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Biology

Q&A

Wanted: More Data, the Dirtier the Better

June 6, 2017

The computational immunologist Purvesh Khatri embraces messy data as a way to capture the messiness of disease. As a result, he’s making elusive genomic discoveries.

Man emerging from particals climbing monolith
consciousness

A Theory of Reality as More Than the Sum of Its Parts

June 1, 2017

New math shows how, contrary to conventional scientific wisdom, conscious beings and other macroscopic entities might have greater influence over the future than do the sum of their microscopic components.

Tidal pool with ocean life
Abstractions blog

Awash in Sea of Data, Ecologists Turn to Open Access Tools

May 24, 2017

To assess the ocean’s health, ecology’s “rugged individualists” learned to get with the big data program.

Is a spiderweb part of the animal’s mind?
cognitive science

The Thoughts of a Spiderweb

May 23, 2017

Spiders appear to offload cognitive tasks to their webs, making them one of a number of species with a mind that isn’t fully confined within the head.

Bear melting still
molecular biology

How Heat Kills Cells

May 9, 2017

The proteins that unravel as the temperature starts to rise turn out to be among the most vital.

School of Fish
biophysics

Swirling Bacteria Linked to the Physics of Phase Transitions

May 4, 2017

The new experiments suggest that simple models can explain the behavior of thousands of interacting organisms.

cell biology

The Secret Power of the Cell’s Waste Bin

April 25, 2017

Trash collectors in the cell moonlight at the controls of the genetic machinery.

Q&A

A Map of Human History, Hidden in DNA

April 20, 2017

The computational biologist John Novembre uses our genetic code to rewrite the history of humanity.

Larger timescales give a clearer picture of evolution.
evolution

Evolution Runs Faster on Short Timescales

March 14, 2017

Examine evolution over the course of years or centuries, and you’ll find that it progresses much more quickly than it does over geologic time.