New work shows that neurons and other brain cells use DNA double-strand breaks, often associated with cancer, neurodegeneration and aging, to quickly express genes related to learning and memory.
Familiar categories of mental functions such as perception, memory and attention reflect our experience of ourselves, but they are misleading about how the brain works. More revealing approaches are emerging.
Crows recently demonstrated an understanding of the concept of zero. It’s only the latest evidence of animals’ talents for numerical abstraction — which may still differ from our own grasp of numbers.
Scientists have reported large DNA structures in some archaea that defy easy categorization.
The DNA of some viruses doesn’t use the same four nucleotide bases found in all other life. New work shows how this exception is possible and hints that it could be more common than we think.
Researchers have finally seen how some smell receptors bind to odor molecules. The work yields new insights into one of the most mysterious and versatile senses.
New work suggests that the radiolytic splitting of water supports giant subsurface ecosystems of life on Earth — and could do it elsewhere, too.
Some populations of neurons simultaneously process sensations and memories. New work shows how the brain rotates those representations to prevent interference.
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