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Genomics and Cell Biology: February 2019


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.