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Tiny Worlds

From the social network in the soil to the ecosystem in your body, it’s amazing what’s hidden just out of sight

New evidence for the first life on land comes from an ancient microbial fingerprint

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By comparing the chemical composition of modern microbial communities to their ancient counterparts, researchers can find better evidence of the earliest life on land. It's older than you think

Rebecca Dzombak, University of Michigan

Two mini microscopes watched a mouse’s brain move its body in real time

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Sruthi Sanjeev Balakrishnan, National Centre for Biological Sciences

Comment 6 peer comments

The sugar in semen makes HIV drugs less effective

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Marnie Willman, University of Manitoba Bannatyne

Comment 1 peer comment

Scientists recreated a key step for the origin of life at hydrothermal vents

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Simulating alkaline environments from 3 billion years ago showed formation of precursor cells is possible

Cassie Freund, Wake Forest University

Comment 1 peer comment

To stop pancreatic cancer from spreading, cut out the chatter

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Max G. Levy, Science and Health Journalism

Comment 1 peer comment

Gamers are one-upping nature and computers by designing whole new proteins

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Luyi Cheng, Northwestern University

Comment 3 peer comments

Pregnant women must get their flu shots to help avoid future influenza epidemics

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Marnie Willman, University of Manitoba Bannatyne

Comment 2 peer comments

Wildfires in Canada are burning down forests of mushrooms

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Olivia Box, University of Vermont

Comment 3 peer comments

It's time to highlight our fungus friends in our microbiomes

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Adriana Romero-Olivares, University of New Hampshire

Comment 4 peer comments

Scientists have engineered a self-destruct button in bacteria

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Molly Sargen, Harvard University

Comment 2 peer comments

This year the flu came in two waves – here’s why

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Two different strains of flu tag-team our immune system

Patricia L. Foster, Indiana University

It looks like microbes can help clean up mining pollution

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Rose Jones, Bigelow Laboratory of Ocean Science

Comment 1 peer comment

The secret to sounder sleep may be lurking in our guts

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Hannah Thomasy, University of Washington

Comment 2 peer comments

Don't fear germs – at least not too much

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Jennifer Tsang, Microbiology

Comment 3 peer comments

Can corals be saved? The key may be in their microbes

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Maite Ghazaleh Bucher, University of Georgia

Comment 3 peer comments

How paper towels could revolutionize DNA analysis

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A new method using paper towels like you have in your kitchen could make diagnosing diseases more affordable

Jennifer Tsang, Microbiology

Comment 2 peer comments

How scientists are mapping the building blocks of life

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Joshua Peters, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Why teamwork is better than attempting lone heroism in science

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Samantha McWhirter, University of Toronto

Comment 2 peer comments

Beetles exploit bacteria labor to grow their exoskeletons

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Melanie Silvis, UC San Francisco

Comment 3 peer comments

The soil microbiome could change agriculture—if we can understand it

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Tinkering with the buzzing "social network" in the soil could be a new frontier for making crops grow faster and healthier.

Michael Graw, Oregon State University