Plants Use RNA to Talk to Neighbors
A study finds that plants sharing the same growth medium can exchange microRNAs that silence genes in the recipient, suggesting the nucleic acids may act as signaling molecules.
The Link Between Wandering and Sleeping Minds
Researchers discover that when the mind wanders or goes blank, some parts of the brain behave as they do during sleep.
Falling Water, Rising Rocks, 1834
Intrigued by an optical illusion he experienced while traveling in Scotland, Robert Addams wrote what is now considered one of the definitive observational accounts of so-called motion aftereffects.
Alzheimer’s Risk Gene Paradoxically Protects Against Memory Loss
A new study links a variant of the apolipoprotein E gene called APOE ε4 to better memory in older age, even in the presence of amyloid plaques—a possible explanation for the variant’s persistence despite its association with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Blind Mole Rats Use Junk DNA to Combat Cancer
Activation of retrotransposons in the animals’ cancerous cells sets off an innate immune response that triggers cell death.
Gene Variant Points to Starvation’s Evolutionary Legacy
Ancient and modern genomes reveal that a variant of the human growth hormone receptor likely helped our ancestors survive when food was scarce.
Accurate Protein Production Promotes Longevity
Worms, flies, and yeast live longer if the fidelity of their protein-making machinery is improved, a study shows.
7,200-Year-Old Skeleton Offers Clues to Early Human Migration
Analysis of DNA from remains found in an Indonesian cave provides new insight into human movements among the islands between East Asia and Australia.
A “Climate Catastrophe”: Western US Salmon on the Brink
A recent sampling from two California streams found nearly all juvenile salmon were infected with deadly parasites, and conditions are expected to worsen.
Cross-Resistance: One Cancer Therapy Can Undermine the Next
Targeted cancer therapy may jeopardize the effectiveness of subsequent immunotherapy by reducing dendritic cell numbers and activation, according to study of mice and patient samples.