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How a Human Smell Receptor Works Is Finally Revealed
After decades of frustration, researchers have determined how an airborne scent molecule links to a human smell receptor.
How Pools of Genetic Diversity Affect a Species’ Fate
A new, deeper understanding of how the breeding structure of species affects their genetic diversity is giving conservationists better tools for saving animals.
Why the Brain’s Connections to the Body Are Crisscrossed
In all bilaterally symmetrical animals, from humans down to simple worms, nerves cross from one side of the body to the opposite side of the brain. Geometry may explain why.
She Tracks the DNA of Elusive Species That Hide in Harsh Places
On Mount Everest and in the Peruvian Andes, Tracie Seimon uses DNA to study how species and ecosystems respond to climate change, pathogens and other influences.
Primitive Asgard Cells Show Life on the Brink of Complexity
As researchers race to cultivate more of the intriguing cells from the deep seafloor, the few cells now growing in labs are giving us our best glimpses of the forerunners of all complex life.
Animal Mutation Rates Reveal Traits That Speed Evolution
The first large-scale comparison of mutation rates gives insights into how quickly species can evolve.
How a DNA ‘Parasite’ May Have Fragmented Our Genes
A novel type of “jumping gene” may explain why the genomes of complex cells aren’t all equally stuffed with noncoding sequences.
Dinosaur Bone Study Reveals That Not All Giants Grew Alike
A survey of prehistoric bones reveals that T. rex and some of its cousins had more than one way to reach enormous sizes. Evolution may have preserved that variation in modern animals too.