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How Two Became One: Origins of a Mysterious Symbiosis Found
Carpenter ants need endosymbiotic bacteria to guide the early development of their embryos. New work has reconstructed how this deep partnership evolved.
By Losing Genes, Life Often Evolved More Complexity
Recent major surveys show that reductions in genomic complexity — including the loss of key genes — have successfully shaped the evolution of life throughout history.
Why Are Plants Green? To Reduce the Noise in Photosynthesis.
Plants ignore the most energy-rich part of sunlight because stability matters more than efficiency, according to a new model of photosynthesis.
What Is an Individual? Biology Seeks Clues in Information Theory.
To recognize strange extraterrestrial life and solve biological mysteries on this planet, scientists are searching for an objective definition for life’s basic units.
Cosmic Rays May Explain Life’s Bias for Right-Handed DNA
Cosmic rays may have given right-handed genetic helixes an evolutionary edge at the beginning of life’s history.
Random Search Wired Into Animals May Help Them Hunt
The nervous systems of foraging and predatory animals may prompt them to move along a special kind of random path called a Lévy walk to find food efficiently when no clues are available.
Males Are the Taller Sex. Estrogen, Not Fights for Mates, May Be Why.
To explain why men are on average taller than women, scientists theorized about competition for mates. But the effects of estrogen on bone growth may be answer enough.