Overtaxed Working Memory Knocks the Brain Out of Sync
Researchers find that when working memory gets overburdened, dialogue between three brain regions breaks down. The discovery provides new support for a larger concept about how the brain works.
Scientists Map the Genetic Steps as Eggs Become Animals
For the first time, researchers have traced the genetic programs that guide the development of each cell in early embryos. Surprisingly, even cells that start out different can end up the same.
Chronological Clues to Life’s Early History Lurk in Gene Transfers
To date the branches on the evolutionary tree of life, researchers are looking at horizontal gene transfers among ancient microorganisms, which once seemed only to muddle the record.
The Elusive Calculus of Insects’ Altruism and Kin Selection
How the ultra-cooperative behavior of ants, bees and other social insects could have evolved continues to challenge formal analysis. But a new theory about hedging bets against nature’s unpredictability may change the math and shift the debate.
Complex Animals Led to More Oxygen, Says Maverick Theory
For decades, researchers have commonly assumed that higher oxygen levels led to the sudden diversification of animal life 540 million years ago. But one iconoclast argues the opposite: that new animal behaviors raised oxygen levels and remade the environment.
Oxygen and Stem Cells May Have Reshaped Early Complex Animals
An unlikely team offers a controversial hypothesis about what enabled animal life to get more complex during the Cambrian explosion.
New Giant Viruses Further Blur the Definition of Life
A newfound pair of giant viruses have massive genomes and the most complete resources for building proteins ever seen in the viral world. They have refreshed the debate about the origins of these cellular parasites.