It's still very hard to define life, but science has made great strides toward revealing many of its characteristics and processes. Here are some basics about the most complex phenomenon we know: life's origin, characteristics, structure, and states of animacy.
Two young scientists at the famous Jack Szostak Lab explain research issues
How the unique "antifreeze" blood and skeletal mutations of the Antarctic Icefishes provide insights into both climate change adaptations and human disease
Was there a human factor in the Ice Age extinctions of large mammals?
The compelling search for entirely new forms of life elsewhere in our solar system and the universe
An investigation of the two major questions about the origin of life, and their relevance in search for life elsewhere in the universe
A toxicologist explains why some organisms thrive in an environment that endangers most species
All life depends on a microbial foundation. So does development of new antibiotics. But 99 percent of microbes are unknown.
How DNA is folded in the cell may shed light on cancer and other diseases
The science of neural networks reveals the awesome complexity of normal speech production and also brings help for language disorders.
Ancient infant teeth reveal the importance of weaning patterns in human evolution
Cells make decisions that turn out to be random. Professor Kondev explains the implications of that surprising discovery.
How microbes and their communities evolve and what the process means for us
The author of "Our Robots, Ourselves" discusses the limits of robot autonomy
Tracing ancient genetic changes through extinctions and speciation events to reconstruct our DNA history
a visit to the Barabási Lab at Northeastern University to learn how scale-free complex networks affect scientific perspectives
At the Summons Lab, scientists probe soil and rock samples from both ancient Earth and Mars for bio-molecules
The cell's self-defense repair kit against hereditary, environmental, and other threats
In probably the most extreme environmment on Earth, organisms are thriving. Peter Girguis explains how.....
How the unprecedented loss of biodiversity impacts human health
Reconstructing the relationship between biological evolution and geology, climate, environment
How photosynthesis --and life-- emerged in Earth's ancient chemical environment
The challenge for genomic studies today is how to manage the vast collection of data
Genetic material in ancient fossils yields an amazing profile of extinct organisms
A leader in the study of exotic microbes at hydrothermal vents explains the significance and the potential of these life forms
Molecules in meteorites met with an optimal chemical environment on Earth
An explanation of how modern genetics analysis confirms ancient human migrations, such as the Indo-Europeans
The decimation of honeybee colonies is also a public health warning about pesticides