Science No Chaser

How Scientists Discovered 85,000 Viral Species in Leftover Data

[Phage viruses attempt to infect a cell. Image via Wikimedia Commons.] In 2015, the largest database of genetic information in the world– the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)–had complete genomes for 45,000 species of bacteria–but only 2,200 genomes from viruses. Viruses outnumber bacteria in every habitat researchers have sampled. In fact, they outnumber stars in …

Why You Can Blame Your Metabolism on Liver Proteomics Instead of Your Genes

Blaming things on genetics–everything from lateness to diet quirks–is wildly popular these days. However, DNA’s role in your body’s overall destiny has been greatly exaggerated. Sure, DNA is the “master blueprint”, but any one gene from that blueprint can contain instructions for making hundreds or thousands of tiny cell parts. And even so, there are plenty …

5 Amazing Feats Performed by “Meta-Genes”

[Image via the NIH Image Gallery. Photo by Alex Ritter, Jennifer Lippincott Schwartz, and Gillian Griffiths. Full video, complete with narration here.]  Under the Radar: A series of listicles about biology concepts you definitely won’t find in newspaper headlines. #1: Be a Navigation App for Immune Cells Natural killer cells, or “NK cells” are the …

Splice of Life: 3 Examples of How Nature Edits Its Own Genes

About the “Under the Radar” series: Some scientific concepts come up again and again in interviews with scientists but never find their way into newspaper headlines. Each post in this series follows one of those biology “bogeys” that fly under journalism’s radar through 3 different mini-stories. Story #1: Scientists splice up a CRISPR chicken…and find …