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Trees, vines and nets: microbial evolution changes its face

EBI researchers have changed our view of 4 billion years of microbial evolution. Christos Ouzounis and colleagues have gained intriguing quantitative insights into how gene families are transferred, not only ‘vertically’ through passage from one organism to its progeny, but also…

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A link between our body’s energy levels and a protein that wraps our DNA?

Living organisms need to sense the amount of energy that is available to them and regulate the activity of their genes accordingly. Scientists have made the unexpected finding that a histone protein, which wraps DNA into tight bundles and regulates gene activity, can bind a small molecule produced…

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Science

Whale bones and farm soil: Sequencing biodiversity

Instead of sequencing the genome of one organism, why not sequence a drop of sea water, a gram of farm soil or even a sunken whale skeleton? Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg and their US collaborators have done just that, and the result is a new…

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Science

A new way to share models of biological systems

Today sees the launch of BioModels, the world’s first database of annotated biological models. BioModels is the result of a collaboration led by the European Bioinformatics Institute (UK) and the SBML Team, an international group that develops opensource standards to describe biological…

By Guest author(s)

Science

Biology in four dimensions

Most things that happen in the cell are the work of ‘molecular machines’ – complexes of proteins that carry out important cellular functions. Until now, scientists didn’t have a clear idea of when proteins form these machines – are these complexes pre-fabricated or put…

By Guest author(s)

Science

How do cells travel through our bodies?

One of the most basic yet least understood processes in our bodies is how cells crawl along tissues. This behavior is essential to the formation of an embryo and other processes, but it must be tightly controlled. A disturbance can lead to the spread of cancer cells or diseases like Spina…

By Guest author(s)

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