Recently in the Genomics and Cell Biology Category


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.

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.