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Most Complete Simulation of a Cell Probes Life’s Hidden Rules
A 3D digital model of a “minimal cell” leads scientists closer to understanding the barest requirements for life.
AI Overcomes Stumbling Block on Brain-Inspired Hardware
Algorithms that use the brain’s communication signal can now work on analog neuromorphic chips, which closely mimic our energy-efficient brains.
A Billion Years Before Sex, Ancient Cells Were Equipped for It
Molecular detective work is zeroing in on the origins of sexual reproduction. The protein tools for cell mergers seem to have long predated sex — so what were they doing?
New Map of Meaning in the Brain Changes Ideas About Memory
Researchers have mapped hundreds of semantic categories to the tiny bits of the cortex that represent them in our thoughts and perceptions. What they discovered might change our view of memory.
Secrets of Early Animal Evolution Revealed by Chromosome ‘Tectonics’
Large blocks of genes conserved through hundreds of millions of years of evolution hint at how the first animal chromosomes came to be.
Neural Noise Shows the Uncertainty of Our Memories
The electrical chatter of our working memories reflects our uncertainty about their contents.
Evolution ‘Landscapes’ Predict What’s Next for COVID Virus
Studies that map the adaptive value of viral mutations hint at how the COVID-19 pandemic might progress next.
Flying Fish and Aquarium Pets Yield Secrets of Evolution
New studies reveal the ancient, shared genetic “grammar” underpinning the diverse evolution of fish fins and tetrapod limbs.
The Year in Biology
The detailed understanding of brains and multicellular bodies reached new heights this year, while the genomes of the COVID-19 virus and various organisms yielded more surprises.