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How Neutral Theory Altered Ideas About Biodiversity
The simple insight that most changes are random had a profound effect on genetics, evolution and ecology.
Scientists Find Vital Genes Evolving in Genome’s Junkyard
Even genes essential for life can be caught in an evolutionary arms race that forces them to change or be replaced.
Nobel Chemistry Prize Awarded for CRISPR ‘Genetic Scissors’
Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna have been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their development of CRISPR/Cas9 genetic editing.
Spreading the Word on a Possible Alzheimer’s Treatment
Neuroscientists could use brain waves to spur immune cells into action against the disease — but the process is almost too fantastic to believe.
Where Do New Genes Come From?
In their search for sources of genetic novelty, researchers find that some “orphan genes” with no obvious ancestors evolve out of junk DNA, contrary to old assumptions.
Inherited Learning? It Happens, but How Is Uncertain
Studies suggest that epigenetics allows some learned adaptive responses to be passed down to new generations. The question is how.
Unexpected ‘Germline’ Plant Cells May Shield New Generations
To avoid passing on new mutations to offspring, plants may minimize the number of divisions by the stem cells that make flowers and seeds.
Ancient DNA Yields Snapshots of Vanished Ecosystems
Surviving fragments of genetic material preserved in sediments allow scientists to see the full diversity of past life — even microbes.
Biologists Discover Unknown Powers in Mighty Mitochondria
Mitochondria are most famous as sources of metabolic energy. But by splitting and combining, they can also release chemical signals to regulate cell activities, including the generation of neurons.