Life was long thought to obey its own set of rules. But as simple systems show signs of lifelike behavior, scientists are arguing about whether this apparent complexity is all a consequence of thermodynamics.
Life might have originated in droplets that behave surprisingly like living cells.
Researchers have discovered that simple “chemically active” droplets grow to the size of cells and spontaneously divide, suggesting they might have evolved into the first living cells.
Researchers have used the gene-editing tool CRISPR to manipulate the way that DNA coils up inside the cell — another step in the quest to understand how the genome’s 3-D structure impacts its function.
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.
David Kaplan explains how the law of increasing entropy could drive random bits of matter into the stable, orderly structures of life.
Scientists have figured out how microbes can suck energy from rocks. Such lifeforms might be more widespread than anyone anticipated.
Coils and twirls in DNA’s double-helix change how the molecule behaves, opening a new role for topology in the study of life.
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.
An MIT physicist has proposed the provocative idea that life exists because the law of increasing entropy drives matter to acquire lifelike physical properties.