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She Finds Keys to Ecology in Cells That Steal From Others
The ecologist Holly Moeller studies microorganisms that expand their range by absorbing organelles and gaining new metabolic talents from their prey.
Sponge Genes Hint at the Origins of Neurons and Other Cells
A new study of gene expression in sponges reveals the complex diversity of their cells as well as some possibly ancient connections between the nervous, immune and digestive systems.
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.
‘Zombie’ Microbes Redefine Life’s Energy Limits
A new model shows that the denizens of a vast, ancient biome beneath the seafloor use barely enough energy to stay alive — and broadens understanding of what life can look like.
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.
Inside Deep Undersea Rocks, Life Thrives Without the Sun
Newly discovered worlds of microbes far beneath the ocean floor, inside old basaltic rocks, could point to a greater likelihood of life elsewhere in the universe.
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.
New Squid Genome Shines Light on Symbiotic Evolution
Researchers hope that the genes of a glowing squid can illuminate how animals evolved organs for beneficial bacteria.
Cores From Coral Reefs Hold Secrets of the Seas’ Past and Future
Layered deposits of coral skeletons hold vast stores of environmental data from thousands of years ago, including annual records of ocean temperatures, water pollution and storm activity.