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 ...

Expansion of transposable elements offers clue to genetic paradox

Species often experience a genetic bottleneck that diminishes genetic variation after speciation or introduction into a new area. Though bottlenecks in population size always reduce fitness and evolutionary potential, introduced ...

Researchers modify CRISPR to reorganize genome

Researchers at Stanford University have reworked CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology to manipulate the genome in three-dimensional space, allowing them to ferry genetic snippets to different locations in a cell's nucleus.

Virtual reality tool developed to untangle genes

Researchers from Oxford have been using virtual reality software to compile genetic data to create models which explain how genes are controlled within their natural chromosomal environments.

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