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The Hidden Genetic Code

by Amir Bitran figures by Daniel Utter Proteins, the molecules that sustain all life, are similar to cars and other machines in an important way: they require a specific, well-defined structure to function. Obviously, a random pile of car parts cannot be driven. And similarly, a protein that is not assembled correctly cannot perform crucial tasks like producing energy, supporting cell structure, and generating electric signals. In … Continue reading The Hidden Genetic Code

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Epigenetics in Plant Breeding: Hard Science, Soft Tool

by Pierre Baduel figures by Kaitlyn Choi Summary: The legality of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) remains a controversial issue around the world, especially in Europe. Recent discoveries in the field of epigenetics, or heritable information not encoded in the DNA, have revealed promising alternatives to genetic engineering. As reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) this year, a team of British researchers … Continue reading Epigenetics in Plant Breeding: Hard Science, Soft Tool