The tips of a plant design its whole shape

Plants grow throughout their entire life. This is due to a small structure at the tip of the plant's shoots known as the meristem. This is the control center for the maintenance of stem cells—which can be converted into ...

1940s blood samples reveal historical spread of malaria

DNA from 75-year old eradicated European malaria parasites uncovers the historical spread of one of the two most common forms of the disease, Plasmodium vivax, from Europe to the Americas during the colonial period, finds ...

Re-cracking the genetic code

Crack open a biology textbook and you will find the table summarizing the standard genetic code. This refers to the set of rules by which the cell "decodes" the information contained in DNA and "translates" it into the amino ...

Understanding the genomic signature of coevolution

An international team of researchers including limnologists from the University of Konstanz shows that rapid genomic changes during antagonistic species interactions are shaped by the reciprocal effects of ecology and evolution.

Study finds rising ozone a hidden threat to corn

Like atmospheric methane and carbon dioxide, ground-level ozone is on the rise. But ozone, a noxious chemical byproduct of fossil fuel combustion, has received relatively little attention as a potential threat to corn agriculture.

Specific immune response of beetles adapts to bacteria

The immune system fends off pathogens in a wide variety of ways. For example, the immune system's memory is able to distinguish a foreign protein it has encountered before and to react with a corresponding antibody. Researchers ...

Why fruit flies eat practically anything

Say hello to the common fruit fly: a regular guest in most homes, feasting on that banana peel you tossed into the garbage a few days ago.

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Molecular genetics

Molecular genetics is the field of biology that studies the structure and function of genes at a molecular level. The field studies how the genes are transferred from generation to generation. Molecular genetics employs the methods of genetics and molecular biology. It is so-called to differentiate it from other sub fields of genetics such as ecological genetics and population genetics. An important area within molecular genetics is the use of molecular information to determine the patterns of descent, and therefore the correct scientific classification of organisms: this is called molecular systematics.

Along with determining the pattern of descendants, molecular genetics helps in understanding genetic mutations that can cause certain types of diseases. Through utilizing the methods of genetics and molecular biology, molecular genetics discovers the reasons why traits are carried on and how and why some may mutate.

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