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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.
Why Earth’s Cracked Crust May Be Essential for Life
Life needs more than water alone. Recent discoveries suggest that plate tectonics has played a critical role in nourishing life on Earth. The findings carry major consequences for the search for life elsewhere in the universe.
Scientists Map the Genetic Steps as Eggs Become Animals
For the first time, researchers have traced the genetic programs that guide the development of each cell in early embryos. Surprisingly, even cells that start out different can end up the same.
Chronological Clues to Life’s Early History Lurk in Gene Transfers
To date the branches on the evolutionary tree of life, researchers are looking at horizontal gene transfers among ancient microorganisms, which once seemed only to muddle the record.
The Elusive Calculus of Insects’ Altruism and Kin Selection
How the ultra-cooperative behavior of ants, bees and other social insects could have evolved continues to challenge formal analysis. But a new theory about hedging bets against nature’s unpredictability may change the math and shift the debate.