have Shockingly Little Effect on Election Outcomes

The upcoming debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump may be one of the least consequential in decades, experts say → Read More