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biology

Art for "New AI Strategy Mimics How Brains Learn to Smell"
artificial intelligence

New AI Strategy Mimics How Brains Learn to Smell

Machine learning techniques are commonly based on how the visual system processes information. To beat their limitations, scientists are drawing inspiration from the sense of smell.

Q&A

On Waste Plastics at Sea, She Finds Unique Microbial Multitudes

Maria-Luiza Pedrotti is illuminating the unseen worlds of plastic-eating bacteria that teem in massive ocean garbage patches.

Photo of Trichoplax adhaerens
genomics

World’s Simplest Animal Reveals Hidden Diversity

The first animal genus defined purely by genetic characters represents a new era for the sorting and naming of animals.

Art for "Evolutionary Math and Just-So Stories"
insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Evolutionary Math and Just-So Stories’

How much stock should we put in mathematical models of evolution that have not been validated by rigorous empirical data?

Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum leaf
botany

DNA Analysis Reveals a Genus of Plants Hiding in Plain Sight

Gene-sequence data is changing the way that botanists think about their classification schemes. A recent name-change for a common houseplant resulted from the discovery that it belonged in an overlooked genus.

Art for "To Heal Some Wounds, Adult Cells Turn More Fetal"
developmental biology

To Heal Some Wounds, Adult Cells Turn More Fetal

Once again, body cells reveal unexpected plasticity: In a newly discovered type of wound healing, which some researchers call “paligenosis,” adult cells revert to a more fetal state.

Art for "The Universal Pattern Popping Up in Math, Physics and Biology"
Multimedia

The Universal Pattern Popping Up in Math, Physics and Biology

Quanta’s In Theory video series returns with an exploration of a mysterious mathematical pattern found throughout nature.

Art for "You Are Getting Sleepy — Tagged Proteins May Point to Why"
neuroscience

You Are Getting Sleepy — Tagged Proteins May Point to Why

The identification of SNIPPs, a set of proteins found primarily at the brain’s synapses, brings science closer to understanding why we need to sleep.

Art for "‘Functional Fingerprint’ May Identify Brains Over a Lifetime"
neuroscience

‘Functional Fingerprint’ May Identify Brains Over a Lifetime

A unique neurological “functional fingerprint” allows scientists to explore the influence of genetics, environment and aging on brain connectivity.