What's up in

Biology

Illustration: a virus broken up into parts over several cells
viruses

Viruses Can Scatter Their Genes Among Cells and Reassemble

Some viruses can replicate without infecting any one cell with all their genes.

Art for "In Ecology Studies and Selfless Ants, He Finds Hope for the Future"
Q&A

In Ecology Studies and Selfless Ants, He Finds Hope for the Future

For more than six decades, the influential biologist Edward O. Wilson has drawn connections between evolution, ecology and behavior, often sparking controversies inside and outside of science.

Art for "Rapid Oxygen Changes Fueled an Explosion in Ancient Animal Diversity"
Abstractions blog

Rapid Oxygen Changes Fueled an Explosion in Ancient Animal Diversity

Skyrocketing animal diversity a half-billion years ago was linked to spikes and dips in marine oxygen levels, according to a detailed geological study.

Art for "Brains Speed Up Perception by Guessing What’s Next"
neuroscience

Brains Speed Up Perception by Guessing What’s Next

Your expectations shape and quicken your perceptions. A new model that explains how that happens also suggests it’s time to update theories about sensory perception and decision making.

Art for "Scientists Discover Nearly 200,000 Kinds of Ocean Viruses"
Abstractions blog

Scientists Discover Nearly 200,000 Kinds of Ocean Viruses

New work raises the estimated diversity of viruses in the seas more than twelvefold and lays the groundwork for a better understanding of their impact on global nutrient cycles.

Art for "New Turmoil Over Weighing Genes’ Share of Complex Traits"
genomics

New Turmoil Over Predicting the Effects of Genes

Promising efforts at disentangling the effects of genes and the environment on complicated traits may have been confounded by statistical problems.

Art for "Icefish Study Adds Another Color to the Story of Blood"
evolution

Icefish Study Adds Another Color to the Story of Blood

The rainbow of pigments that animals use for blood illustrates a central truth of evolution.

Art for "Dormant Microbes Bide Their Time Over Decades - Old Fires"
ecology

Heat-Loving Microbes, Once Dormant, Thrive Over Decades-Old Fire

In harsh ecosystems around the world, microbiologists are finding evidence that “microbial seed banks” protect biodiversity from changing conditions.

Abstractions blog

Viruses Have a Secret, Altruistic Social Life

Researchers are beginning to understand the ways in which viruses strategically manipulate and cooperate with one another.