Robert Carroll was relaxing. To an observer it might have appeared that he was working: he was bent over a microscope, pecking away at a fist-sized rock with a tiny pick called a pin vise — a pen-sized tool with a needle-sharp pin clamped into one end. As a graduate student at Harvard in 1961, Carroll’s day had been filled with meetings, lectures and seminars and there was nothing he...

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Q: Why does Aspartame taste so sweet? What is the chemistry involved in something that tastes sweet?

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In the news

Ancient Virus DNA behind Stem Cell Power

March 31, 2014

A virus that invaded the genomes of humanity's ancestors millions of years ago now plays a critical role in the embryonic stem cells from which all cells in the human body derive, Canadian research shows. Computational biologist Guillaume Bourque at McGill University in Montreal, co-authored the study published online March 30 in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. Read more about this at National Geographic.

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