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Biology

Art for "‘Lava-Lamp’ Proteins Inside Cells May Protect and Regulate"
cell biology

‘Lava-Lamp’ Proteins May Help Cells Cheat Death

November 26, 2018

With proteins that reversibly self-assemble into droplets, cells may control their metabolism — and harden themselves against harsh conditions.

evolution

Should Evolution Treat Our Microbes as Part of Us?

November 20, 2018

How does evolution select the fittest “individuals” when they are ecosystems made up of hosts and their microbiomes? Biologist debate the need to revise theories.

Art for "Stem Cells Remember Tissues’ Past Injuries"
developmental biology

Stem Cells Remember Tissues’ Past Injuries

November 12, 2018

Stem cells seem to retain memories of old injuries to improve future healing. When that system goes wrong, chronic inflammation can result.

Art for "Adaptations or Neutral Changes? Evolutionary Theory Seeks a Balance"
evolution

Theorists Debate How ‘Neutral’ Evolution Really Is

November 8, 2018

For 50 years, evolutionary theory has emphasized the importance of neutral mutations rather than adaptive ones at the level of DNA. Real genomic data challenges that assumption.

Art for "In the Nucleus, Genes’ Activity Might Depend on Their Position"
cell biology

In the Nucleus, Genes’ Activity Might Depend on Their Location

November 6, 2018

Using a new CRISPR-based technique, researchers are examining how the position of DNA within the nucleus affects gene expression and cell function.

Art for "Scientists Learn the Ropes on Tying Molecular Knots"
chemistry

Scientists Learn the Ropes on Tying Molecular Knots

October 29, 2018

As chemists tie the most complicated molecular knot yet, biophysicists create a “periodic table” that describes what kinds of knots are possible.

Photo of Stromatolites
Abstractions blog

World’s Oldest Fossils Now Appear to Be Squished Rocks

October 22, 2018

Evidence for life in 3.7-billion-year-old rocks appears to be crumbling away.

Art for "‘Broadband’ Networks of Viruses May Help Bacteria Evolve Faster"
microbiology

‘Broadband’ Networks of Viruses May Help Bacteria Evolve Faster

October 16, 2018

A newly discovered mechanism may enable viruses to shuttle genes between bacteria 1,000 times as often as was thought — making them a major force in those cells’ evolution.

Photo of Renee Reijo Pera
Q&A

In the Ticking of the Embryonic Clock, She Finds Answers

October 15, 2018

Renee Reijo Pera has spent decades uncovering how the timing of embryonic development contributes to health and disease.