Recently in the Genomics and Cell Biology Category


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.

A new Northwestern University study has found that -- despite its seemingly harsh conditions -- the ISS is not causing bacteria to mutate into dangerous, antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

Life Has A New Ingredient

Our prehistoric Earth, bombarded with asteroids and lightening, rife with bubbling geothermal pools, may not seem hospitable today. But somewhere in the chemical chaos of our early planet, life did form.