What's up in
How Loneliness Reshapes the Brain
Feelings of loneliness prompt changes in the brain that further isolate people from social contact.
Ants Live 10 Times Longer by Altering Their Insulin Responses
Queen ants live far longer than genetically identical workers. Researchers are learning what their longevity secrets could mean for aging in other species.
How Do Fireflies Flash in Sync? Studies Suggest a New Answer.
Field research suggests a new explanation for the synchronized flashing in fireflies and confirms that a novel form of “chimeric” synchrony occurs naturally.
Brain Chemical Helps Signal to Neurons When to Start a Movement
Dopamine, a neurochemical often associated with reward behavior, also seems to help organize precisely when the brain initiates movements. It’s the latest revelation about the power of neuromodulators.
This Animal’s Behavior Is Mechanically Programmed
Biomechanical interactions, rather than neurons, control the movements of one of the simplest animals. The discovery offers a glimpse into how animal behavior worked before neurons evolved.
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.
The Brain Doesn’t Think the Way You Think It Does
Familiar categories of mental functions such as perception, memory and attention reflect our experience of ourselves, but they are misleading about how the brain works. More revealing approaches are emerging.
Sleep Evolved Before Brains. Hydras Are Living Proof.
Studies of sleep are usually neurological. But some of nature’s simplest animals suggest that sleep evolved for metabolic reasons, long before brains even existed.
Math of the Penguins
Emperor penguins display rigorously geometric spacing and mathematical efficiency when they huddle together for warmth, which may reveal secrets to their overall health.