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Patterns that guide the development of feathers and other features can be set by mechanical forces in the embryo, not just by gradients of chemicals.
Synthetic biology experiments suggest a “MultiFate” model for how genetically identical cells become the many different types found in complex organisms like us.
With self-generated gradients of chemicals and physical tension, cells in the body steer themselves to vital destinations.
New studies reveal the ancient, shared genetic “grammar” underpinning the diverse evolution of fish fins and tetrapod limbs.
A painstaking study of wing morphology shows both the striking uniformity of individuals in a species and a subtle pattern of linked variations that evolution can exploit.
The molecular signaling systems of complex cells are nothing like simple electronic circuits. The logic governing their operation is riotously complex — but it has advantages.
The evolution of a defensive gland in beetles shows how organs can arise from novel cells carving out new functional niches for their neighbors.
A patchwork of genomic differences in the placenta may explain the organ’s “live fast, die young” strategy and its connections to cancer.
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