Illustration showing a puzzle piece of DNA being removed
Large Scientific Collaborations Aim to Complete Human Genome
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.
Large Scientific Collaborations Aim to Complete Human Genome
Large Scientific Collaborations Aim to Complete Human Genome

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.

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.

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Conceptual image of an embryo with sound waves
Embryonic Eavesdropping: How Animals Hear and Respond to Sound
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Recent findings buck the traditional idea that embryos are passive agents and instead suggest that by tuning into vibrations, organisms can better prepare to enter the outside world.
a veterinarian in a white hazmat suit holding a small pig
The Long Journey to Resolve the Origins of a Previous Pandemic
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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.
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Mechanisms of Long COVID Remain Unknown but Data Are Rolling In
Sruthi S. Balakrishnan | Sep 1, 2021
A year and a half into the pandemic, the long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection are garnering more research attention as millions of long COVID patients emerge.
The Role of Mom’s Microbes During Pregnancy
Carolyn A. Thomson and Kathy D. McCoy | Aug 1, 2021
Bacteria in the gut influence the production of antibodies and themselves secrete metabolites. In a pregnant woman, these compounds may influence immune development of her fetus.
An illustration of flowers in the shape of the female reproductive tract
Uterus Transplants Hit the Clinic
Jef Akst | Aug 1, 2021
With human research trials resulting in dozens of successful deliveries in the US and abroad, doctors move toward offering the surgery clinically, while working to learn all they can about uterine and transplant biology from the still-rare procedure.
How Groups of Cells Cooperate to Build Organs and Organisms
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Understanding biology’s software—the rules that enable great plasticity in how cell collectives generate reliable anatomies—is key to advancing tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
The Peopling of South America
Shawna Williams | Sep 1, 2020
While questions still outnumber answers, new findings from archaeology, genetics, and other disciplines are revealing surprising insights into the early cultures of the most recently populated continent.
Characteristics that Give Viruses Pandemic Potential
Anthony King | Aug 17, 2020
A handful of factors tip the scales in making a virus more likely to trigger a disruptive global outbreak. Right now, scientists tend to rank influenza, coronaviruses, and Nipah virus as the biggest threats.
How Time Is Encoded in Memories
Catherine Offord | May 1, 2020
Rats and equations help researchers develop a theory of how our brains keep track of when events took place.
How Manipulating Rodent Memories Can Elucidate Neurological Function
Amber Dance | May 1, 2020
Strategies to make lab animals forget, remember, or experience false recollections probe how memory works, and may inspire treatments for neurological diseases.
Regular Exercise Helps Patients Combat Cancer
Bente Klarlund Pedersen | Apr 1, 2020
Studies point to a role for physical activity in fighting malignancies, improving treatment outcomes, and fostering overall health in patients.
a pair of scissors cuts a film strip that's curled into a helix
Alternative Splicing Provides a Broad Menu of Proteins for Cells
Gabrielle M. Gentile, Hannah J. Wiedner, Emma R. Hinkle, and Jimena Giudice | Jan 13, 2020
It’s now clear that gene transcripts can be constructed in various ways, yet many questions remain about the process.
illustration of people using social media on various electronic devices
Can Social Media Inform Public Health Efforts?
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Scientists are using social media to track diseases and understand how people respond to them.
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Extracellular webs expelled by neutrophils trap invading pathogens, but these newly discovered structures also have ties to autoimmunity and cancer.
These Organelles Have No Membranes
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Life Thrives Within the Earth’s Crust
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From journeys into mines to explorations of volcanoes on the ocean floor, deep voyages reveal the richness of the planet’s deep biosphere.
Belly Fat Has a Role to Play in Fighting Infections
Selene Meza-Perez and Troy D. Randall | Oct 1, 2018
Hanging in front of the abdomen like an apron, the depot of visceral fat known as the omentum helps regulate immune responses.
The Vanishing Night: Light Pollution Threatens Ecosystems
Diana Kwon | Oct 1, 2018
The loss of darkness can harm individual organisms and perturb interspecies interactions, potentially causing lasting damage to life on our planet.
Muscle Clocks Play a Role in Regulating Metabolism
Diana Kwon | Sep 1, 2018
Just 20 years ago, scientists didn’t even realize muscles had their own circadian clocks. Now they are beginning to appreciate their importance in health.