Veronique Greenwood

Contributing Writer

Missing Mutations Suggest a Reason for Sex
molecular biology

Missing Mutations Suggest a Reason for Sex

July 13, 2017

Sex might help natural selection purge excessive mistakes from our genes.

Bear melting still
molecular biology

How Heat Kills Cells

May 9, 2017

The proteins that unravel as the temperature starts to rise turn out to be among the most vital.

Clock
Abstractions blog

How Circadian Clocks Differ From Sleep

February 17, 2017

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

February 14, 2017

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

December 6, 2016

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

November 3, 2016

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

October 25, 2016

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

July 7, 2016

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

April 26, 2016

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