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Biology

cell biology

Cellular Life, Death and Everything in Between

July 8, 2019

The discovery that apparently dead cells can sometimes resurrect themselves has researchers exploring how far they can push the point of no return.

artificial intelligence

Where We See Shapes, AI Sees Textures

July 1, 2019

To researchers’ surprise, deep learning vision algorithms often fail at classifying images because they mostly take cues from textures, not shapes.

Art for "What’s in a Name? Taxonomy Problems Vex Biologists"
taxonomy

What’s in a Name? Taxonomy Problems Vex Biologists

June 24, 2019

Researchers struggle to incorporate ongoing evolutionary discoveries into an animal classification scheme older than Darwin.

Art for "Bacterial Complexity Revises Ideas About ‘Which Came First?’"
cell biology

Bacterial Complexity Revises Ideas About ‘Which Came First?’

June 12, 2019

Contrary to popular belief, bacteria have organelles too. Scientists are now studying them for insights into how complex cells evolved.

Abstractions blog

Do Brains Operate at a Tipping Point? New Clues and Complications

June 10, 2019

New experimental results simultaneously advance and challenge the theory that the brain’s network of neurons balances on the knife-edge between two phases.

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a T lymphocyte.
Abstractions blog

Immune Cells Measure Time to Identify Foreign Proteins

June 3, 2019

Immunologists confirm an old hunch: T-cells identify what belongs in the body by timing how long they can bind to it.

Art for "The Body’s Clock Offers a Rhythmic Target to Viruses"
chronobiology

The Body’s Clock Offers a Rhythmic Target to Viruses

May 30, 2019

Viruses and other parasites may sync with their host’s biological clock — or reset it — to gain an advantage.

Art for "Ancient DNA Yields Snapshots of Vanished Ecosystems"
genomics

Ancient DNA Yields Snapshots of Vanished Ecosystems

May 29, 2019

Surviving fragments of genetic material preserved in sediments allow scientists to see the full diversity of past life — even microbes.

Illustration: a virus broken up into parts over several cells
viruses

Viruses Can Scatter Their Genes Among Cells and Reassemble

May 21, 2019

Some viruses can replicate without infecting any one cell with all their genes.