Articles written specifically for the GLP or the articles that are reposted from other sources (sometimes in modified form) with permission list the source as Genetic Literacy Project. Excerpted articles list the original media outlet as the source. Excerpts are posted under guidelines for Fair Use and Creative Commons for educational nonprofits (501c3). The GLP’s Fair Use policy for posting excerpts and using images is explained here.
If we ever encounter extraterrestrial life, here’s why they might not seem so alien

If we ever encounter extraterrestrial life, here’s why they might not seem so alien

Dan Falk | 
[University of Cambridge Professor Arik Kershenbaum] argues that evolution is a universal law of nature, like gravity — and that ...
Exploring the boundary between consciousness and slumber

Exploring the boundary between consciousness and slumber

Elizabeth Landau | 
What was once seen as the neurological equivalent of annoying television static may have profound implications for how scientists study ...
Neuroscientist Catherine Dulac challenges misperceptions about ‘male’ and ‘female’ instincts

Neuroscientist Catherine Dulac challenges misperceptions about ‘male’ and ‘female’ instincts

Claudia Dreifus | 
Though she is trained as a developmental biologist, [Catherine] Dulac takes her research into territory usually explored by social scientists ...
How nature evolved blue tigers and other quirks of ‘neutral theory’

How nature evolved blue tigers and other quirks of ‘neutral theory’

Christie Wilcox | 
As late as the 1950s, hunters reported spotting their blue hairs alongside the traditional orange fur of other South China ...
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Why does the brain have an area for recognizing objects in general but also for faces in particular? Neural networks could provide answers

Anil Ananthaswamy | 
[Neuroscientists James DiCarlo and Daniel Yamins] are part of a coterie of neuroscientists using deep neural networks to make sense ...
Epigenetics finding completely upends our understanding of drug addiction

Epigenetics finding completely upends our understanding of drug addiction

R. Douglas Fields | 
I was taught to scoff at Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and his theory that traits acquired through life experience could be passed on to ...
CRISPR pioneers Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna awarded 2020 Nobel Prize for Chemistry

CRISPR pioneers Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna awarded 2020 Nobel Prize for Chemistry

Jordana Cepelewicz | 
The 2020 selection for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to two scientists who share credit for identifying and developing ...
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Our heartbeat shapes how we process fear and perceive the world

Jordana Cepelewicz | 
As the heart, lungs, gut and other organs transmit information to the brain, they affect how we perceive and interact ...
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Infographic: COVID-19 herd immunity threshold likely varies from region to region

Kevin Hartnett | 
[A] lot of nuance is involved in calculating exactly how much of the population needs to be immune [to COVID-19] ...
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Estrogen slows down adult bone growth, leading to generally taller men and shorter women

Christie Wilcox | 
Human sexual size dimorphism, the difference in height between males and females, is often touted as a classic example of ...
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Stimulating brain waves prompts immune cells to fight against Alzheimer’s disease

Douglas Fields | 
Discoveries that transcend boundaries are among the greatest delights of scientific research, but such leaps are often overlooked because they ...
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Brain organoids becoming ‘more human’, forcing researchers to grapple with ethical concerns

Jordana Cepelewicz | 
Though no bigger than a pea, organoids hold enormous promise for improving our understanding of the brain: They can replicate ...
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Can computers develop human-like intelligence by imitating our own evolutionary path?

Matthew Hutson | 
Evolutionary algorithms have been around for a long time. Traditionally, they’ve been used to solve specific problems. In each generation, ...
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Machines now read faster than we can. But do they understand the words?

John Pavlus | 
In an April 2018 paper coauthored with collaborators from the University of Washington and DeepMind, the Google-owned artificial intelligence company, [computational linguist ...
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Inherited learning appears to be real, through epigenetics. But we still aren’t sure how it happens

Viviane Callier | 
[S]ome researchers have found evidence that even some learned behaviors and physiological responses can be epigenetically inherited. None of the new ...
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Why your brain filters out things you don’t need to see

Jordana Cepelewicz | 
Scientists have long known that our sensory processing must automatically screen out extraneous inputs — otherwise, we couldn’t experience the ...
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When it comes to vision, computers are beating us at our own game

Kevin Hartnett | 
Does computer vision need inspiration from human vision at all? In some ways, the answer is obviously no. The information ...
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‘Are Neanderthals just another version of us’?

Jordana Cepelewicz | 
As scientists peer further back in time and uncover evolutionary relationships in unprecedented detail, their findings are complicating the narrative ...
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How math could explain the ‘great mystery of human vision’

Kevin Hartnett | 
This is the great mystery of human vision: Vivid pictures of the world appear before our mind’s eye, yet the ...
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‘Wild theory’: Can aggressive cancers evolve into new species?

Christie Wilcox | 
Aggressive cancers can spread so fiercely that they seem less like tissues gone wrong and more like invasive parasites looking ...
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Environmental DNA offers glimpses of the ‘ancient world in a few grains of sand’

Monique Brouillette | 
Somewhere in a remote cave in western Georgia, a few dozen miles east of the Black Sea shore, scientists on ...
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Our powers of perception are boosted by our brain that guesses what’s about to happen

Jordana Cepelewicz | 
Imagine picking up a glass of what you think is apple juice, only to take a sip and discover that ...
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Using genetic data to examine differences between populations just ran into a problem

Jordana Cepelewicz | 
Various innovations in the field of genomics over the past few decades have given researchers hope that resolutions to long-lasting ...
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Glowing squid’s genome sheds light on how animals and microbes evolve to work together

Laura Poppick | 
Every evening, nocturnal Hawaiian bobtail squids ... emerge from their burrows in shallow waters of the Pacific to hunt for ...
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We know how the brain perceives shapes and colors. But what about time?

Jordana Cepelewicz | 
Marc Howard, a cognitive neuroscientist now at Boston University, and Karthik Shankar, who was then one of his postdoctoral students, wanted ...

‘Arrival of the fittest’: Fragile DNA ‘hot spots’ play key role in mutations, evolution

Viviane Callier | 
Against the odds, separate species and populations independently evolve the same solutions to life’s challenges, and the same genes are ...

How the brain maps out ideas and memories

Jordana Cepelewicz | 
As the philosopher Immanuel Kant put it, the concept of space serves as the organizing principle by which we perceive ...
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What jellyfish can show us about complex evolution through simple genomes

Jonathan Lambert | 
You might expect that as bodies became more complex, genomes did as well. But a recent study appearing in Nature Ecology & Evolution ...
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