As a postdoc, John Mattick worked down the hall from Bert O'Malley, an early intron pioneer. When O'Malley's postdocs told Mattick about their discovery of introns over beers one Friday night almost 30 years ago, it piqued his curiosity. That led him eventually to seize on a relationship between non-coding RNA and multicellular complexity, which he writes about on page 32.


Graciela Flores, who is trained as an insect behavioral physiologist and has written biology textbooks, was surprised recently when she read a few evolutionary studies that used the word "design" in an unmistakably teleological way (see page 12). "I've always avoided teleological language, not only because it can be misused when taken out of context, but because it is incorrect," says Flores. "Evolution has no purpose."


Convergence takes many forms. For years, Jerry W. Shay studied cancer and the events that lead to cell immortalization, while...

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