Looking for LUCA, the last universal common ancestor

Around 4 billion years ago there lived a microbe called LUCA: the Last Universal Common Ancestor. There is evidence that it could have lived a somewhat 'alien' lifestyle, hidden away deep underground in iron-sulfur rich hydrothermal ...

Viruses share genes with organisms across the tree of life

A new study finds that viruses share some genes exclusively with cells that are not their hosts. The study, reported in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, adds to the evidence that viruses swap genes with a variety of ...

Scientists shed some light on biological "dark matter"

Biologists have studied the functionality of a poorly understood category of genes, which produce long non-coding RNA molecules rather than proteins. Some of these genes have been conserved throughout evolution, and are present ...

Why jumping genes don't send us into meltdown

A team of researchers, led by academics at The University of Nottingham, has explained why the so-called 'jumping genes' found in most living organisms don't ultimately kill off their hosts, putting an end to a long-standing ...

New DNA test on roo poo identifies species

(Phys.org) —University of Adelaide researchers have developed a simple and cost-effective DNA test to identify kangaroo species from their droppings which will boost the ability to manage and conserve kangaroo populations.

Ancient genes may explain modern threat to Tasmanian devils

(Phys.org)—Tasmanian devils had low immune gene diversity for hundreds, and possibly thousands, of years before the emergence of Devil Facial Tumour Disease, researchers at the University of Sydney and University of Adelaide ...

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