What's up in

biology

genetics

In Bees, a Hunt for Roots of Social Behavior

By comparing the genomes of social and solitary bees, scientists hope to uncover the basis for communal behavior.

origins of life

Early Life in Death Valley

Evidence from Southwestern deserts suggests that oxygen-breathing organisms arose on land rather than in the seas.

A living bridge.
Biology

The Remarkable Self-Organization of Ants

Knowing the rules behind ant-made structures could help scientists understand how other complex systems emerge in nature.

neuroscience

A Fundamental Theory to Model the Mind

Support is growing for a decades-old physics idea suggesting that localized episodes of disordered brain activity help keep the overall system in healthy balance.

evolution

Does Competition Drive Diversity of Species?

A large new study of ovenbird lineages questions the extent to which competing species push each other to evolve.

Chili peppers.
Biology

Scientists Reveal Structure of Pain Sensor

Scientists have finally resolved the structure of the molecule that responds to chili peppers, high temperatures and spider toxins.

origins of life

Chemists Seek Possible Precursor to RNA

Scientists have discovered building blocks similar to those in modern RNA that can effortlessly assemble when mixed in water and heated.

Jeremy England
Physics

A New Physics Theory of Life

An MIT physicist has proposed the provocative idea that life exists because the law of increasing entropy drives matter to acquire lifelike physical properties.

evolution

Under Pressure, Does Evolution Evolve?

Some organisms respond to stress by driving up their mutation rate. Are they evolving specific mechanisms to enhance evolution in times of crisis?