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Too Small for Big Muscles, Tiny Animals Use Springs
Elastic springs help tiny animals stay fast and strong. New work is finding what size critters must be to benefit from the springs.
Brainless Embryos Suggest Bioelectricity Guides Growth
Researchers are building a case that long before the nervous system works, the brain sends crucial bioelectric signals to guide the growth of embryonic tissues.
Bacteria Use Brainlike Bursts of Electricity to Communicate
With electrical signals, simple cells organize themselves into complex societies and negotiate with other colonies.
First Support for a Physics Theory of Life
Take chemistry, add energy, get life. The first tests of Jeremy England’s provocative origin-of-life hypothesis are in, and they appear to show how order can arise from nothing.
Swirling Bacteria Linked to the Physics of Phase Transitions
The new experiments suggest that simple models can explain the behavior of thousands of interacting organisms.
How Life (and Death) Spring From Disorder
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.
Droplets That ‘Come to Life’
Life might have originated in droplets that behave surprisingly like living cells.
Dividing Droplets Could Explain Life’s Origin
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.
Genetic Architects Untwist DNA’s Turns
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.