New-found molecular signature keeps key genes ready for action

During development, scores of molecular signals prod cells to take on specialized identities and functions. In response to some of these signals, the cellular machinery awakens specific genes called 'immediate early genes' ...

The farthest galaxy in the universe

A team of astronomers used the Keck I telescope to measure the distance to an ancient galaxy. They deduced the target galaxy GN-z11 is not only the oldest galaxy but also the most distant. It's so distant it defines the very ...

Liberal sprinkling of salt discovered around a young star

New ALMA observations show there is ordinary table salt in a not-so-ordinary location: 1,500 light-years from Earth in the disk surrounding a massive young star. Though salts have been found in the atmospheres of old, dying ...

Deep biosphere microbes expand the chemical signatures of life

Search for signs of ancient microbial life in the geological record is challenging due to degradation of the primary organic material. Therefore, proof of biogenic origin often relies on chemical signatures that microorganisms ...

Mapping the family tree of stars

Astronomers are borrowing principles applied in biology and archaeology to build a family tree of the stars in the galaxy. By studying chemical signatures found in the stars, they are piecing together these evolutionary trees ...

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