To Learn More Quickly, Brain Cells Break Their DNA
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.
Animals Count and Use Zero. How Far Does Their Number Sense Go?
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.
Plasmid, Virus or Other? DNA ‘Borgs’ Blur Boundaries.
Scientists have reported large DNA structures in some archaea that defy easy categorization.
Secret Workings of Smell Receptors Revealed for First Time
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.
Radioactivity May Fuel Life Deep Underground and Inside Other Worlds
New work suggests that the radiolytic splitting of water supports giant subsurface ecosystems of life on Earth — and could do it elsewhere, too.
The Brain ‘Rotates’ Memories to Save Them From New Sensations
Some populations of neurons simultaneously process sensations and memories. New work shows how the brain rotates those representations to prevent interference.