Scientists have long debated which genetic information carrier — DNA or RNA — started life on Earth, but a new study suggests life could have begun with a bit of both. The research, led by scientists from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), in Cambridge, shows for the first time […]

Beth Shepherd Peters/Shutterstock When a mother gives birth to twins, the offspring are not always identical or even the same gender. Known as fraternal twins, they represent a longstanding evolutionary puzzle. Identical twins arise from a single fertilised egg that accidentally splits in two, but fraternal twins arise when two […]

David King, a former chief scientific adviser in the United Kingdom, has set up a “shadow” scientific advisory group to the government. CLIMATEREPAIR/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS (CC BY-SA) Chemist David King is no stranger to politics or epidemics. From 2000 to 2007, King was chief scientific adviser to Tony Blair and Gordon […]

The remains recovered from the cave complex include the earliest example of Homo erectus – a direct human ancestor Science Two million years ago, three different human-like species were living side-by-side in South Africa, a study shows. The findings underline a growing understanding that the present-day situation, where one human […]

Stanford researchers used advanced microscopy and mathematical modeling to discover a pattern that governs the growth of neurons in the flatworm brain, shown here. Using this technique, they hope to find patterns that guide the growth of cells in other parts of the body in order to pave the way […]

As the continent rapidly warms, unique communities of tiny animals like water bears are transforming in profound ways. Antarctica has a reputation as a wasteland where no trees grow, and where few large animals roam, save for penguins and seals. But step into the  Martian-like dry valleys and you’ll be treading […]

The history of the search for extraterrestrial life sheds light on the consequences of dismissing fringe perspectives, in science and in other disciplines. PHOTOGRAPH: BRIDGET BENNETT/GETTY IMAGES Aliens—hypothetical beings from outer space—fall into roughly three categories. They could be far-away microbes or other creatures that don’t use technology humans can […]