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Biology

The helmet jellyfish (Periphylla periphylla) uses bioluminescence for defense.

In the Deep, Clues to How Life Makes Light

December 1, 2016

Bioluminescent organisms have evolved dozens of times over the course of life’s history. Recent studies are narrowing in on the complicated biochemistry needed to illuminate the dark.

evolution

Scientists Seek to Update Evolution

November 22, 2016

Recent discoveries have led some researchers to argue that the modern evolutionary synthesis needs to be amended.

Q&A

A Conductor of Evolution’s Subtle Symphony

November 3, 2016

At first, the biologist Richard Lenski thought his long-term experiment on evolution might last for 2,000 generations. Nearly three decades and over 65,000 generations later, he’s still amazed by evolution’s “awesome inventiveness.”

A petri dish with an array of mutant yeast strains.
Abstractions blog

Why Some Genetic Miscues Are Helpful

November 3, 2016

A new look at the reasons why organisms missing pairs of genes sometimes do much better than normal.

Quantum Brain GIF
neuroscience

A New Spin on the Quantum Brain

November 2, 2016

A new theory explains how fragile quantum states may be able to exist for hours or even days in our warm, wet brain. Experiments should soon test the idea.

Abstractions blog

The Cell’s Backup Genetic Instructions

October 28, 2016

The cell is equipped with multiple redundancies in case something goes wrong. Researchers have begun to map these systems.

genomics

Genetic Architects Untwist DNA’s Turns

October 27, 2016

Researchers have used the gene-editing tool CRISPR to manipulate the way that DNA coils up inside the cell — another step in the quest to understand how the genome’s 3-D structure impacts its function.

genomics

Giant Genetic Map Shows Life’s Hidden Links

October 25, 2016

In a monumental set of experiments, spread out over nearly two decades, biologists removed genes two at a time to uncover the secret workings of the cell.

Pencils Down: Experiments in Education

Do You Love or Hate Math and Science?

October 20, 2016

Quanta Magazine invites readers to share about their early math and science learning experiences and to explore the interactive survey results.