What's up in

microbes

If gut bacteria can sway their hosts to be selfless, it could answer a riddle that goes back to Darwin.
evolution

Can Microbes Encourage Altruism?

If gut bacteria can sway their hosts to be selfless, it could answer a riddle that goes back to Darwin.

Scientists are having a difficult time finding a treatment for the Zika virus in part because so few drugs are safe for pregnant women. But one antibiotic has shown promise.
Abstractions blog

Hope That an Old Drug Might Treat Zika

Scientists are having a difficult time finding a treatment for the Zika virus in part because so few drugs are safe for pregnant women. But one antibiotic has shown promise.

Researchers are racing to understand how the Zika virus causes birth defects. Their first results have revealed tantalizing clues about how the virus interferes with the developing brain — and how it might be stopped.
neuroscience

New Insights Into How Zika Harms the Brain

Researchers are racing to understand how the Zika virus causes birth defects. Their first results have revealed tantalizing clues about how the virus interferes with the developing brain — and how it might be stopped.

A single genetic change and some clever geometry show how single-celled organisms can band together to form cooperative multicellular entities.
Life’s Big Leaps: Critical Moments in Evolution

Life’s Secrets Sought in a Snowflake

A single genetic change and some clever geometry show how single-celled organisms can band together to form cooperative multicellular entities.

A newly discovered class of microbe could help to resolve one of the biggest and most controversial mysteries in evolution — how simple microbes transformed into the complex cells that produced animals, plants and fungi.
Life’s Big Leaps: Critical Moments in Evolution

Mongrel Microbe Tests Story of Complex Life

A newly discovered class of microbe could help to resolve one of the biggest and most controversial mysteries in evolution — how simple microbes transformed into the complex cells that produced animals, plants and fungi.

Only a few genetic changes were enough to change an ordinary stomach bug into the bacteria responsible for the plague.
Biology

The Mutant Genes Behind the Black Death

Only a few genetic changes were enough to change an ordinary stomach bug into the bacteria responsible for the plague.

The soil teems with billions of hidden microbes. Researchers have begun to catalog how these organisms are changing the world.
microbes

Below Our Feet, a World of Hidden Life

The soil teems with billions of hidden microbes. Researchers have begun to catalog how these organisms are changing the world.

In the few decades since viruses were first found in the oceans, scientists have only been able to identify a handful of species. A new survey has uncovered nearly all the rest.
Biology

Scientists Map 5,000 New Ocean Viruses

In the few decades since viruses were first found in the oceans, scientists have only been able to identify a handful of species. A new survey has uncovered nearly all the rest.

Interest in a powerful DNA editing tool called CRISPR has revealed that bacteria are far more sophisticated than anyone imagined.
Biology

Breakthrough DNA Editor Born of Bacteria

Interest in a powerful DNA editing tool called CRISPR has revealed that bacteria are far more sophisticated than anyone imagined.