Parasitic plants use stolen genes to make them better parasites

Some parasitic plants steal genetic material from their host plants and use the stolen genes to more effectively siphon off the host's nutrients. A new study led by researchers at Penn State and Virginia Tech reveals that ...

Sexual reproduction only second choice for powdery mildew

Powdery mildew is one of the most dreaded plant diseases: The parasitic fungus afflicts crops such as wheat and barley and is responsible for large harvest shortfalls every year. Beat Keller and Thomas Wicker, both plant ...

Findings uncover new details about mysterious virus

(PhysOrg.com) -- An international team of researchers has determined key structural features of the largest known virus, findings that could help scientists studying how the simplest life evolved and whether the unusual virus ...

How the coronavirus interacts with cells

Scientists from Würzburg and the US have charted the first global atlas of direct interactions between SARS-CoV-2 RNA and human host cells. This may provide a starting point for novel treatments.

Removal of a gene could render lethal poxviruses harmless

The removal of one gene renders poxviruses—a lethal family of viral infections that are known to spread from animals to humans—harmless, a new study in the journal Science Advances reports.

How a protein stops cells from attacking their own DNA

Viruses multiply by injecting their DNA into a host cell. Once it enters the intracellular fluid, this foreign material triggers a defense mechanism known as the cGAS-STING pathway. The protein cyclic GMP-AMP Synthase (cGAS), ...

The most common organism in the oceans harbors a virus in its DNA

The most common organism in the oceans, and possibly on the entire planet, is a family of single-celled marine bacteria called SAR11. These drifting organisms look like tiny jelly beans and have evolved to outcompete other ...

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