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What we can know about biology before the last universal common ancestor is limited—and we should be circumspect in filling in the gaps.

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image: Dogs in Southern China Host Several Strains of Flu

Dogs in Southern China Host Several Strains of Flu

By Sukanya Charuchandra | June 6, 2018

They may be a prospective source for an influenza pandemic, researchers warn.  

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The results suggest the virus could severely alter brain development in infants infected after birth, but blocking a signaling protein early on might ease certain symptoms.

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Compared with their urban counterparts, babies and toddlers in rural Nigeria have gut microbiota that more closely resembles that of adults in their community.

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image: Cell Transplant Trial for Spinal Injury Is Safe

Cell Transplant Trial for Spinal Injury Is Safe

By Ruth Williams | June 1, 2018

The first human experiment with neural precursor cells implanted to treat chronic spinal cord injury suggests the procedure is safe, and hints at a small benefit.  

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image: From Little Things Big Things Grow

From Little Things Big Things Grow

By Bob Grant | June 1, 2018

We should take comfort in the fact that life on Earth had such unassuming, shared beginnings.

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The discovery of copious new archaeal species is shedding light on the tree of life and revealing some unique cellular biology.

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image: Infographic: Gassy Genes

Infographic: Gassy Genes

By Ruth Williams | June 1, 2018

Soil scientists get bacteria to report on what their neighbors are up to.

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Understanding the factors that influence spillover could help forecast future epidemics.  

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image: Archaea Family Tree Blossoms, Thanks to Genomics

Archaea Family Tree Blossoms, Thanks to Genomics

By Amber Dance | June 1, 2018

Identification of new archaea species elucidates the domain’s unique biology and sheds light on its relationship to eukaryotes.

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