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Fig trees (Ficus carica) produce furanocoumarins, a class of small organic molecules with various medicinal and agricultural applications. Villard et al. studied the enzyme catalysing the first synthetic step in the production of these molecules. They revealed how this enzyme emerged recently and independently within the Ficus lineage in a mechanism called convergent evolution.
Blocking protein folding to fight antibiotic resistanceMay 13, 2022 | 4 min read by R. Christopher D. Furniss , Nikol Kaderabkova , Despoina A.I. Mavridou
Magic Squares: A children’s puzzle meets quantum physicsMay 9, 2022 | 3.5 min read by Gemma de las Cuevas , Tom Drescher , Tim Netzer
Tiny molecular probes reveal invisible forces inside cellsJan 10, 2022 in Maths, Physics & Chemistry | 4 min read by Margot Riggi
The seed’s hidden defense arsenal: using bacteria to defend against diseaseFeb 10, 2022 in Plant Biology | 3 min read by Haruna Matsumoto , Tomislav Cernava , Mengcen Wang
Brain activity of conservatives and liberals diverge while watching the newsJan 5, 2022 in Psychology | 4 min read by Yuan Chang Leong
Fighting back antibiotic resistance: a new hope from the soil
Antibiotic resistance represents a critical threat for our health and disease treatment. New discoveries are crucial to develop further medicaments against future superbugs.Feb 24, 2016 | 4 min read
High performance silks deployed by web building wolf spiders
Wolf spiders that build webs produce silks that perform differently than those that do not build webs, supporting hypotheses that web building and silk performance co-evolved in spiders.Nov 12, 2018 | 4 min read
What were the ice age ‘stilt-legged’ horses of North America?
Were these extinct animals related to horses, donkeys, or zebras, or were they something else entirely? Using ancient DNA, we have finally solved this mystery.Nov 2, 2018 | 3.5 min read
How do plants breathe?
Breathing air in and out is something that we, as humans, perform in every moment of our lives. Plants do likewise thanks to tiny mouths called stomata.Nov 22, 2017 | 4 min read
Tiny barcodes for a global food chain
Determining the origin of the foods we eat is harder than ever in our globalized world, yet in the case of food borne illness this answer could save lives and money. By harnessing microbial spores, we developed a technique using microscopic DNA barcodes to determine the origin of objects in a way that is safe, scalable, and durable to be used in real-world settings.Jun 7, 2021 | 4 min read