A gene-switching mechanism dating back 400 million years to the very first plants that made it onto land has been found by plant biologists at UC Davis. A family of genes required for stem and leaf development in flowering plants is controlled in the same way in everything from mosses to a Douglas fir, according to postdoctoral researcher Sandra Floyd and John Bowman, professor of plant biology at UC Davis.
The mechanism depends on microRNAs, short pieces of RNA that switch genes off by interfering with messenger RNAs that are produced when genes are read.
Floyd and Bowman looked at a family of genes found in all major groups of land plants called class III HD-Zip genes. They found that these genes are controlled by microRNAs and that the microRNA binding region is almost identical in moss, liverworts, club moss, ferns, Douglas fir, Mexican yew and Arabidopsis, a flowering plant often used in laboratory research.
Andy Fell | University of California - Davis
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In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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