eLife Science Digests

Cutting jargon and putting research in context, digests showcase some of the latest articles published in eLife.


  1. The caterpillar receptor

    Small mutations in an immune receptor enabled some plants to evolve the ability to detect oral secretions from caterpillars.
  2. Eye spy

    A common modification to RNA plays an important role in the development of supporting cells in the retina.
  3. When cholesterol helps to hear

    Investigations in zebrafish uncover a gene that enables hearing by moving cholesterol inside hair cells in the ear.
  4. Changing hands

    A survey of primates shows that humans’ extreme preference for right-handedness cannot be easily explained.
  5. Curbing COVID-19 in schools

    Computer modeling with crowd-sourced case data shows large outbreaks of COVID-19 in schools are not common, and suggests the best approaches to reducing transmission are masking and smaller class sizes.
  6. A pathway to invasion

    A pathway that normally protects cells from stress associated with oxidation allows tumor cells to collectively invade neighboring tissues.
  7. Warming awakens slumbering microbial diversity

    Communities of bacteria alter their composition in response to temperature changes, tapping into a reservoir of latent species which are better suited for these new conditions.
  8. Balancing division

    How do stem cells in the intestine maintain the right number of dividing and non-dividing cells?