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With Nothing to Eat Except Viruses, Some Microbes Thrive
“Virovores” — organisms that survive and multiply by eating viruses — might influence the flow of energy through ecosystems.
A Biochemist’s View of Life’s Origin Reframes Cancer and Aging
The biochemist Nick Lane thinks life first evolved in hydrothermal vents where precursors of metabolism appeared before genetic information. His ideas could lead us to think differently about aging and cancer.
The Brain Has a ‘Low-Power Mode’ That Blunts Our Senses
Neuroscientists uncovered an energy-saving mode in vision-system neurons that works at the cost of being able to see fine-grained details.
Why Do We Die Without Sleep?
The reasons why sleep is so vital often hide in unexpected parts of the body, as host Steven Strogatz discovers in conversations with researchers Dragana Rogulja and Alex Keene.
Sleep Evolved Before Brains. Hydras Are Living Proof.
Studies of sleep are usually neurological. But some of nature’s simplest animals suggest that sleep evolved for metabolic reasons, long before brains even existed.
The Mystery of Mistletoe’s Missing Genes
Mistletoes have all but shut down the powerhouses of their cells. Scientists are still trying to understand the plants’ unorthodox survival strategy.
New Clues to Chemical Origins of Metabolism at Dawn of Life
The ingredients for reactions ancestral to metabolism could have formed very easily in the primordial soup, new work suggests.
Mitochondria May Hold Keys to Anxiety and Mental Health
Research hints that the energy-generating organelles of cells may play a surprisingly pivotal role in mediating anxiety and depression.
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.