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Life could use a more expansive genetic code in theory, but new work shows that improving on three-letter codons would be a challenge.
The discovery that short peptides can form spontaneously on cosmic dust hints at more of a role for them in the earliest stages of life’s origin, on Earth or elsewhere.
The molecular signaling systems of complex cells are nothing like simple electronic circuits. The logic governing their operation is riotously complex — but it has advantages.
Researchers have finally seen how some smell receptors bind to odor molecules. The work yields new insights into one of the most mysterious and versatile senses.
Glycans, the complex sugars that stud cellular surfaces, are like a language that life uses to mediate vital interactions. Researchers are learning how to read their meaning.
Unusual proteins that can quickly fold into different shapes provide cells with a novel regulatory mechanism.
Inside cells, droplets of biomolecules called condensates merge, divide and dissolve. Their dance may regulate vital processes.
The simple insight that most changes are random had a profound effect on genetics, evolution and ecology.
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