Linker histones tune the length and shape of chromosomes

Human life hinges on the ability of our cells to cram six feet of DNA into a 10-micron nucleus—equivalent to fitting a mile of string inside one green pea. But stuffing genes into cramped quarters is only half the battle. ...

Study reveals how ribosomes are assembled in human cells

All cells need ribosomes to make the proteins necessary for life. These multi-component molecular machines build complex proteins by stitching building blocks together according to instructions encoded in the cell's messenger ...

The physics behind a water bear's lumbering gait

Plump and ponderous, tardigrades earned the nickname "water bears" when scientists first observed the 0.02-inch-long animals' distinctive lumbering gaits in the 18th century. Their dumpy plod, however, raises the question ...

Lonely flies, like many humans, eat more and sleep less

COVID-19 lockdowns scrambled sleep schedules and stretched waistlines. One culprit may be social isolation itself. Scientists have found that lone fruit flies quarantined in test tubes sleep too little and eat too much after ...

Study reveals how smell receptors work

All senses must reckon with the richness of the world, but nothing matches the challenge faced by the olfactory system that underlies our sense of smell. We need only three receptors in our eyes to sense all the colors of ...

When ant colonies get bigger, new foraging behavior emerges

Millions of army ants occasionally stream out of their nest in a coordinated hunting swarm, seeking prey to devour. How this extraordinary mass raiding behavior evolved has long been a mystery, until now.

How cells remember inflammation

When a tissue experiences inflammation, its cells remember. Pinning proteins to its genetic material at the height of inflammation, the cells bookmark where they left off in their last tussle. Next exposure, inflammatory ...

Hunting for TB's most vulnerable genes

Developing drugs to combat tuberculosis, or TB, can be frustrating business. A gene essential to the bacteria's lifecycle is discovered, scientists rush to develop drugs that inhibit the target, and then—disappointment. ...

Identifying the spark of desire in fruit flies

Fruit flies have evolved an elaborate courtship ritual. Upon recognizing a suitable mate in his vicinity, a male fruit fly transforms into a dogged suitor, sometimes chasing the female for more than 26 yards, or nine miles ...

New findings to boost IVF success rates

In vitro fertilization fulfills the wishes of half a million parents each year, yet the fertility treatment leaves plenty of room for improvement. A majority of potential embryos are ruled out for implantation, flagged by ...

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