Emily Singer

Former Senior Writer

Abstractions blog

New Lizard Shows Evolution’s Predictability

June 29, 2016

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

June 23, 2016

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

June 21, 2016

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

June 20, 2016

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

June 14, 2016

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

May 26, 2016

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

May 10, 2016

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

April 6, 2016

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

synthetic biology

In Newly Created Life-Form, a Major Mystery

March 24, 2016

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.