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Biology

Art for "Bacterial Complexity Revises Ideas About ‘Which Came First?’"
cell biology

Bacterial Complexity Revises Ideas About ‘Which Came First?’

Contrary to popular belief, bacteria have organelles too. Scientists are now studying them for insights into how complex cells evolved.

Abstractions blog

Do Brains Operate at a Tipping Point? New Clues and Complications

New experimental results simultaneously advance and challenge the theory that the brain’s network of neurons balances on the knife-edge between two phases.

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a T lymphocyte.
Abstractions blog

Immune Cells Measure Time to Identify Foreign Proteins

Immunologists confirm an old hunch: T-cells identify what belongs in the body by timing how long they can bind to it.

Art for "The Body’s Clock Offers a Rhythmic Target to Viruses"
chronobiology

The Body’s Clock Offers a Rhythmic Target to Viruses

Viruses and other parasites may sync with their host’s biological clock — or reset it — to gain an advantage.

Art for "Ancient DNA Yields Snapshots of Vanished Ecosystems"
genomics

Ancient DNA Yields Snapshots of Vanished Ecosystems

Surviving fragments of genetic material preserved in sediments allow scientists to see the full diversity of past life — even microbes.

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.