Two DNA defense systems behind resilience of 7th cholera pandemic

Cholera is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, a waterborne pathogen that infects the gut of humans through contaminated water and food. When ingested, V. cholerae colonizes the gut's inner surface, causing a watery ...

A natural CO2-sink thanks to symbiotic bacteria

Seagrasses cover large swathes of shallow coastal seas, where they provide a vital habitat. They also remove large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and store it in the ecosystem. However, seagrasses need ...

When two worlds meet: A protease that controls small RNA activity

The protection of genome integrity of germ cells is essential for animal fertility. Researchers from the Grosshans group characterized a defense mechanism against selfish genetic elements in the C. elegans germline. They ...

Viruses play critical role in evolution and survival of the species

As the world scrambles to control the growing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, new research in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology shows viruses also play a key evolutionary role in mammals' ability to reproduce and survive.

Bread mould avoids infection by mutating its own DNA

Whilst most organisms try to stop their DNA from mutating, scientists from the UK and China have discovered that a common fungus found on bread actively mutates its own DNA as a way of fighting virus-like infections.

Eliminating damaged germline cells preserves germline integrity

The germline is the cell lineage of an organism that passes on its genetic material to its progeny. Genetic damage to the germline can cause developmental defects and even death of that same progeny. It is thought that biological ...

'Jumping genes' help stabilize DNA folding patterns

"Jumping genes"—bits of DNA that can move from one spot in the genome to another—are well-known for increasing genetic diversity over the long course of evolution. Now, new research at Washington University School of ...

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