DNA’s Histone Spools Hint at How Complex Cells Evolved
New work shows that histones, long treated as boring spools for DNA, sit at the center of the origin story of eukaryotes and continue to play important roles in evolution and disease.
Some Proteins Change Their Folds to Perform Different Jobs
Unusual proteins that can quickly fold into different shapes provide cells with a novel regulatory mechanism.
Plant Cells of Different Species Can Swap Organelles
In grafted plants, shrunken chloroplasts can jump between species by slipping through unexpected gateways in cell walls.
A Newfound Source of Cellular Order in the Chemistry of Life
Inside cells, droplets of biomolecules called condensates merge, divide and dissolve. Their dance may regulate vital processes.
Scientists Find Vital Genes Evolving in Genome’s Junkyard
Even genes essential for life can be caught in an evolutionary arms race that forces them to change or be replaced.
How Two Became One: Origins of a Mysterious Symbiosis Found
Carpenter ants need endosymbiotic bacteria to guide the early development of their embryos. New work has reconstructed how this deep partnership evolved.
By Losing Genes, Life Often Evolved More Complexity
Recent major surveys show that reductions in genomic complexity — including the loss of key genes — have successfully shaped the evolution of life throughout history.
Inherited Learning? It Happens, but How Is Uncertain
Studies suggest that epigenetics allows some learned adaptive responses to be passed down to new generations. The question is how.