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Faced with a navigational challenge, neural networks spontaneously evolved units resembling the grid cells that help living animals find their way.
For the first time, researchers have traced the genetic programs that guide the development of each cell in early embryos. Surprisingly, even cells that start out different can end up the same.
To date the branches on the evolutionary tree of life, researchers are looking at horizontal gene transfers among ancient microorganisms, which once seemed only to muddle the record.
Long-overlooked “tunneling nanotubes” and other bridges between cells act as conduits for sharing RNA, proteins or even whole organelles.
An ambitious study in yeast shows that the health of cells depends on the highly intertwined effects of many genes, few of which can be deleted together without consequence.
How the ultra-cooperative behavior of ants, bees and other social insects could have evolved continues to challenge formal analysis. But a new theory about hedging bets against nature’s unpredictability may change the math and shift the debate.
A technique based on genetic bar codes can easily map the connections of individual brain cells in unprecedented numbers. Unexpected complexity in the visual system is only the first secret it has revealed.