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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

Quanta | 
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

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As the heart, lungs, gut and other organs transmit information to the brain, they affect how we perceive and interact ...
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Brain organoids becoming ‘more human’, forcing researchers to grapple with ethical concerns

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Though no bigger than a pea, organoids hold enormous promise for improving our understanding of the brain: They can replicate ...
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Why your brain filters out things you don’t need to see

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Scientists have long known that our sensory processing must automatically screen out extraneous inputs — otherwise, we couldn’t experience the ...
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‘Are Neanderthals just another version of us’?

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As scientists peer further back in time and uncover evolutionary relationships in unprecedented detail, their findings are complicating the narrative ...
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Our powers of perception are boosted by our brain that guesses what’s about to happen

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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

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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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We know how the brain perceives shapes and colors. But what about time?

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Marc Howard, a cognitive neuroscientist now at Boston University, and Karthik Shankar, who was then one of his postdoctoral students, wanted ...
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How the brain maps out ideas and memories

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As the philosopher Immanuel Kant put it, the concept of space serves as the organizing principle by which we perceive ...
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Computer scientists turn to evolutionary biology for inspiration

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Creationists love to insist that evolution had to assemble upward of 300 amino acids in the right order to create just ...
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‘Stemness’ and the downside of limiting our definition of stem cells

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As more sophisticated technology has revealed just how plastic and heterogeneous cell populations can be, some researchers have transitioned from ...
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Why our brains are in the business of predicting the future

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According to [the] “predictive coding” theory, at each level of a cognitive process, the brain generates models, or beliefs, about ...
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How Rev. Thomas Bayes’ faith helped us understand how the brain works

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It all began in 1748, when the philosopher David Hume published An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, calling into question, among ...
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What spurred the Cambrian explosion? Evolving animals may have led to more oxygen, not other way around

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Scientists have long sought to determine what caused the Cambrian explosion, and to explain why animal life didn’t take this ...
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Can we boost memory through brain stimulation?

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In a study appearing [February 6] in Nature Communications, [...] a team of researchers succeeded at enhancing memory more reliably, by stimulating ...
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We’re about to see an expansion of life’s genetic code

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With recent innovations in gene editing, it may seem as if the field of synthetic biology is just starting to ...
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Plant evolution: Compact genomes and tiny cells helped flowering plants take over the world

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When people consider evolutionary events related to the origin and diversification of new species and groups, they tend to emphasize ...
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Evolutionary tradeoffs: How DNA works so living things have a ‘competitive advantage’ to survive

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Evolution is a game of trade-offs. Every trait an organism inherits may have benefits and drawbacks; what matters to natural ...
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Neanderthal population estimate increases tenfold

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Some gene-based estimates put the Neanderthals’ effective population at a measly 1,000; others claim they hovered at a few thousand ...
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Physicist Nigel Goldenfeld: Life started with physics, not biology

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[Editor's note: The following is part of an interview with Nigel Goldenfeld, director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute for Universal Biology ...
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Bear love affair: Grizzly and polar–Interbreeding neighboring species played key role in evolution

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In 2006, a hunter shot what he thought was a polar bear in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Closer examination, ...
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Could we artificially create mutations that might aid cells in battling cancer?

Quanta Magazine | 
The scientific challenge has not just been to demonstrate convincingly that harsh environments cause nonrandom mutations. It has also been ...