The state of CRISPR research

CRISPR has been hailed as one of the most promising gene editing technologies and promises to revolutionize precision medicine and eradicate genetic diseases. However, the technique is not perfect and needs improvements. ...

Genetic switch lets marine diatoms do less work at higher CO2

Diatoms in the world's oceans exhale more oxygen than all the world's rainforests. These tiny drifting algae generate about 20 percent of the oxygen produced on Earth each year and invisibly recycle gases enveloping our planet.

Viruses are as simple as they are "smart"

Viruses are as simple as they are "smart": too elementary to be able to reproduce by themselves, they exploit the reproductive "machinery" of cells, by inserting pieces of their own DNA so that it is transcribed by the host ...

Study offers insight into the origin of the genetic code

An analysis of enzymes that load amino acids onto transfer RNAs—an operation at the heart of protein translation—offers new insights into the evolutionary origins of the modern genetic code, researchers report. Their ...

Study uncovers secrets of biological soil crusts

They lie dormant for years, but at the first sign of favorable conditions they awaken. This sounds like the tagline for a science fiction movie, but it describes the amazing life-cycles of microbial organisms that form the ...

How did early primordial cells evolve?

Four billion years ago, soon after the planet cooled enough for life to begin, primordial cells may have replicated and divided without protein machinery or cell walls, relying instead on just a flimsy lipid membrane. New ...

From fish to man: Research reveals how fins became legs

Vertebrates' transition to living on land, instead of only in water, represented a major event in the history of life. Now, researchers reporting in the December issue of the journal Developmental Cell provide new evidence ...

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