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image: Gene Jumped to All Three Domains of Life

Gene Jumped to All Three Domains of Life

By | December 1, 2014

By horizontal gene transfer, an antibacterial gene family has dispersed to a plant, an insect, several fungi, and an archaeon.

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image: All Systems Go

All Systems Go

By | December 1, 2014

Alan Aderem earned his PhD while under house arrest for protesting apartheid in South Africa. His early political involvement has guided his scientific focus, encouraging fellow systems biologists to study immunology and infectious diseases.


image: Bespoke Cell Jackets

Bespoke Cell Jackets

By | December 1, 2014

Scientists make hydrogel coats for individual cells that can be tailored to specific research questions.


image: Microflora for Hire

Microflora for Hire

By | December 1, 2014

The guts of cows and termites harbor microbes that are renowned complex-carbohydrate digesters, but the human gastrointestinal tract has flora that just might measure up.


image: Polymerase Pieces

Polymerase Pieces

By | December 1, 2014

Researchers discover a new subunit of a bacterial RNA polymerase—as well as hints of its potential role in defending against viruses.


image: Virus Protects Mouse Gut

Virus Protects Mouse Gut

By | November 19, 2014

A murine norovirus appears to recover some of the functions of commensal bacteria in the guts of germ-free or antibiotic-treated mice.

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image: Virus May Explain “Melting” Sea Stars

Virus May Explain “Melting” Sea Stars

By | November 19, 2014

Researchers discover a densovirus that is associated with sea star wasting disease.


image: Sealed With a Kiss

Sealed With a Kiss

By | November 17, 2014

A single intimate smooch can transfer upwards of 80 million bacteria.


image: Week in Review: November 10–14

Week in Review: November 10–14

By | November 14, 2014

Funding for African science; microbiome studies may have contamination worries; mind-controlled gene expression; DNA record keeper


image: DNA Extraction Kits Contaminated

DNA Extraction Kits Contaminated

By | November 11, 2014

Sequencing study reveals low levels of microbes in lab reagents that can create big problems for some microbiome studies.

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