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Biology

Q&A

An Explorer of Life’s Deepest Partnerships

September 17, 2015

The biologist Nancy Moran has spent a career investigating the surprising nature of symbiosis, a phenomenon in which two species can appear to merge into one.

Biology

How the Body’s Trillions of Clocks Keep Time

September 15, 2015

Cellular clocks are almost everywhere. Clues to how they work are coming from the places they’re not.

Biology

How Mutant Viral Swarms Spread Disease

August 25, 2015

A new understanding of viral swarms is helping researchers predict how viruses will evolve and where disease is likely to spread.

Biology

A Surprise Source of Life’s Code

August 18, 2015

Emerging data suggests the seemingly impossible — that mysterious new genes arise from “junk” DNA.

geophysics

How Life and Luck Changed Earth’s Minerals

August 11, 2015

Did the minerals on our planet arise in a predictable fashion, or did they result from chance events? The answers could eventually help scientists identify planets likely to harbor life.

Biology

At Tiny Scales, a Giant Burst on Tree of Life

July 28, 2015

A new technique for finding and characterizing microbes has boosted the number of known bacteria by almost 50 percent, revealing a hidden world all around us.

Biology

New Letters Added to the Genetic Alphabet

July 10, 2015

Scientists hope that new genetic letters, created in the lab, will endow DNA with new powers.

Q&A

Decoding the Remarkable Algorithms of Ants

June 25, 2015

The biologist Deborah Gordon has uncovered how ant colonies search efficiently without central organization, an insight that might improve computer networks.

evolution

Biologists Invoke the Past in Modern Bacteria

June 18, 2015

By swapping ancient genes into modern E. coli, scientists hope to tease out the rules of evolution.