Emily Singer

Former Senior Writer

Abstractions blog

New Lizard Shows Evolution’s Predictability

A newly discovered anole on the island of Hispaniola confirms that the buildup of ecological communities can follow predictable patterns.

Q&A

The Maestro of Memory Manipulation

The neuroscientist Sheena Josselyn can evoke and erase memories in mice using new tools that precisely control the brain.

microbiology

New Life Found That Lives Off Electricity

Scientists have figured out how microbes can suck energy from rocks. Such lifeforms might be more widespread than anyone anticipated.

Abstractions blog

Interstellar Find Adds Life to Old Debate

Figuring out how these molecules form in the deep recesses of interstellar space might illuminate the origins of one of life’s distinguishing features.

Abstractions blog

The Downside to Neanderthal DNA

How interbreeding among early hominins harmed humans but may have slowed the Neanderthals’ decline.

Native Tibetans make use of a gene derived from Denisovans to stay healthy at high altitudes.
evolution

How Neanderthal DNA Helps Humanity

Neanderthals and Denisovans may have endowed modern humans with genetic variants that helped them thrive in new environments.

Ashley Mackenzie for Quanta Magazine
neuroscience

New Evidence for the Necessity of Loneliness

A specific set of neurons deep in the brain may motivate us to seek company, holding social species together.

neuroscience

Mapping the Brain to Build Better Machines

A project to decipher the brain’s learning rules could revolutionize machine learning.

synthetic biology

In Newly Created Life-Form, a Major Mystery

Scientists have created a synthetic organism that possesses only the genes it needs to survive. But they have no idea what roughly a third of those genes do.