Cell biology Intelligent Design

Histones have been strongly conserved in archaea

Researchers: Importantly, we show that some archaeal histone variants are ancient and have been maintained as distinct units for hundreds of millions of years. Our work suggests that complex combinatorial chromatin that uses histones as its building blocks exists outside eukaryotes and that the ancestor of eukaryotes might have already had complex chromatin.

Cell biology Embryology Intelligent Design Irreducible Complexity

Not-yet-specialized cells seem to know where to go

Researchers: Tohoku University scientists have, for the first time, provided experimental evidence that cell stickiness helps them stay sorted within correct compartments during development. How tightly cells clump together, known as cell adhesion, appears to be enabled by a protein better known for its role in the immune system.

Cell biology

Muscle fibers resemble entire tissues with many nuclei

Researcher: “Due to the heterogeneity of its nuclei, a single muscle cell can act almost like a tissue, which consists of a variety of very different cell types,” explains Dr. Minchul Kim, a postdoctoral researcher in Birchmeier’s team and one of the two lead authors of the study. “This enables the cell to fulfill its numerous tasks, like communicating with neurons or producing certain muscle proteins.”

Cell biology Intelligent Design

Cells activate individual quality control responses

Researcher: “Integrated stress response is like a city going through full lockdown,” Yan said. “If you only have 10 cases, you don’t want to come out and tell the city, ‘Let’s just hunker down and not do anything,’ or shut down all the productivity. You want the city to have a system to evaluate the severity of the stress — and to deal with it according to its severity.

Cell biology Genomics Intelligent Design

Bacterium alters its genome to adapt to new conditions

Researchers: Achromatium is special in many respects: It is 30,000 times larger than its “normal” counterparts that live in water and owing to its calcite deposits it is visible to the naked eye. It has several hundred chromosomes, which are most likely not identical. This makes Achromatium the only known bacterium with several different genomes.