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Bacteria’s Immune Sensors Reveal a Novel Way to Detect Viruses
A new study reveals that bacteria can fight viruses in a surprisingly elegant way that has no known counterpart in more complex life.
An Immunologist Fights Covid with Tweets and a Nasal Spray
Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist who became a lifeline for the worried and the curious during the pandemic, thinks that nasal spray vaccines could be the next needed breakthrough in our fight against the coronavirus.
‘Social’ Mitochondria, Whispering Between Cells, Influence Health
Mitochondria appear to communicate and cooperate with one another, both within and between cells. Biologists are only just beginning to understand how and why.
DNA Jumps Between Animal Species. No One Knows How Often.
The discovery of a gene shared by two unrelated species of fish is the latest evidence that horizontal gene transfers occur surprisingly often in vertebrates.
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.
A Physicist’s Approach to Biology Brings Ecological Insights
The physicist Jeff Gore tests theories about microbe communities experimentally and finds new rules governing ecological stability.
Nobel Chemistry Prize Awarded for CRISPR ‘Genetic Scissors’
Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna have been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their development of CRISPR/Cas9 genetic editing.
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.
Some Animals Have No Microbiome. Here’s What That Tells Us.
To stay healthy, humans and some other animals rely on a complex community of bacteria in their guts. But research is starting to show that those partnerships might be more the exception than the rule.