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phylogenetics

Abstractions blog

What a Newfound Kingdom Means for the Tree of Life

Neither animal, plant, fungus nor familiar protozoan, a strange microbe that sits in its own “supra-kingdom” of life foretells incredible biodiversity yet to be discovered by new sequencing technologies.

520px photo of Jarvis holding a zebra finch
Q&A

In Birds’ Songs, Brains and Genes, He Finds Clues to Speech

The neuroscientist Erich Jarvis found that songbirds’ vocal skills and humans’ spoken language are both rooted in neural pathways for controlling learned movements.

Biology

At Tiny Scales, a Giant Burst on Tree of Life

A new technique for finding and characterizing microbes has boosted the number of known bacteria by almost 50 percent, revealing a hidden world all around us.

evolution

A Surprise for Evolution in Giant Tree of Life

The largest evolutionary tree ever compiled leads researchers to conclude that chance mutation — not natural selection — drives the development of new species.

genetics

Tracking the Evolution of Cancer, Cell by Cell

Analyzing individual cancer cells could reveal the answer to some of the disease’s most enduring mysteries.

genetics

A New Approach to Building the Tree of Life

More genetic data is available than ever before to help build evolutionary trees, but scientists are finding that different genes even in the same organism can tell conflicting stories.