Hawaiian Bobtail squid
Symbiotic Organs: Extreme Intimacy with the Microbial World
All multicellular creatures interact with bacteria, but some have taken the relationship to another level with highly specialized structures that house, feed, and exploit the tiny organisms.
Symbiotic Organs: Extreme Intimacy with the Microbial World
Symbiotic Organs: Extreme Intimacy with the Microbial World

All multicellular creatures interact with bacteria, but some have taken the relationship to another level with highly specialized structures that house, feed, and exploit the tiny organisms.

All multicellular creatures interact with bacteria, but some have taken the relationship to another level with highly specialized structures that house, feed, and exploit the tiny organisms.

Features
Conceptual image showing molecules making up a brain shape
The Noncoding Regulators of the Brain
Christie Wilcox | Sep 12, 2022
Noncoding RNAs are proving to be critical players in the evolution of brain anatomy and cognitive complexity.
Illustration showing a puzzle piece of DNA being removed
Large Scientific Collaborations Aim to Complete Human Genome
Brianna Chrisman and Jordan Eizenga | Sep 1, 2022
Thirty years out from the start of the Human Genome Project, researchers have finally finished sequencing the full 3 billion bases of a person’s genetic code. But even a complete reference genome has its shortcomings.
The brain's cerebellum
The Cerebellum’s Functions in Cognition, Emotion, and More
Diana Kwon | Aug 15, 2022
Once thought of as a mere motor coordination center, the “little brain” is now appreciated as participating in higher neurological processes.
Amyloid plaques on axons of neurons
The Misunderstood Proteins of Neurodegeneration
Catherine Offord | Aug 1, 2022
The normal functions of peptides that aggregate in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s have been largely overlooked by scientists, but some argue that they are critical for understanding the development of disease.
Dinosaur Fossil (Tyrannosaurus Rex) Found by Archaeologists
Are We in the Midst of a Sixth Mass Extinction?
Katarina Zimmer | Jul 18, 2022
Today’s extinction rates are sky-high. But scientists debate if that’s sufficient evidence to conclude that Earth is undergoing a mass extinction event—or whether that’s even a helpful designation.
Landscape illustration
Horizontal Gene Transfer Happens More Often Than Anyone Thought
Christie Wilcox | Jul 5, 2022
DNA passed to and from all kinds of organisms, even across kingdoms, has helped shape the tree of life, to a large and undisputed degree in microbes and also unexpectedly in multicellular fungi, plants, and animals.
Illustration of a syringe with a person falling out of a bottle of pills
Opioid Vaccines as a Tool to Stem Overdose Deaths
Tori Rodriguez | Jun 13, 2022
Researchers are turning to the immune system for help in treating addiction and preventing overdose.
A pair of zebra finches in a cage
Animal Divorce: When and Why Pairs Break Up
Catherine Offord | Jun 1, 2022
Many species of birds and other vertebrates form pair bonds and mate with just one other individual for much of their lives. But the unions don’t always work out. Scientists want to know the underlying factors.
Conceptual image of coronavirus, SARS?Cov?2 infects a human cell
Viruses Target Super-Short Protein Motifs to Disrupt Host Biology
Conchita Fraguas Bringas and Jakob Nilsson | May 16, 2022
Only recently appreciated as critical components of cellular functions, unstructured stretches of amino acids called SLiMs are key to viral-host interactions.
Composite image of earliest humans and wooly mammoths
New Evidence Complicates the Story of the Peopling of the Americas
Emma Yasinski | May 2, 2022
New techniques have shown that people reached the New World far earlier than the long-standing estimate of 13,000 years ago, but scientists still debate exactly when humans arrived on the continent—and how.
Conceptual image of a person's brain with a cluster of cells inside
Is the Immune System to Blame for Schizophrenia?
Diana Kwon | Apr 18, 2022
Several lines of evidence suggest that targeting the body’s defense pathways might help treat a subset of people with the psychiatric disorder. But many open questions remain.
Illustration showing two hands join, father or mother with child
Does Human Epigenetic Inheritance Deserve a Closer Look?
Catherine Offord | Apr 4, 2022
The concept of epigenetic inheritance has long been controversial. Some researchers hope that new data on cross-generational effects of environmental exposures will help settle the debate.
Tumor microbiome composite
Could Cancer’s Microbiome Help Diagnose and Treat the Disease?
Jef Akst | Mar 14, 2022
A growing appreciation of the bacterial assemblages that live within tumors has researchers striving to understand and capitalize on their role.
Conceptual image showing fragmented X chromosomes
How Chaos in Chromosomes Helps Drive Cancer Spread
Samuel F. Bakhoum | Mar 1, 2022
A new link between inflammation and rampant chromosomal abnormalities reveals novel strategies to treat diverse malignancies.
Conceptual illustration of coral
Environmental Memory: How Corals Are Adjusting to Warmer Waters
Amanda Heidt | Feb 14, 2022
Corals that previously experienced heat stress respond better the next time around. Researchers are trying to figure out how, and hope to one day take advantage of the phenomenon to improve coral restoration efforts. 
Image of an abstract fractal blue and green sea shell.
Cell Chirality Offers Clues to the Mystery of Body Asymmetry
Catherine Offord | Feb 1, 2022
Researchers explore the idea that molecular patterns in individual cells could underlie the development of a left and a right in animals.
Human DNA abstract dotwork vector illustration made of cloud of colored dots.
Adapting with a Little Help from Jumping Genes
Christie Wilcox | Jan 17, 2022
Long lambasted as junk DNA or genomic parasites, transposable elements turn out to be contributors to adaptation.
Illustration of a targeted virus over a world map
The Hunt for a Pandemic’s Origins
Martha Nelson | Jan 4, 2022
Dozens of researchers, including myself, worked for years to uncover that swine flu had leapt to humans from a pig in Mexico in 2009. We learned a lot about influenza evolution, pig farming, and outbreak risk along the way.
3D illustration of a tapeworm infestation in a human intestine
Return of the Worms
Catherine Offord | Dec 1, 2021
Immunologists and parasitologists are working to revive the idea that helminths, and more specifically the molecules they secrete, could help treat allergies and autoimmune disease.