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microbes

Life’s Big Leaps: Critical Moments in Evolution

Life’s Secrets Sought in a Snowflake

November 3, 2015

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

Mongrel Microbe Tests Story of Complex Life

October 29, 2015

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.

Biology

The Mutant Genes Behind the Black Death

October 6, 2015

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

microbes

Below Our Feet, a World of Hidden Life

June 16, 2015

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

Biology

Scientists Map 5,000 New Ocean Viruses

May 21, 2015

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

Breakthrough DNA Editor Born of Bacteria

February 6, 2015

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

Yeast
evolution

Evolution’s Random Paths Lead to One Place

September 11, 2014

A massive statistical study suggests that even though genetic changes happen at random, the final evolutionary outcome — fitness — is predictable.

Multicellularity
evolution

Where Animals Come From

July 29, 2014

Bacteria may have helped single-celled organisms make the leap to multicellular animals.

Biology

The New Science of Evolutionary Forecasting

July 17, 2014

Newly discovered patterns in evolution may help scientists make accurate short-term predictions.