What's up in
In Test Tubes, RNA Molecules Evolve Into a Tiny Ecosystem
When researchers gave a genetic molecule the ability to replicate, it evolved over time into a complex network of “hosts” and “parasites” that both competed and cooperated to survive.
Ancient Genes for Symbiosis Hint at Mitochondria’s Origins
Was the addition of mitochondria a first step in the formation of complex cells or one of the last? A new study of bacteria tries to answer this contentious question in evolutionary biology.
In Sexy Worms, Inheritance Beyond Genes Can Help Evolution
Traits from RNA molecules passed between multiple generations of worms can work with genetic changes to influence future evolution.
A Billion Years Before Sex, Ancient Cells Were Equipped for It
Molecular detective work is zeroing in on the origins of sexual reproduction. The protein tools for cell mergers seem to have long predated sex — so what were they doing?
Secrets of Early Animal Evolution Revealed by Chromosome ‘Tectonics’
Large blocks of genes conserved through hundreds of millions of years of evolution hint at how the first animal chromosomes came to be.
Evolution ‘Landscapes’ Predict What’s Next for COVID Virus
Studies that map the adaptive value of viral mutations hint at how the COVID-19 pandemic might progress next.
Flying Fish and Aquarium Pets Yield Secrets of Evolution
New studies reveal the ancient, shared genetic “grammar” underpinning the diverse evolution of fish fins and tetrapod limbs.