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genome

Traveling person with a luggage filled with bacteria
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What Bacteria Can Tell Us About Human Evolution

December 5, 2017

To discover our species’ deep history and to shape its future health, we should learn from the microbes that accompanied us on our evolutionary journey.

Illustration of a doctor trying to get to a patient
molecular biology

Bacteria Sacrifice DNA Repair for Better RNA

November 22, 2017

Preserving its DNA ought to be a cell’s top priority. But bacteria slow their DNA repair to a crawl in favor of proofreading gene transcripts.

Tiny parasitoid wasps
evolution

Moonlighting Genes Evolve for a Venomous Job

June 22, 2017

An unexpected mechanism allows wasps to rapidly co-opt genes for new toxic functions.

synthetic biology

In Newly Created Life-Form, a Major Mystery

March 24, 2016

Scientists have created a synthetic organism that possesses only the genes it needs to survive. But they have no idea what roughly a third of those genes do.

genetics

Machine Intelligence Cracks Genetic Controls

December 18, 2014

Scientists have begun to decipher the most difficult-to-read parts of the genome — the parts that don’t code for proteins. The new work reveals how errors in these genetic instructions can lead to disease.