Articles on Biology

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Rey (Daisy Ridley), in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, ponders the light and dark sides of the Force. (Handout)

The Force of biology is strong in Star Wars

Star Wars: The Last Jedi leaves many questions about the saga in a galaxy far, far away unanswered. Fortunately, biology may offer a insights on the Force, midi-chlorians, clones, and Rey's lineage.
Though not this obvious from the outside, plants are keeping time. Hua Lu

Studying circadian rhythms in plants and their pathogens might lead to precision medicine for people

Precisely calibrated timekeepers are found in organisms from all domains of life. Biologists are studying how they influence plant/pathogen interactions – what they learn could lead to human medicines.
Worms do have something in their mouth that they can poke out, like a tongue. It is called a stylet. Flickr/DJ SINGH

Curious Kids: Do worms have tongues?

The short answer is no. But worms can use different parts of their body to do some of the jobs that our tongues do - like tasting and crushing food.
Tom/Flickr

When evolution and biotechnologies collide

Simple and inexpensive gene-editing technology such as CRISPR has made the creation of genetically modified organisms much easier. But could nature still keep the upper hand?
Image of a five-knot tori algorithmically. Tanaka Juuyoh/Flickr

Don’t blame it on algorithms: what they really are and how they can fuel progress in the life sciences

Today algorithms are ubiquitous, yet often misunderstood. Rather than mysterious entities, they're closer to recipes, and the quality of the output depends on the input – in their case, data.
Once the coat around the seed is moistened, the embryo cells expand and burst out in a process called germination. shutterstock/NUM LPPHOTO

Curious Kids: how can a tiny seed actually grow into a huge tree?

A seed contains nearly everything a tree needs to get growing. Just add a dash of water, a bit of warmth and the right location, and you'll be seeing green in no time.
Laboratory mice are among the first animals to have their diseases treated by CRISPR. tiburi via Pixabay.com

CRISPR controversy raises questions about gene-editing technique

A new research paper reports dangerous side effects in CRISPR-edited mice. Some scientists are pushing back, placing blame for the unwanted mutations on the experiment, not the technique.

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