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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.
In the Nucleus, Genes’ Activity Might Depend on Their Location
Using a new CRISPR-based technique, researchers are examining how the position of DNA within the nucleus affects gene expression and cell function.
How Cells Pack Tangled DNA Into Neat Chromosomes
For the first time, researchers see how proteins grab loops of DNA and bundle them for cell division. The discovery also hints at how the genome folds to regulate gene expression.
With ‘Downsized’ DNA, Flowering Plants Took Over the World
Compact genomes and tiny cells gave flowering plants an edge over competing flora. This discovery hints at a broader evolutionary principle.
What Bacteria Can Tell Us About Human Evolution
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.
Bacteria Sacrifice DNA Repair for Better RNA
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.
Moonlighting Genes Evolve for a Venomous Job
An unexpected mechanism allows wasps to rapidly co-opt genes for new toxic functions.
In Newly Created Life-Form, a Major Mystery
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.
Machine Intelligence Cracks Genetic Controls
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.