Credit: Craig Chandler | University Communication Rising levels of carbon dioxide, ozone and other gases can affect crop growth. Microorganisms inside crops, on their roots or within nearby soil also influence crops by contributing nutrients, curbing disease and combating stresses such as drought. But little is known about how microorganisms […]

In type 1 diabetes, autoreactive T-cells attack insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas (frame 1). Fiorina and colleagues showed that the network of genetic regulatory factors controlling production of a protein called PD-L1 is altered in blood stem cells from diabetic mice and humans. They then showed that PD-L1 production […]

Sex is extra strange if you’re a shroom. Relationship status: It’s complicated. Fungi don’t abide by gender constructs. They live uninhibited (albeit unconscious) lives, mating freely with almost any other member of their species. In short, they’re wonderful. One particularly promiscuous mushroom, known scientifically as Schizophyllum commune (and affectionately as “schizo”), looks deceptively mundane. […]

After learning of a heritable cancer mutation, Patrice Molesevich (back row, left) had sister-in-law Kerry Georgeadis (back row, right) encourage genetic screening for her daughters Cydney Engle, Ashley Meskill, and Lynsey Towne (front row, left to right). Dana Atkinson begins to cry as she recalls the January phone call that […]

Today’s Asians carry some ancient African genes—but they got them from extinct Neandertals. When Neandertals mated with modern humans, they shared more than an intimate moment and their own DNA. They also gave back thousands of ancient African gene variants that Eurasians had lost when their ancestors swept out of […]

To better understand the origins of photosynthesis, one of nature’s greatest evolutionary innovations, scientists are comparing the proteins that allow green plants, algae and even very simple bacteria to harvest energy from sunlight. RUNE FISKER/QUANTA MAGAZINE RESEARCHERS HAVE CAUGHT their best glimpse yet into the origins of photosynthesis, one of nature’s […]

Eric Lander in 2012 Eric Lander, president and founding director of the Broad Institute and a biologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, is the most influential biomedical researcher of the modern era, according to a computer program. Lander, a geneticist and mathematician, ranks first on a new […]

Artist’s interpretation of a cancer cell. (Credit: Shutterstock) Bugula neritina is a rather inconspicuous marine organism. It looks like purplish seaweed, but it’s actually a branching colony of individual, tentacled zooids (the technical term for individuals in a colonial invertebrate) that resemble badminton shuttlecocks. It’s abundant, invasive and widely viewed as a […]