Recently in the Genomics and Cell Biology Category


Prior to the origin of simple cellular life, the building blocks of RNA (nucleotides) had to form and polymerize in favourable environments on the early Earth.

Researchers at the University of York have shown that molecules brought to earth in meteorite strikes could potentially be converted into the building blocks of DNA.

Scientists have yet to understand and explain how life's informational molecules - proteins and DNA and RNA - arose from simpler chemicals when life on earth emerged some four billion years ago.

The tree of life, which depicts how life has evolved and diversified on the planet, is getting a lot more complicated.

Photosynthesis, creating oxygen and carbohydrates such as glucose from solar energy, water, and CO2, is indispensable for many species on this planet. However, it is unclear exactly how or when organisms evolved the ability to photosynthesize. These questions have fascinated scientists for a long time.

A new study is the first to show that living organisms can be persuaded to make silicon-carbon bonds--something only chemists had done before. Scientists at Caltech "bred" a bacterial protein to have the ability to make the man-made bonds, a finding that has applications in several industries.

One of the most detailed genomic studies of any ecosystem to date has revealed an underground world of stunning microbial diversity, and added dozens of new branches to the tree of life.

Often described as the blueprint of life, DNA contains the instructions for making every living thing from a human to a house fly. But in recent decades, some researchers have been putting the letters of the genetic code to a different use: making tiny nanoscale computers.

Non-Standard Bonding in Base Pairs

A new study provides insight into base pair bonding in artificial DNA polymerase. Researchers focused on a previously unknown base pair: iso-guanine and methyl-pyrimidinone.

Earth's Viral Diversity

The number of microbes in, on, and around the planet - on the order of a nonillion, or 10^30 - is estimated to outnumber the stars in the Milky Way.