Carrie Arnold

Contributing Writer

cell biology

Bacterial Clones Show Surprising Individuality

September 4, 2019

Genetically identical bacteria should all be the same, but in fact, the cells are stubbornly varied individuals.

Art for "Dormant Microbes Bide Their Time Over Decades - Old Fires"
ecology

Heat-Loving Microbes, Once Dormant, Thrive Over Decades-Old Fire

April 16, 2019

In harsh ecosystems around the world, microbiologists are finding evidence that “microbial seed banks” protect biodiversity from changing conditions.

Lede art for "Viruses and Cell Vesicles: Different, but Two of a Kind"
cell biology

Cells Talk in a Language That Looks Like Viruses

May 2, 2018

Disease-causing viruses and message-carrying vesicles sit at the ends of a spectrum of membranous particles that cells release.

520px photo of a dingo
evolution

A Domesticated Dingo? No, but Some Are Getting Less Wild

January 23, 2018

Near an Australian desert mining camp, wild dingoes are losing their fear of humans. Their genetic and behavioral changes may echo those from the domestication of dogs.

During fertilization, eggs may play an unexpected role in choosing which sperm offer the best genetic match.
genetics

Choosy Eggs May Pick Sperm for Their Genes, Defying Mendel’s Law

November 15, 2017

The oldest law of genetics says that gametes combine randomly, but experiments hint that sometimes eggs select sperm actively for their genetic assets.

Birds and mitonuclear conflict
evolution

Genetic Struggles Within Cells May Create New Species

September 27, 2017

Mitonuclear conflict — a struggle between the genes in a cell’s nucleus and its mitochondria — might sometimes split species in two.

microbiology

Building Codes for Bacterial Cities

July 25, 2017

Hydrodynamics and competition guide the architectural design of biofilm fortresses.

Larger timescales give a clearer picture of evolution.
evolution

Evolution Runs Faster on Short Timescales

March 14, 2017

Examine evolution over the course of years or centuries, and you’ll find that it progresses much more quickly than it does over geologic time.

genomics

Genetic Architects Untwist DNA’s Turns

October 27, 2016

Researchers have used the gene-editing tool CRISPR to manipulate the way that DNA coils up inside the cell — another step in the quest to understand how the genome’s 3-D structure impacts its function.

About the author

Carrie Arnold is a freelance health and science writer living in Virginia. She covers all aspects of the living world for publications like National Geographic, Scientific American, Discover, New Scientist and Women’s Health.