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Biology

genetics

Machine Intelligence Cracks Genetic Controls

Scientists have begun to decipher the most difficult-to-read parts of the genome — the parts that don’t code for proteins. The new work reveals how errors in these genetic instructions can lead to disease.

Biology

New Twist Found in the Story of Life’s Start

All life on Earth is made of molecules that twist in the same direction. New research reveals that this may not always have been so.

evolution

Ancient Survivors Could Redefine Sex

Microscopic creatures called bdelloid rotifers have thrived without mating for millions of years. How they did it could reveal why sex is so essential for almost everyone else.

neuroscience

Mental Leaps Cued by Memory’s Ripples

The same mental processes that organize memories may also coordinate how we make decisions.

neuroscience

Brain’s Positioning System Linked to Memory

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three researchers who discovered how the brain navigates the world. Their work may also help illuminate how the mind stores memories.

biology

Elusive Form of Evolution Seen in Spiders

A study of diverse colonies of spiders supports a controversial idea in evolution — that natural selection can act on communities as well as on individuals.

Ships Docking
ecology

Lizard Stowaways Revise Principle of Ecology

The movement of lizards around the Caribbean is forcing researchers to account for human activity in even their most basic ecological models.

Yeast
evolution

Evolution’s Random Paths Lead to One Place

A massive statistical study suggests that even though genetic changes happen at random, the final evolutionary outcome — fitness — is predictable.

ecology

The Thermodynamic Theory of Ecology

Nature’s large-scale patterns emerge from incomplete surveys that borrow ideas from information theory.