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Ocean Bacteria Reveal an Unexpected Multicellular Form
Marine bacteria normally seen as single cells join together as a “microscopic snow globe” to consume bulky floating carbohydrates.
This Animal’s Behavior Is Mechanically Programmed
Biomechanical interactions, rather than neurons, control the movements of one of the simplest animals. The discovery offers a glimpse into how animal behavior worked before neurons evolved.
The Year in Biology
The detailed understanding of brains and multicellular bodies reached new heights this year, while the genomes of the COVID-19 virus and various organisms yielded more surprises.
Single Cells Evolve Large Multicellular Forms in Just Two Years
Researchers have discovered that environments favoring clumpy growth are all that’s needed to quickly transform single-celled yeast into complex multicellular organisms.
Cells Form Into ‘Xenobots’ on Their Own
Embryonic cells can self-assemble into new living forms that don’t resemble the bodies they usually generate, challenging old ideas of what defines an organism.
Out-of-Sync ‘Loners’ May Secretly Protect Orderly Swarms
Studies of collective behavior usually focus on how crowds of organisms coordinate their actions. But what if the individuals that don’t participate have just as much to tell us?
Billion-Year-Old Algae and Newer Genes Hint at Land Plants’ Origin
A recently unearthed fossil and new genomic discoveries are filling important gaps in scientists’ understanding of how primitive green algae eventually evolved into land vegetation.
Can New Species Evolve From Cancers? Maybe. Here’s How.
Researchers agree it’s a long shot, but transmissible cancers could theoretically evolve into independent species. Certain weird parasites might be living proof.
Scientists Debate the Origin of Cell Types in the First Animals
Theories about how animals became multicellular are shifting as researchers find greater complexity in our single-celled ancestors.