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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.
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.
Extra DNA May Make Unlikely Hybrid Fish Possible
The unintentional creation of “sturddlefish” hybrids may illuminate the genomic mechanisms that govern whether species can interbreed.
Cell-Bacteria Mergers Offer Clues to How Organelles Evolved
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.
Unexpected ‘Germline’ Plant Cells May Shield New Generations
To avoid passing on new mutations to offspring, plants may minimize the number of divisions by the stem cells that make flowers and seeds.
Viruses Can Scatter Their Genes Among Cells and Reassemble
Some viruses can replicate without infecting any one cell with all their genes.
Doudna’s Confidence in CRISPR’s Research Potential Burns Bright
Jennifer Doudna, one of CRISPR’s primary innovators, stays optimistic about how the gene-editing tool will continue to empower basic biological understanding.
Fragile DNA Enables New Adaptations to Evolve Quickly
If highly repetitive gene-regulating sequences in DNA are easily lost, that may explain why some adaptations evolve quickly and repeatedly.
Should Evolution Treat Our Microbes as Part of Us?
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.