In dough, these yeast cells help bread rise. In the lab, scientists have found a way to make a new chromosome for the organism. It's a first step toward creating an entirely synthetic organism.
Even marine mammals, such as this sea otter, can pick up human diseases like the flu.
The tuatara is the only surviving member of its order of reptiles. Global warming threatens the long-term survival of this New Zealand native. Shown here is a male tuatara with its crest erect — a typical display of aggression.
Synthetic biologists are scientists who create custom organisms in the lab. Their efforts have just taken a big step forward. They have created the first lab-made yeast chromosome. The advance could lead to entirely synthetic organisms customized to produce food, fuel or medicine.
A newly harvested plant, fruit or vegetable does not turn off — like a switch — and die, scientists report. Instead, an internal “clock” inside the fresh-picked plant continues to tick away. It responds to light and darkness, just as when it had been rooted in the soil.
Scientists have just pieced together evidence of a weird new dinosaur that sported sharp claws, feathers and a beak. And it just may have been one of the last dinos to roam Earth about 67 million years ago.