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 ...

Engineered bacteria mop up mercury spills

Thousands of tonnes of toxic mercury are released into the environment every year. Much of this collects in sediment where it is converted into toxic methyl mercury, and enters the food chain ending up in the fish we eat. ...


Triphosphates are salts or esters of polymeric oxyanions formed from tetrahedral PO4 (phosphate) structural units linked together by sharing oxygen atoms. When two corners are shared the polyphosphate may have a linear chain structure or a cyclic ring structure. In biology the polyphosphate esters AMP, ADP and ATP are involved in energy transfer. A variety of polyphosphates find application in mineral sequestration in municipal waters, generally being present at 1 to 5 pm. GTP, CTP, and UTP are also nucleotides important in the protein synthesis, lipid synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism, respectively.

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