Research with living systems is never simple, scientists say, so there are many possible sources of variation in any experiment, ranging from the animals and cells to the details of lab technique. Tom Werner/Getty Images hide caption

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Tom Werner/Getty Images

What Does It Mean When Cancer Findings Can't Be Reproduced?

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Yoshinori Ohsumi, a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, smiles as he speaks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on a phone during a press conference in Tokyo today, after he was awarded the Nobel Medicine Prize. Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images

Japanese Biologist Wins Nobel Prize In Physiology Or Medicine

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Bug enthusiast Anna Lindqvist uploads photos like this — of the Ailanthus Webworm Moth (Atteva aurea) to the iNaturalist app. Like a social network for wildlife, her location paired with the photo help both amateur and expert naturalists identify the species. Annika Lindqvist hide caption

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Annika Lindqvist

The App That Aims To Gamify Biology Has Amateurs Discovering New Species

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These mitochondria, in red, are from the heart muscle cell of a rat. Mitochondria have been described as "the powerhouses of the cell" because they generate most of a cell's supply of chemical energy. But at least one type of complex cell doesn't need 'em, it turns out. Science Source hide caption

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Science Source

Humpback whale and calf, off the Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico. Reinhard Dirscherl/Look-foto/Corbis hide caption

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Reinhard Dirscherl/Look-foto/Corbis

It Took A Musician's Ear To Decode The Complex Song In Whale Calls

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By the 1960s, humpback whales and other whale species had been hunted extensively, sometimes to the point of near extinction. Then a recording of humpback whale songs helped shift public opinion on the hunting of all whale species. Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images

Recordings That Made Waves: The Songs That Saved The Whales

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Gold exists, just as it really is, just as the physicist knows it to be, and that has nothing to do with us. Michal Cizek/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Michal Cizek/AFP/Getty Images

Kind of cute. But pretty stupid. A scale model of a baby sauropod in its egg. Tim Boyle/Getty Images hide caption

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Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Many of life's building blocks can be found in the objects bombarding Earth from outer space. Does that mean that life, too, developed elsewhere before arriving here? Mary P. Hrybyk-Keith/NASA hide caption

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Mary P. Hrybyk-Keith/NASA

For centuries, Russians believed putting a brown frog in their milk would keep it fresh. Now scientists are finding chemicals in the frog's slimy goo that inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi. Stefan Arendt/Corbis hide caption

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Stefan Arendt/Corbis

Moss and a cup fungus growing amid the decomposing leaves of Shakerag Hollow in Sewanee, Tennessee. Courtesy of David Haskell hide caption

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Courtesy of David Haskell