Recently in the Genomics and Cell Biology Category


Caltech scientists have discovered a new species of worm thriving in the extreme environment of Mono Lake. This new species, temporarily dubbed Auanema sp., has three different sexes, can survive 500 times the lethal human dose of arsenic, and carries its young inside its body like a kangaroo.

The widespread presence of ribonucleic acid (RNA) catalysts and cofactors in Earth's biosphere today suggests that RNA was the first biopolymer to support Darwinian evolution.

Imagine standing in a lumberyard and being asked to build a house -- without blueprints or instructions of any kind.

Synthetic biologists seek to create new life with forms and functions not seen in nature.

A Prebiotic Route to DNA

DNA, the hereditary material, may have appeared on Earth earlier than has been assumed hitherto. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich chemists led by Oliver Trapp show that a simple reaction pathway could have given rise to DNA subunits on the early Earth.

Life In Evolution's Fast Lane

Most living things have a suite of genes dedicated to repairing their DNA, limiting the rate at which their genomes change through time.

Scientists in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Biochemistry are watching evolution happen in real time.

In a research breakthrough funded by NASA, scientists have synthesized a molecular system that, like DNA, can store and transmit information. This unprecedented feat suggests there could be an alternative to DNA-based life, as we know it on Earth -- a genetic system for life that may be possible on other worlds.

Bacteria have evolved all manner of adaptations to live in every habitat on Earth. But unlike plants and animals, which can be preserved as fossils, bacteria have left behind little physical evidence of their evolution, making it difficult for scientists to determine exactly when different groups of bacteria evolved.

Trying to explain how DNA and RNA evolved to form such neat spirals has been a notorious enigma in science. But a new study suggests the rotation may have occurred with ease billions of years ago when RNA's chemical ancestors casually spun into spiraled strands.