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Weird Science

Oldest nanomachines in biology is the bacterial flagellum

One of the oldest nanomachines in biology is the bacterial flagellum. This apparatus is evolutionary essential, endowing onto bacteria the ability to move. The flagellum shares high similarity with another bacterial structure, the injectisome, which as the name implies is how some bacteria deliver their content to infect a host. …

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Genetically modified genes that can be safely controlled

So, you’ve genetically engineered a malaria-resistant mosquito, now what? How many mosquitos would you need to replace the disease-carrying wild type? What is the most effective distribution pattern? How could you stop a premature release of the engineered mosquitos? Releasing genetically engineered organisms into an environment without knowing the answers to …

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Plant Architectures that Reflect Universal Network Design Principles

It might seem like a tomato plant and a subway system don’t have much in common, but both, it turns out, are networks that strive to make similar tradeoffs between cost and performance. High-resolution laser scanning reveals plant architectures that reflect universal network design principles. Using 3D laser scans of growing plants, …

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