Jellyfish Genome Hints That Complexity Isn’t Genetically Complex
Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine’s Abstractions blog.An overarching theme in the story of evolution, at least over the past half billion years or so, is rising complexity. There are other themes, of course, but life has undoubtedly become more complicated since its origin. Early cells globbed together to form multicellular coalitions. Those developed more complex bodies and lifestyles as the […]
How Alan Turing Deciphered Shark Skin
The universal math behind hair and feathers.
What a Newfound Kingdom Means for the Tree of Life
Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine’s Abstractions blog.The tree of life just got another major branch. Researchers recently found a certain rare and mysterious microbe called a hemimastigote in a clump of Nova Scotian soil. Their subsequent analysis of its DNA revealed that it was neither animal, plant, fungus, nor any recognized type of protozoan—that it in fact fell far outside […]
World’s Oldest Fossils Now Appear to Be Squished Rocks
Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine’s Abstractions blog.In August 2016, a research team claimed to have unearthed evidence of life in a remote outcrop of 3.7-billion-year-old rocks in Greenland. This bold claim not only pushed back the origin of life by at least 220 million years, it also added to a growing body of evidence that challenged the standard story of […]