With electrical signals, cells can organize themselves into complex societies and negotiate with other colonies
A mathematician and her collaborators figured out how to predict electrons’ behavior by studying the mathematics of waves
If gut bacteria can sway their hosts to be selfless, it could answer a riddle that goes back to Darwin
An unexpected mechanism allows wasps to rapidly co-opt genes for new toxic functions
The computational immunologist Purvesh Khatri embraces messy data as a way to capture the messiness of disease. As a result, he’s making elusive genomic discoveries
For centuries mathematicians tried to solve problems by adding new values to the usual numbers. Now they’re investigating the unintended consequences of that tinkering
Proteins work like rigid keys to activate cellular functions—or so everyone thought
Feldman creates mathematical models that reveal how cultural traditions can affect the evolution of a species...
Computer scientists have come up with an algorithm that can fairly divide a cake among any number of people
The mathematician Ken Ono believes that the story of Srinivasa Ramanujan—mathematical savant and two-time college dropout—holds valuable lessons for how we find and reward hidden genius...
The mathematician is a scientific matchmaker, famous for collaborating with researchers from many disciplines and pairing others
The physicist Subir Sachdev borrows tools from string theory to understand the puzzling behavior of superconductors
So-called “supercoils” change the behavior of DNA, opening a new role for topology in the study of life
The physical nature of computers might reveal deep truths about their uniquely powerful abstract abilities
The biologist Joan Strassmann discusses the evolution of cooperation, how amoebas can teach us about competition, and why the definition of “organism” needs an overhaul
A newly discovered class of microbe could help to resolve one of the biggest and most controversial mysteries in evolution—how simple microbes transformed into the complex cells that produced animals, plants and fungi...
Only a few genetic changes were enough to turn an ordinary stomach bug into the bacteria responsible for the plague
The world’s most dangerous malaria parasite shuffles its genes in a clever attempt to avoid the immune system. A new approach has begun to reveal how the process works
The biologist Nancy Moran has spent a career investigating the surprising nature of symbiosis, a phenomenon in which two species can appear to merge into one
Einstein refused to believe in the inherent unpredictability of the world. Is the subatomic world insane, or just subtle?