Jordana Cepelewicz

Staff Writer

Abstractions blog

In Brain’s Electrical Ripples, Markers for Memories Appear

August 6, 2019

Researchers found that elongating certain brain signals in rats improved their memory. The work revealed a new property to look out for in the hunt for “biomarkers” of learning.

evolution

Scientists Debate the Origin of Cell Types in the First Animals

July 17, 2019

Theories about how animals became multicellular are shifting as researchers find greater complexity in our single-celled ancestors.

Abstractions blog

How Swarming Insects Act Like Fluids

July 10, 2019

By studying a swarm of flying midges as though it were a fluid, physicists have learned how collective behaviors might stabilize a group against environmental disruptions.

artificial intelligence

Where We See Shapes, AI Sees Textures

July 1, 2019

To researchers’ surprise, deep learning vision algorithms often fail at classifying images because they mostly take cues from textures, not shapes.

Art for "Bacterial Complexity Revises Ideas About ‘Which Came First?’"
cell biology

Bacterial Complexity Revises Ideas About ‘Which Came First?’

June 12, 2019

Contrary to popular belief, bacteria have organelles too. Scientists are now studying them for insights into how complex cells evolved.

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a T lymphocyte.
Abstractions blog

Immune Cells Measure Time to Identify Foreign Proteins

June 3, 2019

Immunologists confirm an old hunch: T-cells identify what belongs in the body by timing how long they can bind to it.

Art for "Brains Speed Up Perception by Guessing What’s Next"
neuroscience

Brains Speed Up Perception by Guessing What’s Next

May 2, 2019

Your expectations shape and quicken your perceptions. A new model that explains how that happens also suggests it’s time to update theories about sensory perception and decision making.

Art for "New Turmoil Over Weighing Genes’ Share of Complex Traits"
genomics

New Turmoil Over Predicting the Effects of Genes

April 23, 2019

Promising efforts at disentangling the effects of genes and the environment on complicated traits may have been confounded by statistical problems.

Art for "Goals and Rewards Rewrite the Brain’s Map of the World"
Abstractions blog

Goals and Rewards Redraw the Brain’s Map of the World

March 28, 2019

Two new studies show that the brain’s navigation system changes how it represents physical space to reflect personal experience.