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Rather than getting a gene for its original function, a horizontal gene transfer provides the raw material for evolutionary innovation.

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Authors of a new study suggest that 520-million-year-old structures, previously identified as the brains of ancient arthropods, are instead preserved microbial biofilms.

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image: Some Antibiotics Rev Up Host Immune Response to Viruses

Some Antibiotics Rev Up Host Immune Response to Viruses

By Shawna Williams | April 9, 2018

The antimicrobial drug neomycin protects mice from some viral infections, complicating the picture of the relationship between antibiotics and susceptibility to viruses.

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image: Frogs Fight Back From Fungal Attack

Frogs Fight Back From Fungal Attack

By Ruth Williams | March 29, 2018

A decade after chytridiomycosis killed scores of amphibians in Panama, some species are recovering. New research indicates why.  

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The drugs’ disruption of the microbiome makes a subsequent flavivirus infection more severe.

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image: Bees’ Molecular Responses to Neonicotinoids Determined

Bees’ Molecular Responses to Neonicotinoids Determined

By Catherine Offord | March 22, 2018

Researchers pinpoint a protein that can metabolize at least one of the insecticides, highlighting a route to identifying compounds that are friendlier to the critical pollinators.

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image: Monitoring Mutations with Microfluidics

Monitoring Mutations with Microfluidics

By Ruth Williams | March 15, 2018

A device dubbed the “mother machine” enables real-time observation of mutagenesis in single bacterial cells.  

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Including microbiome composition in predictions of whether a person is obese can significantly improve their accuracy, according to an analysis.

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The elimination of the biting pests was an added bonus after researchers unleashed a rat-eradication endeavor on the tiny islands.  

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image: Bacteriophages Plentiful in Women’s Bladders

Bacteriophages Plentiful in Women’s Bladders

By Abby Olena | February 2, 2018

In one of the first looks at the urinary virome, researchers find hundreds of viruses, most of which have never been sequenced before. 

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