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biology

Biology

Evolution as Opportunist

A computational study reveals surprising flexibility hidden within metabolic networks, providing new evidence for an evolutionary concept called exaptation.

machine learning

Decoding Flu Viruses Before an Outbreak

Machine learning techniques are helping scientists pinpoint the mutations that allow bird and pig viruses to infect humans.

networks

Nature’s Loopy Architecture

In the complex architecture that ferries fluids in plants and brains, scientists are finding a model of resilience.  

evolution

On Microbial Frontier, Cooperation Thrives

Population expansion may be a major driver in the evolution of cooperation, with implications for new antibiotics, cancer treatments and perhaps even human behavior.

Q&A

In Pursuit of Quantum Biology

An interview with the Berkeley chemist K. Birgitta Whaley on the promise and challenge of translating quantum biology into practical quantum devices.

computer science

Evidence That Machines Learn Like Us

Studies show that computer models called “neural networks” behave strikingly similar to actual brains when performing certain tasks, suggesting the two may learn in the same way.

evolution

The Surprising Origins of Life’s Complexity

Scientists are exploring how organisms can evolve elaborate structures without Darwinian selection.

genetics

Tiny Genomes and the Origin of Complex Cells

Symbiotic bacteria that dwell within insect cells are intricately intertwined with their hosts, prompting scientists to question when these bacteria stop being bona fide organisms and become part of the cell.

genetics

A New Approach to Building the Tree of Life

More genetic data is available than ever before to help build evolutionary trees, but scientists are finding that different genes even in the same organism can tell conflicting stories.