Synthetic cells used to bioengineer new forms of silica

(Phys.org) -- Scientists do not fully understand how nature uses proteins to develop new materials and minerals, but learning more about the natural processes could lead to bioengineering methods such as the biological synthesis ...

How new loops in DNA packaging help us make diverse antibodies

Diversity is good, especially when it comes to antibodies. It's long been known that a gene assembly process called V(D)J recombination allows our immune system to mix and match bits of genetic code, generating new antibodies ...

Organizing a cell's genetic material from the sidelines

A tremendous amount of genetic material must be packed into the nucleus of every cell—a tiny compartment. One of the biggest challenges in biology is to understand how certain regions of this highly packaged DNA can be ...

DNA structure influences the function of transcription factors

Substances known as transcription factors often determine how a cell develops as well as which proteins it produces and in what quantities. Transcription factors bind to a section of DNA and control how strongly a gene in ...

Clamshell-shaped protein puts the 'jump' in 'jumping genes'

Scientists at Johns Hopkins report they have deciphered the structure and unusual shape of a bacterial protein that prepares segments of DNA for the insertion of so-called jumping genes. The clamshell shape, they say, has ...

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