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Articles on Molecular biology

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When they suck your blood they can leave behind the parasite that causes sleeping sickness. Patrick Robert/Sygma via Getty Images

Bloodthirsty tsetse flies nurse their young, one live birth at a time – understanding this unusual strategy could help fight the disease they spread

This insect's unique reproductive biology could lead to new ways to control the species in the environment – and prevent the deadly sleeping sickness it spreads to people.
Researchers Jason McLellan (left) and Daniel Wrapp study the structure of the 2019-nCoV coronavirus. Vivian Abagiu/Univ. of Texas at Austin

Revealed: the protein ‘spike’ that lets the 2019-nCoV coronavirus pierce and invade human cells

US researchers have revealed the molecular 'key' that allows the 2019-nCoV virus to gain access to our cells. And they found it is many times more tenacious than the previous SARS virus.
Revolutionary technologies like CRISPR are founded on discoveries uncovered through basic research that attracts very little attention. United Soybean Board/flickr

New study confirms what scientists already know: basic research is under-valued

On average, important new lab techniques like CRISPR take 23 years to develop – but there is a public expectation that scientific breakthroughs occur quickly and efficiently.
A coral reef in Chagos, British Indian Ocean Territory, experiencing catastrophic bleaching in 2015. Anderson B. Mayfield

Are reef corals stressed or just pessimistic?

A coral biologist sampled corals from the most remote reaches of the Indo-Pacific and discovered that all of them show signs of stress.
Watching bacteria and viruses duke it out, evolving to outwit each other. UC San Diego

Discovery of a surprise multitasking gene helps explain how new functions and features evolve

A core idea in molecular biology is that one gene codes for one protein. Now biologists have found an example of a gene that yields two forms of a protein – enabling it to evolve new functionality.
Laboratory mice are among the first animals to have their diseases treated by CRISPR. tiburi via Pixabay.com

CRISPR controversy raises questions about gene-editing technique

A new research paper reports dangerous side effects in CRISPR-edited mice. Some scientists are pushing back, placing blame for the unwanted mutations on the experiment, not the technique.
Tick tock, tick tock… You can’t hide from the molecular clock. www.shutterstock.com

Explainer: what is the molecular clock?

The molecular clock is helping us deepen our knowledge of evolution and completing the tree of life. But how does it actually work?

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