Foundations

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The 19th century biologist’s drawings, tainted by scandal, helped bolster, then later dismiss, his biogenetic law.

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image: Discovering Archaea, 1977

Discovering Archaea, 1977

By | March 1, 2014

Ribosomal RNA fingerprints reveal the three domains of life.

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image: Lords of the Fly, circa 1910

Lords of the Fly, circa 1910

By | September 1, 2013

In a cramped lab overflowing with fruit flies, Thomas Hunt Morgan and his protégés made the discoveries that laid the foundations of modern genetics.

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image: Sketching out Cell Theory, circa 1837

Sketching out Cell Theory, circa 1837

By | August 1, 2013

How a dinner-table conversation between two biologists led to the formulation of the theory that cells are the building blocks of all living organisms.

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image: Flying Frog, 1855

Flying Frog, 1855

By | May 1, 2013

Alfred Russel Wallace, Darwin’s unheralded codiscoverer of the theory of evolution by natural selection, found inspiration in the specimens he collected on his travels.

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"White-Blooded" Icefish, 1927

By | April 1, 2013

A bizarre group of Antarctic fishes lost their red blood cells but survived to tell their evolutionary tale, revealing a fundamental lesson about the birth and death of genes.

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image: Gone Missing, circa 1892

Gone Missing, circa 1892

By | October 1, 2012

A unique organism sighted only once, more than a century ago, could shed light on the evolution of multicellularity—if it ever actually existed.

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image: The First Australopithecus, 1925

The First Australopithecus, 1925

By | July 1, 2012

The discovery of the 2.5-million-year-old Taung Child skull marked a turning point in the study of human brain evolution.

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The Blood Exchange, Circa 1930

By | June 1, 2012

Early 20th century cross circulation experiments on dogs paved the way for milestones in human cardiac surgery.

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Before the Genes Jumped, 1930s

By | January 1, 2012

How Nobel Laureate Barbara McClintock nearly gave up genetics for meteorology

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