The Year in Biology
Biologists gained new insights into life’s genomically tumultuous past, viruses as crucial components of life, the hidden talents of complex cells and basic aspects of cognition and memory.
How Complex Wholes Emerge From Simple Parts
Throughout nature, throngs of relatively simple elements can self-organize into behaviors that seem unexpectedly complex. Scientists are beginning to understand why and how these phenomena emerge without a central organizing entity.
Three Biochemists Win Chemistry Nobel for Directing Evolution
By using the power of evolution to solve practical problems, three researchers opened new avenues to chemical discovery.
Nobel Prize Awarded for Cancer Immunotherapy
James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for developing ways to unleash the immune system more effectively against cancers.
Mathematics Shows How to Ensure Evolution
New results emerging from graph theory prove that the way a population is organized can guarantee the eventual triumph of natural selection — or permanently thwart it.
CRISPR Gene-Editing Pioneers Win Kavli Prize for Nanoscience
The inventors of a “Swiss army knife” for genome editing received prestigious honors, as did pioneering scientists in astrophysics and neuroscience.
How Brain Waves Surf Sound Waves to Process Speech
By paying more attention to behaviors, and not just the activity of neurons, two researchers critical of most neuroscience learned how brains make sense of spoken language.
Artificial Neural Nets Grow Brainlike Navigation Cells
Faced with a navigational challenge, neural networks spontaneously evolved units resembling the grid cells that help living animals find their way.
Brains Cling to Old Habits When Learning New Tricks
Using a brain-computer interface, scientists are beginning to learn why learning is hard.