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Genetics News
Fri, 24 Jun 2016 15:46:58 EDT
Hairs, feathers and scales have a lot in common
The potential evolutionary link between hairs in mammals, feathers in birds and scales in reptiles has been debated for decades. Today, researchers demonstrate that all these skin appendages are homologous. On the basis of analyses of embryonic development, the biologists evidenced molecular and micro-anatomical signatures that are identical between hairs, feathers and scales at their early developmental stages. These observations indicate that the three structures evolved from their common reptilian ancestor.
Fri, 24 Jun 2016 14:07:14 EDT
Green fluorescent protein a potential scaffold for protein assembly
A protein-scaffolding tool has been developed that paves the way for the assembly of diverse proteins with defined structures and functions.
Fri, 24 Jun 2016 11:03:14 EDT
DNA testing challenges traditional species classification
Experts have made a surprising discovery that could subvert the significance of traditional criteria used for species classification. Employing novel techniques to retrieve DNA sequences from thousands of genomic locations, the researchers were able to uncover an unusual case of cryptic speciation in the Streak-eared Bulbul [Pycnonotus blanfordi], a bird widespread throughout South-east Asian countries.
Fri, 24 Jun 2016 10:02:41 EDT
'Amazing protein diversity' is discovered in the maize plant
New research establishes the amazing diversity of maize -- specifically the variety of proteins that the plant's genes can generate. The finding has great import for agriculture, as maize is one of the world's top-three staple foods, along with rice and wheat accounting for two-thirds of world food consumption.
Fri, 24 Jun 2016 10:02:25 EDT
Where do rubber trees get their rubber?
Researchers have succeeded in decoding the genome sequence for Hevea brasiliensis, the natural rubber tree native to Brazil. The study reports a draft genome sequence that covers more than 93 percent of expressed genes, and pinpoints regions specific to the biosynthesis of rubber.
Thu, 23 Jun 2016 16:59:32 EDT
Proteins put up with the roar of the crowd
Proteins that activate DNA binding sites appear to have no problems with crowded conditions, according to scientists.
Thu, 23 Jun 2016 15:01:09 EDT
Fix for 3-billion-year-old genetic error could dramatically improve genetic sequencing
Researchers found a fix for a 3-billion-year-old glitch in one of the major carriers of information needed for life, RNA, which until now produced errors when making copies of genetic information. The discovery will increase precision in genetic research and could dramatically improve medicine based on a person's genetic makeup.
Thu, 23 Jun 2016 14:59:32 EDT
Why fathers don't pass on mitochondria to offspring
Offering insights into a long-standing and mysterious bias in biology, a new study reveals how and why mitochondria are only passed on through a mother's egg -- and not the father's sperm.
Thu, 23 Jun 2016 14:59:22 EDT
Arms race at the plant root: How soil bacteria fight to escape sticky root traps
Soil is full of microbes. Specialized border cells at the outer surface of plant roots fight off these microbes as the roots penetrate the soil in search of water and nutrients. A new study reveals how plant pathogens fight back against entrapment by sticky root border cell secretions.
Thu, 23 Jun 2016 12:29:53 EDT
Eating air, making fuel
Is it possible to "reprogram" an organism that is found higher in the food chain, which consumes sugar and releases carbon dioxide, so that it will consume carbon dioxide from the environment and produce the sugars it needs to build its body mass? Scientists now report that they have engineered bacteria to create sugar from the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.
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