The Top 14 Living World Stories of 2011
18. Genome of Vegetables Remains Active After You Eat Them
: In a new twist on the old saw, "you are what you eat," microRNAs from rice were observed surviving digestion and altering human gene expression.
19. Killer Chimps Overhunt Monkeys
: Humans are not the only primates that hunt other primate species to the edge of extinction.
24. Gut Microbes Establish Your Identity
: Like blood types, you've got an enterotype: one of just three kinds of gut ecosystem.
30. New Fossil Casts Doubt on Oldest Bird
: A new Cornish hen-sized creature, discovered by Chinese paleontologists, throws the traditional chronology into question.
35. Fossil Stirs Debate Over Dinosaurs' Last Days
: A horn discovered in southeastern Montana may be the remains of one of Earth's very last dinosaurs.
43. Skin Cells Could Help Revive Rare Species
: Turning them into eggs and sperm, courtesy of stem cell techniques, could make all the difference.
45. Have Humans Left a Permanent Scar on the Geologic Record?
: The Anthropocene is a man-made era, an increasingly vocal group of scientists holds.
48. Strongest Repellent Found
: It's 100,000 times stronger than DEET.
49. Arsenic-Based Life Shakes Up Science (Again)
: Rosie Redfield takes scientific controversy out into the open.
51. Stone Age Art Studio Unearthed
: Early humans were able to plan and knew more about chemistry than we'd thought.
61. Aging Effects Reversed in Mice
: Eliminating dying cells keeps a mouse healthy, wealthy, and wise.
63. How Many Species Inhabit the Earth?
:It's a tough question, but we now have the best answer yet.
67. Gamers Solve HIV Riddle
: Computer geeks figure out the shape of AIDS-related virus in 10 days.
68. Tools Imply Early African Exodus
: A newly discovered cache of stone tools in the United Arab Emirates suggests that early humans left Africa earlier than we'd thought.
74. Meet the Megavirus
: Scientists find the world's largest virus.
77. Amber Reveals Origins of Feathers
: Stunning feathers show up in fossil-rich rocks.
80. Neanderthal DNA Boosts Your Immune System
: Did early matings with Neanderthals increase our ability to fight disease?
85. Meet the Grazing Hominid
: Researchers discover the so-called "Nutcracker man" ate mostly plants, diverging from fellow primates.
91. Unmasking Earth's First Life
: Paleontologists discover what may be the oldest fossilized bacteria ever found, but questions remain.