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Even Synthetic Life Forms With a Tiny Genome Can Evolve
By watching “minimal” cells regain the fitness they lost, researchers are testing whether a genome can be too simple to evolve.
Biologists Use Genetic Circuits to Program Plant Roots
Using inserted genetic circuitry, synthetic biologists controlled the growth of plant roots for the first time.
Simple Gene Circuits Hint at How Stem Cells Find New Identities
Synthetic biology experiments suggest a “MultiFate” model for how genetically identical cells become the many different types found in complex organisms like us.
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.
Most Complete Simulation of a Cell Probes Life’s Hidden Rules
A 3D digital model of a “minimal cell” leads scientists closer to understanding the barest requirements for life.
Biologists Rethink the Logic Behind Cells’ Molecular Signals
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.
Math Reveals the Secrets of Cells’ Feedback Circuitry
Maintaining perfect stability through negative feedback is a basic element of electrical circuitry, but it’s been a mystery how cells could do it — until now.