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Biology

origins of life

Hints of Life’s Start Found in a Giant Virus

Newly discovered specimens support a more ancient origin for viruses, perhaps all the way back to the origins of life.

evolution

The Game Theory of Life

An insight borrowed from computer science suggests that evolution values both fitness and diversity.

Nasonia wasp wings.
evolution

Evolving With a Little Help From Our Friends

A new theory suggests that cooperation between a host and its microbes may be a significant evolutionary force.

Fluorescence
Biology

Inside the Din, Cells Fight Noise With Noise

Is the random noise inside a cell a nuisance, or have cells evolved ways to put it to work?

genetics

In Bees, a Hunt for Roots of Social Behavior

By comparing the genomes of social and solitary bees, scientists hope to uncover the basis for communal behavior.

origins of life

Early Life in Death Valley

Evidence from Southwestern deserts suggests that oxygen-breathing organisms arose on land rather than in the seas.

A living bridge.
Biology

The Remarkable Self-Organization of Ants

Knowing the rules behind ant-made structures could help scientists understand how other complex systems emerge in nature.

neuroscience

A Fundamental Theory to Model the Mind

Support is growing for a decades-old physics idea suggesting that localized episodes of disordered brain activity help keep the overall system in healthy balance.

evolution

Does Competition Drive Diversity of Species?

A large new study of ovenbird lineages questions the extent to which competing species push each other to evolve.