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The Year in Biology
The detailed understanding of brains and multicellular bodies reached new heights this year, while the genomes of the COVID-19 virus and various organisms yielded more surprises.
When a Gene Illness Discovery Means Breaking Bad News
When scientists discover genes linked to dangerous illnesses in their samples, how should they convey that news to the study participants? The geneticist Cristen Willer had to tackle that challenge.
AI Researchers Fight Noise by Turning to Biology
Tiny amounts of artificial noise can fool neural networks, but not humans. Some researchers are looking to neuroscience for a fix.
New Brain Maps Can Predict Behaviors
Rapid advances in large-scale connectomics are beginning to spotlight the importance of individual variations in the neural circuitry. They also highlight the limitations of “wiring diagrams” alone.
Will We Ever Get Rid of COVID-19?
No matter how much we’d like to eradicate SARS-CoV-2, it may be better to settle for other forms of control.
Wildfires of Varying Intensity Can Be Good for Biodiversity
The spate of furious wildfires around the world during the past decade has revealed to ecologists how much biodiversity and “pyrodiversity” go hand in hand.
At the Dawn of Life, Heat May Have Driven Cell Division
A mathematical model shows how a thermodynamic mechanism could have made protocells split in two.
To Be Energy-Efficient, Brains Predict Their Perceptions
Results from neural networks support the idea that brains are “prediction machines” — and that they work that way to conserve energy.
The Brain Can Recall and Reawaken Past Immune Responses
The brain not only helps to regulate immune responses, but also stores and retrieves “memories” of them.