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Molecular Evolution

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archaea microbe DNA

WOUND UP  Archaea microbes wrap their DNA (represented in yellow) around proteins called histones (purple) akin to the way plants and animals do. 

chimpanzee and human

THE DIFFERENCE  Humans and chimpanzees are easy to tell apart, even though they share a primate ancestor. Jumping genes helped sculpt their distinctions.

phages

WEAPONS OF MASS EVOLUTION  Bacteria and archaea armed with CRISPR systems have been at war with viruses for eons. Here, hordes of viruses known as phages assault a bacterium to turn it into a virus-making factory.

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