How Supergenes Fuel Evolution Despite Harmful Mutations
Supergenes that lock inherited traits together are widespread in nature. Recent work shows that their blend of genetic benefits and risks for species can be complex.
Ocean Bacteria Reveal an Unexpected Multicellular Form
Marine bacteria normally seen as single cells join together as a “microscopic snow globe” to consume bulky floating carbohydrates.
In Sexy Worms, Inheritance Beyond Genes Can Help Evolution
Traits from RNA molecules passed between multiple generations of worms can work with genetic changes to influence future evolution.
Evolution ‘Landscapes’ Predict What’s Next for COVID Virus
Studies that map the adaptive value of viral mutations hint at how the COVID-19 pandemic might progress next.
Wildfires of Varying Intensity Can Be Good for Biodiversity
The spate of furious wildfires around the world during the past decade has revealed to ecologists how much biodiversity and “pyrodiversity” go hand in hand.
At the Dawn of Life, Heat May Have Driven Cell Division
A mathematical model shows how a thermodynamic mechanism could have made protocells split in two.
Karen Miga Fills In the Missing Pieces of Our Genome
Driven by her fascination with highly repetitive, hard-to-read parts of our DNA, Karen Miga led a coalition of researchers to finish sequencing the human genome after almost two decades.
Biodiversity May Thrive Through Games of Rock-Paper-Scissors
Recent findings add weight to the evidence that the intransitive competitions between species enrich the diversity of nature.
Cells That ‘Taste’ Danger Set Off Immune Responses
Taste and smell receptors in unexpected organs monitor the state of the body’s natural microbial health and raise an alarm over invading parasites.