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proteins

cell biology

Cellular Life, Death and Everything in Between

The discovery that apparently dead cells can sometimes resurrect themselves has researchers exploring how far they can push the point of no return.

Art for "The Body’s Clock Offers a Rhythmic Target to Viruses"
chronobiology

The Body’s Clock Offers a Rhythmic Target to Viruses

Viruses and other parasites may sync with their host’s biological clock — or reset it — to gain an advantage.

Q&A

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.

Art for "‘Lava-Lamp’ Proteins Inside Cells May Protect and Regulate"
cell biology

‘Lava-Lamp’ Proteins May Help Cells Cheat Death

With proteins that reversibly self-assemble into droplets, cells may control their metabolism — and harden themselves against harsh conditions.

RNA Peptide 520
origins of life

The End of the RNA World Is Near, Biochemists Argue

For decades, an origin-of-life story starring RNA has prevailed. New research may be shaking that theory’s hold on our understanding of life’s beginnings.

Illustration of a doctor trying to get to a patient
molecular biology

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.

origins of life

Life’s First Molecule Was Protein, Not RNA, New Model Suggests

Which mattered first at the dawn of life: proteins or nucleic acids? Proteins may have had the edge if a theorized process let them grow long enough to become self-replicating catalysts.

Tiny parasitoid wasps
evolution

Moonlighting Genes Evolve for a Venomous Job

An unexpected mechanism allows wasps to rapidly co-opt genes for new toxic functions.

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.