Recently in the Genomics and Cell Biology Category


Bringing Extinct Plants to Life

Jeff Benca is an admitted ueber-geek when it comes to prehistoric plants, so it was no surprise that, when he submitted a paper describing a new species of long-extinct lycopod for publication, he ditched the standard line drawing and insisted on a detailed and beautifully rendered color reconstruction of the plant. This piece earned the cover of March's centennial issue of the American Journal of Botany.

A study published this week in PLOS ONE authored by Dr. Henry Sun and his postdoctoral student Dr. Gaosen Zhang of Nevada based research institute DRI provides new evidence that Earth bacteria can do something that is quite unusual.

Astrobiologists have provided new information about how comets and asteroids could have delivered prebiotic chemical compounds to the early Earth.

Organisms have increased in complexity through a series of major evolutionary transitions, in which formerly autonomous entities become parts of a novel higher-level entity.

If you have been watching the new series "Cosmos" recently then you have see Tardigrades or "water bears" featured. These creatures are remarkably resistant to a wide range of conditions that humans would consider extreme - if not deadly.

When we send probes to other worlds (such as Mars) to look for evidence of past life, we are sending them to look for fossils.

Sea anemone shows a genomic landscape surprisingly similar to human genome, but also displays regulatory mechanisms similar to plants.

Capitalizing on the ability of an organism to evolve in response to punishment from a hostile environment, scientists have coaxed the model bacterium Escherichia coli to dramatically resist ionizing radiation and, in the process, reveal the genetic mechanisms that make the feat possible.

Making Unnatural Amino Acids

Chemists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have devised a greatly improved technique for making amino acids not found in nature.

Simply making nanoparticles spin coaxes them to arrange themselves into what University of Michigan researchers call 'living rotating crystals' that could serve as a nanopump. They may also, incidentally, shed light on the origin of life itself.