The GLP is committed to full transparency. Download and review our 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.

Video: Innovative brain-mapping techniques could unlock neuroscience secrets

Monique Brouillette | 
What [neuroscientist Tony] Zador showed me was a map of 50,000 neurons in the cerebral cortex of a mouse. It ...
Ediacaran creatures

What spurred the Cambrian explosion? Evolving animals may have led to more oxygen, not other way around

Jordana Cepelewicz | 
Scientists have long sought to determine what caused the Cambrian explosion, and to explain why animal life didn’t take this ...

Is cancer the evolutionary ‘price’ complex animals pay for living in an oxygen rich environment?

Jordana Cepelwicz | 
Like many biologists, [Emma] Hammarlund wondered why it took so long for complex animals to emerge — and why, when ...

Can we boost memory through brain stimulation?

Jordana Cepelewicz | 
In a study appearing [February 6] in Nature Communications, [...] a team of researchers succeeded at enhancing memory more reliably, by stimulating ...
genetic code

We’re about to see an expansion of life’s genetic code

Jordana Cepelewicz | 
With recent innovations in gene editing, it may seem as if the field of synthetic biology is just starting to ...
nws ocr l trflowers

Plant evolution: Compact genomes and tiny cells helped flowering plants take over the world

Jordana Cepelewicz | 
When people consider evolutionary events related to the origin and diversification of new species and groups, they tend to emphasize ...

Evolutionary tradeoffs: How DNA works so living things have a ‘competitive advantage’ to survive

Jordana Cepelewicz | 
Evolution is a game of trade-offs. Every trait an organism inherits may have benefits and drawbacks; what matters to natural ...

New species may be created by cellular ‘mitonuclear conflict’

Carrie Arnold | 
In the complex cells of humans and other organisms, two different genomes collaborate to sustain life. The larger genome, with ...
bottleneck e

‘Information bottleneck’ theory could help crack human learning mysteries

Natalie Wolchover | 
Even as machines known as “deep neural networks” have learned to converse, drive cars, beat video games and Go champions, dream, paint pictures ...

Neanderthal population estimate increases tenfold

Jordana Cepelewicz | 
Some gene-based estimates put the Neanderthals’ effective population at a measly 1,000; others claim they hovered at a few thousand ...
planet earth

Physicist Nigel Goldenfeld: Life started with physics, not biology

Jordana Cepelewicz, Nigel Goldenfeld | 
[Editor's note: The following is part of an interview with Nigel Goldenfeld, director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute for Universal Biology ...
minibrain x e

Older mini-brains could boost study of autism, schizophrenia

Jordana Cepelwicz | 
[Sergiu Paşca, a neuroscientist at Stanford University] has joined other researchers in growing little balls of human brain tissue, about ...
PolarBearHybridStroke LR e

Bear love affair: Grizzly and polar–Interbreeding neighboring species played key role in evolution

Jordana Cepelewicz | 
In 2006, a hunter shot what he thought was a polar bear in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Closer examination, ...

Cell’s waste bins: Lysosomes’ role stretches beyond ‘trash collector’ to importance in gene activity, cancer

Esther Landhuis | 
In this loftier reckoning of lysosomes, the organelles deftly integrate metabolic information from throughout the cell and communicate it to ...
sex chromosomes

Are Y chromosomes, and men, really on road to extinction?

Emily Singer | 
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Jennifer Marshall Graves, an ...

Stomach bug just a few small mutations away from Black Plague

Carrie Arnold | 
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.  Each year, 4 million ...
px Hooded Crow Corvus cornix

How a small stretch of DNA can keep species separate — even when they interbreed

Emily Singer | 
Sometimes, two distinct species interbreed, even though they're technically not supposed to. But what stops these rare cases of hybridization ...

What is a ‘species,’ exactly?

Emily Singer | 
Most people do not get to use the tree-climbing skills they perfected as children once they’re adults. But for Jochen Wolf, ...

Does competition drive diversity of species?

Emily Singer | 
In Darwinian evolution, organisms compete for resources, and the winners get to pass their genome to future generations. According to ...

Under pressure, even evolution evolves

Emily Singer | 
Although Darwin’s ideas have clearly triumphed in modern biology, hints of a more Lamarckian style of inheritance have continued to ...
EichlerSRGAP crop

Repeated patterns in DNA may be missing piece of the story of human evolution

Emily Singer | 
Science is just starting to unlock what we can learn from duplicated regions of DNA in the genes of humans ...

RNA plays role in cellular communication

Wynne Parry | 
For decades, researchers have been finding DNA and its sister, RNA, circulating in the body, outside the safe interior of ...

Evolution as opportunist

Wynne Parry | 
Evolution is littered with examples of opportunism. Hosts infected by viruses found new uses for the genetic material the agents ...

The surprising origins of life’s complexity

Carl Zimmer | 
Conventional wisdom holds that complex structures evolve from simpler ones, step-by-step, through a gradual evolutionary process, with Darwinian selection favoring ...