What's up in

Biology

evolution

Does Competition Drive Diversity of Species?

March 10, 2014

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

Chili peppers.
Biology

Scientists Reveal Structure of Pain Sensor

February 20, 2014

Scientists have finally resolved the structure of the molecule that responds to chili peppers, high temperatures and spider toxins.

origins of life

Chemists Seek Possible Precursor to RNA

February 5, 2014

Scientists have discovered building blocks similar to those in modern RNA that can effortlessly assemble when mixed in water and heated.

Jeremy England
Physics

A New Physics Theory of Life

January 22, 2014

An MIT physicist has proposed the provocative idea that life exists because the law of increasing entropy drives matter to acquire lifelike physical properties.

evolution

Under Pressure, Does Evolution Evolve?

January 15, 2014

Some organisms respond to stress by driving up their mutation rate. Are they evolving specific mechanisms to enhance evolution in times of crisis?

genetics

A Missing Genetic Link in Human Evolution

January 2, 2014

Mysterious episodes of genetic duplication in our great ape ancestors may have paved the way for human evolution.

Maple leaves.
botany

The Secret Language of Plants

December 16, 2013

Striking evidence that plants warn each other of environmental dangers is reviving a once ridiculed field.

neuroscience

Inside a Brain Circuit, the Will to Press On

December 5, 2013

A rare brain stimulation study suggests that a brain circuit known as the “salience network” contributes to differences in our ability to overcome challenges and cope with stress.

genetics

Tracking the Evolution of Cancer, Cell by Cell

November 13, 2013

Analyzing individual cancer cells could reveal the answer to some of the disease’s most enduring mysteries.