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Biology

Studies of the energy-harvesting proteins in primitive cells suggest that key features of photosynthesis might have evolved a billion years earlier than scientists thought.
evolution

Simple Bacteria Offer Clues to the Origins of Photosynthesis

Studies of the energy-harvesting proteins in primitive cells suggest that key features of photosynthesis might have evolved a billion years earlier than scientists thought.

This year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to researchers who made it possible to see proteins and other biomolecules at an atomic level of detail.
Abstractions blog

Supercool Protein Imaging Gets the Nobel Prize

This year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to researchers who made it possible to see proteins and other biomolecules at an atomic level of detail.

Three U.S. biologists share the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their research into the molecular mechanism that drives circadian rhythm.
Abstractions blog

Nobel Prize Awarded for Biological Clock Discoveries

Three U.S. biologists share the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their research into the molecular mechanism that drives circadian rhythm.

Every exquisite drawing by Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the founder of modern neuroscience, is marred by a curious mark. Here is the little-known story behind it.
Quantized Columns

Why the First Drawings of Neurons Were Defaced

Every exquisite drawing by Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the founder of modern neuroscience, is marred by a curious mark. Here is the little-known story behind it.

Mitonuclear conflict — a struggle between the genes in a cell’s nucleus and its mitochondria — might sometimes split species in two.
evolution

Genetic Struggles Within Cells May Create New Species

Mitonuclear conflict — a struggle between the genes in a cell’s nucleus and its mitochondria — might sometimes split species in two.

How many Neanderthals were there? Archaeology and genetics have given very different answers. A new study reconciles them and reveals the lost history of these ancient people — including an early brush with extinction.
evolution

Genetics Spills Secrets From Neanderthals’ Lost History

How many Neanderthals were there? Archaeology and genetics have given very different answers. A new study reconciles them and reveals the lost history of these ancient people — including an early brush with extinction.

The discovery that viruses move between species unexpectedly often is rewriting ideas about their evolutionary history — and may have troubling implications for the threat from emerging diseases.
evolution

Viruses Would Rather Jump to New Hosts Than Evolve With Them

The discovery that viruses move between species unexpectedly often is rewriting ideas about their evolutionary history — and may have troubling implications for the threat from emerging diseases.

With electrical signals, simple cells organize themselves into complex societies and negotiate with other colonies.
biophysics

Bacteria Use Brainlike Bursts of Electricity to Communicate

With electrical signals, simple cells organize themselves into complex societies and negotiate with other colonies.

Nigel Goldenfeld applies the physics of condensed matter to understand how evolution sprinted for the earliest life — and then slowed down.
Q&A

Seeing Emergent Physics Behind Evolution

Nigel Goldenfeld applies the physics of condensed matter to understand how evolution sprinted for the earliest life — and then slowed down.