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15 Jul 2017 What'sNEW about HGT |
Several studies have suggested that TE [transposable element] insertions have contributed to the rewiring and evolution of regulatory networks by recruiting multiple genes into the same regulatory circuit. That would well exemplify the robust software management that cosmic ancestry requires. And if the TEs are imported, as by viruses, this would mean that the transfer of genetic material (HGT) is even more imortant for evolution than we knew. Now a comprehensive new study from Japan lists, categorizes and probes many examples of regulatory elements derived from HERVs:
Systematic identification and characterization of regulatory elements derived from human endogenous retroviruses by Ito J, Sugimoto R, Nakaoka H, Yamada S, Kimura T, Hayano T, et al.,, PLoS Genet, uncorrected proof online 12 Jul 2017.
> Viruses and Other Gene Transfer Mechanisms has much more about HGT.

CRISPR-Cas in bacterium
06 Jul 2017
How bacteria remember and defend against harmful viruses has been observed at almost atomic resolution. The system has redundant, precise safety mechanisms. Seen in detail, it is another feature of life that seems to have come from nowhere.

The [bacterial] immunity system works just as efficiently as ours, except our system functions at the protein recognition level, whereas CRISPR works at the nucleic acid recognition level — Ailong Ke, professor of molecular biology and genetics, Cornell University

Bringing bacteria's defense into focus by Bill Steele, Cornell Chronicle (+Newswise), 30 Jun 2017.

Space dust collector.jpg
04 Jul 2017
Did Life on Earth Come From Outer Space? by Daniel Oberhaus, Motherboard, 01 Jul 2017.
The image shows an aerogel array for collecting dust on NASA's Stardust mission.
Thanks Thanks, Chandra Wickramasinghe and Martin Langford.
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