The GLP is committed to full transparency. Download and review our just-released 2019 Annual Report.

Articles written for the GLP list the source as Genetic Literacy Project. All other articles were written for the sources noted with excerpts provided by the GLP.
sentient cover

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, ...
ai computers can read now feature

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 ...
blueprint news embl ebi x

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 ...
head within emitting beam light shutterstock x

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 ...
rodc wm dwwqmyzzuicfg

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 ...
neanderthal resize md

‘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 ...
sightsavers eyes close up

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 ...
sinuolinea lede

‘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 ...
permafrost x x

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 ...
language and mind perception

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 ...
5-1-2019 download

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 ...
2-25-2019 unnamed file

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 ...
2-19-2019 episodic time lec ren ks

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 ...
dna

‘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 ...
brain

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 ...
1-14-2019 jelly cc

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 ...
dna Genetic Algorithm e

Computer scientists turn to evolutionary biology for inspiration

Jordana Cepelewicz | 
Creationists love to insist that evolution had to assemble upward of 300 amino acids in the right order to create just ...
stem cell resized

‘Stemness’ and the downside of limiting our definition of stem cells

Jordana Cepelewicz | 
As more sophisticated technology has revealed just how plastic and heterogeneous cell populations can be, some researchers have transitioned from ...
Holobiont image

Are our microbes part of us? ‘Radical upgrade’ of evolutionary theory

Jonathan Lambert | 
Look closely enough at any plant or animal and you will discover a riot of bacteria, fungi and viruses forming ...
chronic

Stem cells’ ‘memories’ of past injuries may contribute to chronic inflammation

Monique Brouillete | 
Stem cells, famous for replenishing the body’s stockpile of other cell types throughout life, may have an additional, unforeseen ability ...
NeutralTheory x x

Evolved adaptation: Challenges to Darwin’s belief that mutations are random and neutral

Viviane Callier | 
When Charles Darwin articulated his theory of evolution by natural selection in On the Origin of Species in 1859, he ...
brain

Your brain has its own unique ‘functional fingerprint’

Raleigh McElvery | 
The physical links between brain regions, collectively known as the “connectome,” are part of what distinguish humans cognitively from other ...
maxresdefault

Explaining hallucinations through math

Jennifer Ouellette | 
[Researcher Heinrich Klüver] classified [hallucinogenic patterns he experienced] into four distinct types that he dubbed “form constants”: lattices (including checkerboards, ...
The human brain tripled in size due to ecological factors x

Why our brains are in the business of predicting the future

Jordana Cepelewicz | 
According to [the] “predictive coding” theory, at each level of a cognitive process, the brain generates models, or beliefs, about ...
maxresdefault

Will we soon be able to regenerate limbs?

Elizabeth Preston | 
[Axolotl] salamanders stand out as the only vertebrates that can replace complex body parts that are lost at any age, ...
brain

Delving into theories about the brain’s balancing act

Jennifer Ouellette | 
Gerardo Ortiz remembers well the time in 2010 when he first heard his Indiana University colleague John Beggs talk about the hotly debated ...
plates

We may owe our existence to plate tectonics

Rebecca Boyle | 
[T]here’s more to plate tectonics than earthquakes and eruptions. A wave of new research is increasingly hinting that Earth’s external ...
vial and syringe flu shot large

Are vaccines creating viral resistance?

Melinda Moyer | 
[Researcher Andrew] Read and his colleagues are studying how the herpesvirus that causes Marek’s disease — a highly contagious, paralyzing ...