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Biology
The obesity era

As the American people got fatter, so did marmosets, vervet monkeys and mice. The problem may be bigger than any of us

David Berreby

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Biology
Die, selfish gene, die

For decades, the selfish gene metaphor let us view evolution with new clarity. Is it now blinding us?

David Dobbs

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Biology
Does life have a purpose?

Nobody expects atoms and molecules to have purposes, so why do we still think of living things in this way?

Michael Ruse

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Biology
Life is quantum

Weird quantum effects are so delicate it seems they could only happen in a lab. How on Earth can life depend on them?

Johnjoe McFadden

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Biology
Keep smiling

Is there any reason to think dolphins and humans have a special relationship? Sure, but it might not be a friendly one

Justin Gregg

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Astronomy
Moonstruck

The lunar phases influence all sorts of creatures from corals to eagle owls. Does the Moon tug on human behaviour too?

Cameron Walker

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Biology
Rethinking extinction

The idea that we are edging up to a mass extinction is not just wrong – it’s a recipe for panic and paralysis

Stewart Brand

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Astronomy
Life in the dark

In the dark corners of our galaxy, there are billions of rogue planets roaming around, starless – can they support life?

Sean Raymond

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Biology
The kindness of beasts

Dogs rescue their friends and elephants care for injured kin – humans have no monopoly on moral behaviour

Mark Rowlands

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Biology
The minds of plants

From the memories of flowers to the sociability of trees, the cognitive capacities of our vegetal cousins are all around us

Laura Ruggles

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Biology
A closed loop

The DNA helix gave 20th-century biology its symbol. But the more we learn, the more life circles back to an older image

Jamie Davies

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Biology
Where do minds belong?

Intelligence could have been moving back and forth between biological beings and machine receptacles for aeons

Caleb Scharf

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Biology
Coincidental killers

We assume that microbes evolved to attack humans when actually we are just civilian casualties in a much older war

Ed Yong

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Biology
Paradigms lost

Science is not a ‘body of knowledge’ – it’s a dynamic, ongoing reconfiguration of knowledge and must be free to change

David P Barash

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Biology
Local links run the world

Networks regulate everything from ant colonies and middle schools to epidemics and the internet. Here’s how they work

Deborah M Gordon

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Sleep and dreams
Life in Circadia

The ticking of the bodyclock can help us fight cancer, safeguard our hearts, time our meals, and enhance our intelligence

Jessa Gamble

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Neuroscience
Touched

We ride a stream of naked neurons, stripped of their sheaths, to the most blissful moments and deepest intimacies of life

Steven M Phelps

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Physics
Seeing the quantum

The human eye is a surprisingly good photon detector. What can it spy of the line between the quantum and classical worlds?

Rebecca Holmes

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Biology
Earth’s aliens

Alien lifeforms might be living right under our noses, but how can we find them if we don’t know what we’re looking for?

Sarah Scoles

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Biology
Animal spirits

The more we learn about the emotions shared by all mammals, the more we must rethink our own human intelligence

Stephen T Asma

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Biology
The songs of the wolves

Wolves’ howls are eerie, beautiful and wild. But what are they actually saying to each other?

Holly Root-Gutteridge

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Subcultures
The spirit molecule

The theory that the brain produces its own psychedelic compound provokes pop-culture enthusiasm and scientific controversy

Graham St John