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Cell-Bacteria Mergers Offer Clues to How Organelles Evolved
Cells in symbiotic partnership, sometimes nested one within the other and functioning like organelles, can borrow from their host’s genes to complete their own metabolic pathways.
How Jurassic Plankton Stole Control of the Ocean’s Chemistry
Only 170 million years ago, new plankton evolved. Their demand for carbon and calcium permanently transformed the seas as homes for life.
Fossil DNA Reveals New Twists in Modern Human Origins
Modern humans and more ancient hominins interbred many times throughout Eurasia and Africa, and the genetic flow went both ways.
Can New Species Evolve From Cancers? Maybe. Here’s How.
Researchers agree it’s a long shot, but transmissible cancers could theoretically evolve into independent species. Certain weird parasites might be living proof.
Scientists Debate the Origin of Cell Types in the First Animals
Theories about how animals became multicellular are shifting as researchers find greater complexity in our single-celled ancestors.
What’s in a Name? Taxonomy Problems Vex Biologists
Researchers struggle to incorporate ongoing evolutionary discoveries into an animal classification scheme older than Darwin.
Bacterial Complexity Revises Ideas About ‘Which Came First?’
Contrary to popular belief, bacteria have organelles too. Scientists are now studying them for insights into how complex cells evolved.
The Body’s Clock Offers a Rhythmic Target to Viruses
Viruses and other parasites may sync with their host’s biological clock — or reset it — to gain an advantage.