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molecular biology

Bear melting still
molecular biology

How Heat Kills Cells

The proteins that unravel as the temperature starts to rise turn out to be among the most vital.

Shapeshifting Protein: Still
molecular biology

The Shape-Shifting Army Inside Your Cells

Proteins work like rigid keys to activate cellular functions — or so everyone thought. Scientists are discovering a huge number of proteins that shape-shift to do their work, upending a century-old maxim of biology.

Illustration: Viruses Find a New Way to Hijack Cells
viruses

Viruses Find a New Way to Hijack Cells

A virus that causes crippling birth defects has been shown to do something else: It changes thousands of messages coming from DNA that control normal cellular activities.

A petri dish with an array of mutant yeast strains.
Abstractions blog

Why Some Genetic Miscues Are Helpful

A new look at the reasons why organisms missing pairs of genes sometimes do much better than normal.

genomics

Giant Genetic Map Shows Life’s Hidden Links

In a monumental set of experiments, spread out over nearly two decades, biologists removed genes two at a time to uncover the secret workings of the cell.

evolution

Genetic Engineering to Clash With Evolution

Gene drives promise to spread a trait across an entire population. But evolutionary forces are going to alter even the best-engineered plans.

genetics

A Secret Flexibility Found in Life’s Blueprints

A new study reveals that individual genes can create many different versions of the molecular machinery that powers the cell.

synthetic biology

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.