Learning from experience is all in the timing

As animals explore their environment, they learn to master it. By discovering what sounds tend to precede predatorial attack, for example, or what smells predict dinner, they develop a kind of biological clairvoyance—a ...

Cellular rivalry promotes healthy skin development

Not all cells are destined for greatness. Deemed unfit to serve in the body, some are killed off during early development through a process called cell competition. This phenomenon has previously been documented in flies ...

New microscopy technique peers deep into the brain

In order to understand the brain, scientists must be able to see the brain—cell by cell, and moment by moment. However, because brains comprise billions of microscopic moving parts, faithfully recording their activity comes ...

New tool allows scientists to catch elusive protein in action

Like many of the processes that drive a cell's basic functions, those enabling the splitting of a newly-replicated cell into two, shown above, happen quickly. So quickly, in fact, that scientists often have a hard time pinpointing ...

Enzyme structure reveals how DNA is opened up for transcription

DNA is a molecular manual that contains instructions for building life. And, like any manual, DNA isn't all that useful if it remains unopened and unread. In order to transcribe DNA, the enzyme RNA polymerase, or RNAP, must ...

Shape-shifting protein protects bacteria from invaders

When foreign bodies attack, the molecular militia that comprises our immune system goes to war. In the chaos of battle, this cavalry must be careful to not to fire on its own soldiers; and organisms ranging from humans to ...

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