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How the ‘Diamond of the Plant World’ Helped Land Plants Evolve
Structural studies of the robust material called sporopollenin reveal how it made plants hardy enough to reproduce on dry land.
In Test Tubes, RNA Molecules Evolve Into a Tiny Ecosystem
When researchers gave a genetic molecule the ability to replicate, it evolved over time into a complex network of “hosts” and “parasites” that both competed and cooperated to survive.
In Sexy Worms, Inheritance Beyond Genes Can Help Evolution
Traits from RNA molecules passed between multiple generations of worms can work with genetic changes to influence future evolution.
Life With Longer Genetic Codes Seems Possible — but Less Likely
Life could use a more expansive genetic code in theory, but new work shows that improving on three-letter codons would be a challenge.
Secrets of Early Animal Evolution Revealed by Chromosome ‘Tectonics’
Large blocks of genes conserved through hundreds of millions of years of evolution hint at how the first animal chromosomes came to be.