What's up in

evolution

origins of life

Chemists Seek Possible Precursor to RNA

Scientists have discovered building blocks similar to those in modern RNA that can effortlessly assemble when mixed in water and heated.

Jeremy England
Physics

A New Physics Theory of Life

An MIT physicist has proposed the provocative idea that life exists because the law of increasing entropy drives matter to acquire lifelike physical properties.

evolution

Under Pressure, Does Evolution Evolve?

Some organisms respond to stress by driving up their mutation rate. Are they evolving specific mechanisms to enhance evolution in times of crisis?

genetics

A Missing Genetic Link in Human Evolution

Mysterious episodes of genetic duplication in our great ape ancestors may have paved the way for human evolution.

genetics

Tracking the Evolution of Cancer, Cell by Cell

Analyzing individual cancer cells could reveal the answer to some of the disease’s most enduring mysteries.

Q&A

Debating the Evolution of Multicellularity

An interview with the developmental biologist Cassandra Extavour on the origins of multicellular organisms and the evolution of cooperation.

Biology

Evolution as Opportunist

A computational study reveals surprising flexibility hidden within metabolic networks, providing new evidence for an evolutionary concept called exaptation.

machine learning

Decoding Flu Viruses Before an Outbreak

Machine learning techniques are helping scientists pinpoint the mutations that allow bird and pig viruses to infect humans.

evolution

On Microbial Frontier, Cooperation Thrives

Population expansion may be a major driver in the evolution of cooperation, with implications for new antibiotics, cancer treatments and perhaps even human behavior.