Veronique Greenwood

Contributing Writer

Clock
Abstractions blog

How Circadian Clocks Differ From Sleep

The circadian clock is in nearly every cell, and researchers have untangled many of its secrets. But sleep has been harder to pin down.

Photo of a sleeping rat with a teddy bear
chronobiology

Researchers Tap a Sleep Switch in the Brain

Powerful new experiments have uncovered some of the molecular underpinnings of sleep.

Illustration: Viruses Find a New Way to Hijack Cells
viruses

Viruses Find a New Way to Hijack Cells

A virus that causes crippling birth defects has been shown to do something else: It changes thousands of messages coming from DNA that control normal cellular activities.

A petri dish with an array of mutant yeast strains.
Abstractions blog

Why Some Genetic Miscues Are Helpful

A new look at the reasons why organisms missing pairs of genes sometimes do much better than normal.

genomics

Giant Genetic Map Shows Life’s Hidden Links

In a monumental set of experiments, spread out over nearly two decades, biologists removed genes two at a time to uncover the secret workings of the cell.

neuroscience

New Insights Into How Zika Harms the Brain

Researchers are racing to understand how the Zika virus causes birth defects. Their first results have revealed tantalizing clues about how the virus interferes with the developing brain — and how it might be stopped.

genetics

A Secret Flexibility Found in Life’s Blueprints

A new study reveals that individual genes can create many different versions of the molecular machinery that powers the cell.

ecology

A Timely Fix for a Grand Theory of Nature

A disarmingly simple model of ecology does everything well — except predict how rapidly nature can change. Can it become more realistic while still avoiding all of biology’s messy complexities?

Life’s Big Leaps: Critical Moments in Evolution

The Woman Who Stared at Wasps

The biologist Joan Strassmann discusses cooperation in social insects, how amoebas can teach us about competition, and why the definition of “organism” needs an overhaul.