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In grafted plants, shrunken chloroplasts can jump between species by slipping through unexpected gateways in cell walls.
Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna have been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their development of CRISPR/Cas9 genetic editing.
Cells in symbiotic partnership, sometimes nested one within the other and functioning like organelles, can borrow from their host’s genes to complete their own metabolic pathways.
To avoid passing on new mutations to offspring, plants may minimize the number of divisions by the stem cells that make flowers and seeds.
Some viruses can replicate without infecting any one cell with all their genes.
Jennifer Doudna, one of CRISPR’s primary innovators, stays optimistic about how the gene-editing tool will continue to empower basic biological understanding.
If highly repetitive gene-regulating sequences in DNA are easily lost, that may explain why some adaptations evolve quickly and repeatedly.
How does evolution select the fittest “individuals” when they are ecosystems made up of hosts and their microbiomes? Biologist debate the need to revise theories.