Recently in the Genomics and Cell Biology Category

Although several studies have explored microbial communities in different terrestrial subsurface ecosystems, little is known about the diversity of their metabolic processes and survival strategies.

In almost every human cell, two metres-long DNA has to fit within a nucleus that is just 8 millionths of a metre wide. Like wool around a spool, the extreme space challenge requires DNA to wrap around structural proteins called histones. This coiled genetic architecture, known as chromatin, protects DNA from damage and has a key role in gene regulation.

The molecules of life, DNA, replicate with astounding precision, yet this process is not immune to mistakes and can lead to mutations. Using sophisticated computer modelling, a team of physicists and chemists at the University of Surrey have shown that such errors in copying can arise due to the strange rules of the quantum world.

Ocean water samples collected around the world have yielded a treasure trove of new data about RNA viruses, expanding ecological research possibilities and reshaping our understanding of how these small but significant submicroscopic particles evolved.

The search for alien life has been restricted to using life on Earth as the reference, essentially looking for "life as we know it" beyond Earth. For astrobiologists looking for life on other planets, there are simply no tools for predicting the features of "life as we don't know it."

DNA In Archaeological Sediments

The analysis of ancient DNA preserved in sediments is an emerging technology allowing for the detection of the past presence of humans and other animals at archaeological sites.

The genetic code of all three kingdoms of life is universal and encodes the same 20 natural amino acids for a variety of complex physiological functions.

Tomonari Sumi, Associate Professor of Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Science, Okayama University, and Koji Harada, Associate Professor of Center for IT-Based Education, Toyohashi University of Technology, have developed a kinetic hypothesis governing the evolution of the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) based on the simulation of the carbon metabolism of ancient evolutionary microorganisms, which are similar to the LUCA.

The GL4HS program is a 4-week intensive summer program hosted by NASA Ames Research Center and funded by NASA's Space Biology program.

Samples of Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032, an endospore-forming bacterial strain, were externally mounted on ISS in the EXPOSE facility and with full UV exposure.