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biology

Abstractions blog

A New Step in Re-Creating First Life on Earth

An RNA molecule that can make copies of a variety of RNAs adds new support to the RNA-world theory.

neuroscience

The Neuroscience Behind Bad Decisions

Irrationality may be a consequence of the brain’s ravenous energy needs.

biophysics

Jammed Cells Expose the Physics of Cancer

The subtle mechanics of densely packed cells may help explain why some cancerous tumors stay put while others break off and spread through the body.

Abstractions blog

How to Grow a New Model Organism

To develop new model organisms, scientists will have to find species that are easy to grow in the lab.

zoology

Biologists Search for New Model Organisms

The bulk of biological research is centered on a handful of species. Are we missing a huge chunk of interesting biology?

Abstractions blog

Faster Evolution on a Warmer Earth

When life first emerged roughly 4 billion years ago, DNA may have been a much more malleable molecule.

universality

A Bird’s-Eye View of Nature’s Hidden Order

Scientists are exploring a mysterious pattern, found in birds’ eyes, boxes of marbles and other surprising places, that is neither regular nor random.

Abstractions blog

Hope That an Old Drug Might Treat Zika

Scientists are having a difficult time finding a treatment for the Zika virus in part because so few drugs are safe for pregnant women. But one antibiotic has shown promise.

neuroscience

New Insights Into How Zika Harms the Brain

Researchers are racing to understand how the Zika virus causes birth defects. Their first results have revealed tantalizing clues about how the virus interferes with the developing brain — and how it might be stopped.