Recently in the Genomics and Cell Biology Category


The self-organization properties of DNA-like molecular fragments four billion years ago may have guided their own growth into repeating chemical chains long enough to act as a basis for primitive life, says a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Milan.

Ideas about directing evolution of life forms on Earth and finding life on other planets are rapidly morphing from science-fiction fantasy into mainstream science, says David Lynn, a chemist at Emory University.

Sounding rockets represent an excellent platform for testing the influence of space conditions during the passage of Earth's atmosphere and re-entry on biological, physical and chemical experiments for astrobiological purposes.

How did life originate? And can scientists create life? These questions not only occupy the minds of scientists interested in the origin of life, but also researchers working with technology of the future.

Two Northeastern University researchers and their international colleagues have created an advanced model aimed at exploring the role of neutral evolution in the biogeographic distribution of ocean microbes.

Parts of the primordial soup in which life arose have been maintained in our cells today according to scientists at the University of East Anglia.

In a study published in PLOS ONE, researchers led by Deborah Kimbrell, Ph.D., at UC Davis and their collaborators, studied how microorganisms may alter fruit flies' immunity in space and in hypergravity, or increased gravity. The article is titled "Toll Mediated Infection Response Is Altered by Gravity and Spaceflight in Drosophila."

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have engineered a bacterium whose genetic material includes an added pair of DNA "letters," or bases, not found in nature. The cells of this unique bacterium can replicate the unnatural DNA bases more or less normally, for as long as the molecular building blocks are supplied.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have published details about how the first organisms on Earth could have become metabolically active.

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.