Emily Singer

Former Senior Writer

The biologist David Deamer proposes that life evolved from a collection of interacting molecules, probably in a pool in the shadow of a volcano.
Q&A

In Warm, Greasy Puddles, the Spark of Life?

The biologist David Deamer proposes that life evolved from a collection of interacting molecules, probably in a pool in the shadow of a volcano.

Perhaps chemistry played a more instrumental role in the origin of life than scientists thought.
origins of life

How to Build Life in a Pre-Darwinian World

Perhaps chemistry played a more instrumental role in the origin of life than scientists thought.

The same brain cells that track location in space appear to also count beats in time. The research suggests that our thoughts may take place on a mental space-time canvas.
neuroscience

New Clues to How the Brain Maps Time

The same brain cells that track location in space appear to also count beats in time. The research suggests that our thoughts may take place on a mental space-time canvas.

Coils and twirls in DNA’s double-helix change how the molecule behaves, opening a new role for topology in the study of life.
Biology

How Strange Twists in DNA Orchestrate Life

Coils and twirls in DNA’s double-helix change how the molecule behaves, opening a new role for topology in the study of life.

Nature offers species a panoply of ways to determine an organism’s sex. That flexibility suggests we need not be concerned about losing sex chromosomes, but it raises the question of why such a fundamental property is so variable.
Biology

The Incredible Shrinking Sex Chromosome

Nature offers species a panoply of ways to determine an organism’s sex. That flexibility suggests we need not be concerned about losing sex chromosomes, but it raises the question of why such a fundamental property is so variable.

A single genetic change and some clever geometry show how single-celled organisms can band together to form cooperative multicellular entities.
Life’s Big Leaps: Critical Moments in Evolution

Life’s Secrets Sought in a Snowflake

A single genetic change and some clever geometry show how single-celled organisms can band together to form cooperative multicellular entities.

A newly discovered class of microbe could help to resolve one of the biggest and most controversial mysteries in evolution — how simple microbes transformed into the complex cells that produced animals, plants and fungi.
Life’s Big Leaps: Critical Moments in Evolution

Mongrel Microbe Tests Story of Complex Life

A newly discovered class of microbe could help to resolve one of the biggest and most controversial mysteries in evolution — how simple microbes transformed into the complex cells that produced animals, plants and fungi.

The biologist Nancy Moran has spent a career investigating the surprising nature of symbiosis, a phenomenon in which two species can appear to merge into one.
Q&A

An Explorer of Life’s Deepest Partnerships

The biologist Nancy Moran has spent a career investigating the surprising nature of symbiosis, a phenomenon in which two species can appear to merge into one.

Emerging data suggests the seemingly impossible — that mysterious new genes arise from “junk” DNA.
Biology

A Surprise Source of Life’s Code

Emerging data suggests the seemingly impossible — that mysterious new genes arise from “junk” DNA.