Jordana Cepelewicz

Staff Writer

Art for "Scientists Learn the Ropes on Tying Molecular Knots"
chemistry

Scientists Learn the Ropes on Tying Molecular Knots

As chemists tie the most complicated molecular knot yet, biophysicists create a “periodic table” that describes what kinds of knots are possible.

Photo of Renee Reijo Pera
Q&A

In the Ticking of the Embryonic Clock, She Finds Answers

Renee Reijo Pera has spent decades uncovering how the timing of embryonic development contributes to health and disease.

EMBRYO TAIL IN TRANSITION
Abstractions blog

‘Traffic Jams’ of Cells Help to Sculpt Embryos

By measuring mechanical forces inside an embryo for the first time, researchers have shown how a physical “jamming” mechanism assists development.

Art for "New AI Strategy Mimics How Brains Learn to Smell"
artificial intelligence

New AI Strategy Mimics How Brains Learn to Smell

Machine learning techniques are commonly based on how the visual system processes information. To beat their limitations, scientists are drawing inspiration from the sense of smell.

Art for "To Heal Some Wounds, Adult Cells Turn More Fetal"
developmental biology

To Heal Some Wounds, Adult Cells Turn More Fetal

Once again, body cells reveal unexpected plasticity: In a newly discovered type of wound healing, which some researchers call “paligenosis,” adult cells revert to a more fetal state.

Abstractions blog

How Insulin Helped Create Ant Societies

Evolution may have coopted an ancient metabolic mechanism to set social insects on the path toward one of the most puzzling behaviors found in nature.

Abstractions blog

Why Nature Prefers Couples, Even for Yeast

Some species have the equivalent of many more than two sexes, but most do not. A new model suggests the reason depends on how often they mate.

Art for "To Make Sense of the Present, Brains May Predict the Future"
neuroscience

To Make Sense of the Present, Brains May Predict the Future

A controversial theory suggests that perception, motor control, memory and other brain functions all depend on comparisons between ongoing actual experiences and the brain’s modeled expectations.

Photo of Lisa Manning
Q&A

The Physics of Glass Opens a Window Into Biology

The physicist Lisa Manning studies the dynamics of glassy materials to understand embryonic development and disease.