CRISPR diversifies: Cut, paste, on, off, and now—evolve

Life is astoundingly diverse. By taking antibiotics to stop infections or using yeast to brew beer, we are co-opting useful products and processes that evolved naturally. But what happens when the trait we want can't be found ...

Marking breast implants with tomato DNA to prevent counterfeiting

For years, a French company sold breast implants made of cheap industrial silicone components. Headline news when it broke in 2010, this scandal is still keeping the courts busy today. Now, a research team at the Fraunhofer ...

How germs thrive on school desks

Looking at the microbial communities that grow on students' desks, a team of Yale researchers found that the bacteria and fungi overwhelmingly came from the children sitting at the desks. They also found that, even after ...

Enzyme adopts dynamic structure to function in hot, salty sea

For the microbes that dwell in the hot, salty depths of the Red Sea, life is a delicate evolutionary balancing act. Just for these critters to replicate their DNA requires an enzyme that's adapted to both high temperatures ...

Genetic transcription 'pause' is focus of NASA grant

DNA is a blueprint for cells to make proteins that allow those cells to function properly. To create the proteins, enzymes copy genetic codes from DNA strands and then transfer the instructions onto RNA in a process called ...

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