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biology

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.

Biology

Biologists Home in on Turing Patterns

New research has prompted a resurgence of interest in the patterning mechanisms Alan Turing proposed 60 years ago.

Game Theory

Hunger Game: Is Honesty Between Animals Always the Best Policy?

Game theorists have developed a new model of communication among animals. It suggests evolution will produce a situation in which members of a species are honest most of the time, but not always.