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Billion-Year-Old Algae and Newer Genes Hint at Land Plants’ Origin
A recently unearthed fossil and new genomic discoveries are filling important gaps in scientists’ understanding of how primitive green algae eventually evolved into land vegetation.
New Clues About ‘Ambigram’ Viruses With Strange Reversible Genes
For decades, scientists have been intrigued by tiny viruses whose genetic material can be read both forward and backward. New research begins to explain this puzzling property.
Cell-Bacteria Mergers Offer Clues to How Organelles Evolved
Cells in symbiotic partnership, sometimes nested one within the other and functioning like organelles, can borrow from their host’s genes to complete their own metabolic pathways.
Math Reveals the Secrets of Cells’ Feedback Circuitry
Maintaining perfect stability through negative feedback is a basic element of electrical circuitry, but it’s been a mystery how cells could do it — until now.
The Body’s Clock Offers a Rhythmic Target to Viruses
Viruses and other parasites may sync with their host’s biological clock — or reset it — to gain an advantage.
Theorists Debate How ‘Neutral’ Evolution Really Is
For 50 years, evolutionary theory has emphasized the importance of neutral mutations rather than adaptive ones at the level of DNA. Real genomic data challenges that assumption.