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Biology

Art for "Icefish Study Adds Another Color to the Story of Blood"
evolution

Icefish Study Adds Another Color to the Story of Blood

April 22, 2019

The rainbow of pigments that animals use for blood illustrates a central truth of evolution.

Art for "Dormant Microbes Bide Their Time Over Decades - Old Fires"
ecology

Heat-Loving Microbes, Once Dormant, Thrive Over Decades-Old Fire

April 16, 2019

In harsh ecosystems around the world, microbiologists are finding evidence that “microbial seed banks” protect biodiversity from changing conditions.

Abstractions blog

Viruses Have a Secret, Altruistic Social Life

April 15, 2019

Researchers are beginning to understand the ways in which viruses strategically manipulate and cooperate with one another.

Art for "Researchers Rethink Ancestry of Complex Cells"
evolution

Researchers Rethink the Ancestry of Complex Cells

April 9, 2019

New studies revise ideas about the symbiosis that gave mitochondria to cells and about whether the last common ancestor of all eukaryotes was one cell or many.

Art for "Goals and Rewards Rewrite the Brain’s Map of the World"
Abstractions blog

Goals and Rewards Redraw the Brain’s Map of the World

March 28, 2019

Two new studies show that the brain’s navigation system changes how it represents physical space to reflect personal experience.

Art for "How the Brain Links Gestures, Perception and Meaning"
cognitive science

How the Brain Links Gestures, Perception and Meaning

March 25, 2019

Neuroscience has found that gestures are not merely important as tools of expression but as guides of cognition and perception.

Q&A

She Finds Clues to Future Sustainability in Old Food Webs

March 21, 2019

By reconstructing prehistoric food webs and analyzing the diverse interactions of humans with other species, the ecologist Jennifer Dunne is developing a new understanding of sustainability through network science.

Art for "Mitochondria Direct the Fate of Stem Cells by Shape-Shifting"
developmental biology

Biologists Discover Unknown Powers in Mighty Mitochondria

March 18, 2019

Mitochondria are most famous as sources of metabolic energy. But by splitting and combining, they can also release chemical signals to regulate cell activities, including the generation of neurons.

Art for "The Math That Tells Cells What They Are"
mathematical biology

The Math That Tells Cells What They Are

March 13, 2019

During development, cells seem to decode their fate through optimal information processing, which could hint at a more general principle of life.