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Biology

evolution

How Dinosaurs Shrank and Became Birds

Modern birds emerged in a snap of evolutionary time through a series of simple genetic changes.

Biology

Scientists Map 5,000 New Ocean Viruses

In the few decades since viruses were first found in the oceans, scientists have only been able to identify a handful of species. A new survey has uncovered nearly all the rest.

Biology

Animal Copies Reveal Roots of Individuality

Genetically identical animals raised under similar conditions can make very different choices. These distinctions are helping researchers map the biological basis of individuality.

evolution

A Surprise for Evolution in Giant Tree of Life

The largest evolutionary tree ever compiled leads researchers to conclude that chance mutation — not natural selection — drives the development of new species.

origins of life

How Structure Arose in the Primordial Soup

Life’s first epoch saw incredible advances — cells, metabolism and DNA, to name a few. Researchers are resurrecting ancient proteins to illuminate the biological dark ages.

evolution

Did Neurons Evolve Twice?

The comb jelly, a primitive marine creature, is forcing scientists to rethink how animals got their start.

Biology

Killer Virus Is Invading Koala DNA

An infection sweeping through Australia’s struggling koala population provides an unprecedented opportunity to explore how retroviruses insert themselves into the genome.

genomics

Genetic Geometry Takes Shape

Inside the cell’s nucleus, the double helix folds up in myriad loops and twists. The quest to unravel this structure is revealing the subtle genetic orchestration of all life on Earth.

evolution

Game Theory Calls Cooperation Into Question

A new solution to the prisoner’s dilemma, a classic game theory scenario, has created new puzzles in evolutionary biology.