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Sponge Genes Hint at the Origins of Neurons and Other Cells
A new study of gene expression in sponges reveals the complex diversity of their cells as well as some possibly ancient connections between the nervous, immune and digestive systems.
Her Machine Learning Tools Pull Insights From Cell Images
The computational biologist Anne Carpenter creates software that brings the power of machine learning to researchers seeking answers in mountains of cell images.
The Brain Processes Speech in Parallel With Other Sounds
Scientists thought that the brain’s hearing centers might just process speech along with other sounds. But new work suggests that speech gets some special treatment very early on.
Neuron Bursts Can Mimic Famous AI Learning Strategy
A new model of learning centers on bursts of neural activity that act as teaching signals — approximating backpropagation, the algorithm behind learning in AI.
How Animals Map 3D Spaces Surprises Brain Researchers
When animals move through 3D spaces, the neat system of grid cell activity they use for navigating on flat surfaces gets more disorderly. That has implications for some ideas about memory and other processes.
Chemistry Nobel Prize Honors Technique for Building Molecules
Benjamin List and David MacMillan received the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their development of asymmetrical organocatalysis.
Medicine Nobel Prize Goes to Temperature and Touch Discoveries
David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian were awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries of how we detect heat and touch.
Anil Seth Finds Consciousness in Life’s Push Against Entropy
How does consciousness arise in mere flesh and blood? To the neuroscientist Anil Seth, our organic bodies are the key to the experience.
Single Cells Evolve Large Multicellular Forms in Just Two Years
Researchers have discovered that environments favoring clumpy growth are all that’s needed to quickly transform single-celled yeast into complex multicellular organisms.