DNA tracking tool tips the scales for distinguishing invasive fish

ITHACA, N.Y. – Rather than conduct an aquatic roll call with nets to know which fish reside in a particular body of water, scientists can now use DNA fragments suspended in water to catalog invasive or native species. “We’ve sharpened the environmental DNA (eDNA) tool, so that if a river or a lake has threatened, […]

Bringing bacteria’s defense into focus

ITHACA, N.Y. – By taking a series of near-atomic resolution snapshots, Cornell University and Harvard Medical School scientists have observed step-by-step how bacteria defend against foreign invaders such as bacteriophage, a virus that infects bacteria. The process they observed uses CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) sites, where the cell’s DNA can be snipped […]

Mutant enzyme study aids in understanding of sirtuin’s functions

ITHACA, N.Y. – The enzyme sirtuin 6, or SIRT6, serves many key biological functions in regulating genome stability, DNA repair, metabolism and longevity, but how its multiple enzyme activities relate to its various functions is poorly understood. A team of Cornell University researchers, led by Hening Lin, professor of chemistry and chemical biology, has devised […]

Extra DNA creates cucumber with all female flowers

ITHACA, N.Y. – Ask a plant researcher how the sex of a cucumber plant is determined and the person will tell you, “It’s complicated.” Depending on a complex mix of genetic and environmental factors, cucumbers can be seven different sexes. Some high-yield cucumber varieties produce only female flowers, and a new study identifies the gene […]