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The Gut Microbiome Helps Social Skills Develop in the Brain
New research in fish suggests that gut microbes can have a crucial early influence on the brain’s social development.
Ocean Bacteria Reveal an Unexpected Multicellular Form
Marine bacteria normally seen as single cells join together as a “microscopic snow globe” to consume bulky floating carbohydrates.
How Genes Can Leap From Snakes to Frogs in Madagascar
The discovery of a hot spot for horizontal gene transfer draws attention to the possible roles of parasites and ecology in such changes.
Bacteria’s Immune Sensors Reveal a Novel Way to Detect Viruses
A new study reveals that bacteria can fight viruses in a surprisingly elegant way that has no known counterpart in more complex life.
An Immunologist Fights Covid with Tweets and a Nasal Spray
Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist who became a lifeline for the worried and the curious during the pandemic, thinks that nasal spray vaccines could be the next needed breakthrough in our fight against the coronavirus.
‘Social’ Mitochondria, Whispering Between Cells, Influence Health
Mitochondria appear to communicate and cooperate with one another, both within and between cells. Biologists are only just beginning to understand how and why.
DNA Jumps Between Animal Species. No One Knows How Often.
The discovery of a gene shared by two unrelated species of fish is the latest evidence that horizontal gene transfers occur surprisingly often in vertebrates.
DNA’s Histone Spools Hint at How Complex Cells Evolved
New work shows that histones, long treated as boring spools for DNA, sit at the center of the origin story of eukaryotes and continue to play important roles in evolution and disease.
A Physicist’s Approach to Biology Brings Ecological Insights
The physicist Jeff Gore tests theories about microbe communities experimentally and finds new rules governing ecological stability.