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A New Idea for How to Assemble Life
If we want to understand complex constructions, such as ourselves, assembly theory says we must account for the entire history of how such entities came to be.
The Curious Strength of a Sea Sponge’s Glass Skeleton
A glass sponge found deep in the Pacific shows a remarkable ability to withstand compression and bending, on top of the sponge’s other unusual properties.
New Fish Data Reveal How Evolutionary Bursts Create Species
In three bursts of adaptive change, one species of cichlid fish in Lake Tanganyika gave rise to hundreds.
Soil’s Microbial Market Shows the Ruthless Side of Forests
In the “underground economy” for soil nutrients, fungi strike hard bargains and punish plants that won’t meet their price.
In Ecology Studies and Selfless Ants, He Finds Hope for the Future
For more than six decades, the influential biologist Edward O. Wilson has drawn connections between evolution, ecology and behavior, often sparking controversies inside and outside of science.
Rapid Oxygen Changes Fueled an Explosion in Ancient Animal Diversity
Skyrocketing animal diversity a half-billion years ago was linked to spikes and dips in marine oxygen levels, according to a detailed geological study.
Why Evolution Reversed These Insects’ Sex Organs
Among these cave insects, the females evolved to have penises — twice. The reasons challenge common assumptions about sex.
Complex Animals Led to More Oxygen, Says Maverick Theory
For decades, researchers have commonly assumed that higher oxygen levels led to the sudden diversification of animal life 540 million years ago. But one iconoclast argues the opposite: that new animal behaviors raised oxygen levels and remade the environment.