Plants may have a single ancestor

(PhysOrg.com) -- An international group of scientists has analyzed the DNA of primitive microscopic algae, and their findings suggest that all plants on Earth may have had a single ancestor.

Last universal common ancestor more complex than previously thought

Scientists call it LUCA, the Last Universal Common Ancestor, but they don't know much about this great-grandparent of all living things. Many believe LUCA was little more than a crude assemblage of molecular parts, a chemical ...

First plastic cell with working organelle

For the first time, chemists have successfully produced an artificial cell containing organelles capable of carrying out the various steps of a chemical reaction. This was done at the Institute for Molecules and Materials ...

How cells know when it's time to eat themselves

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a molecular mechanism regulating autophagy, a fundamental stress response used by cells to help ensure their survival in adverse conditions.

Even bacteria use social networks

The next time your Facebook stream is filled with cat videos, think about Myxococcus xanthus. The single-cell soil bacterium also uses a social network. But forget silly distractions. M. xanthus relies on its connections ...

Oversized fat droplets: Too much of a good thing

As the national waistline expands, so do pools of intra-cellular fat known as lipid droplets. Although most of us wish our lipid droplets would vanish, they represent a cellular paradox: on the one hand droplets play beneficial ...

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