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Table of Contents
- A New Molecule of Life? - Peptide nucleic acid, a synthetic hybrid of protein and DNA, could form the basis of a new class of drugs--and of artificial life unlike anything found in nature.
- The Power of Riboswitches - Discovering relics from a lost world run by RNA molecules may lead to modern tools for fighting diseases.
- The New Genetics of Mental Illness - Life's experiences add molecular switches to the genes that control our brain activity, affecting how susceptible we are to depression, anxiety and drug addiction.
- The Search for Intelligence - IQ is easy to measure and reflects something real. But scientists hunting among our genes for the factors that shape intellignence are discovering they are more elusive than expected.
- Your Cells are My Cells - Many, perhaps all, people harbor a small number of cells from genetically different individuals--from their mothers and, for women who have been pregnant, from their children. What in the world do these foreigners do in the body?
- How Cells Clean House - Worn-out proteins, malfunctioning organelles, invading microorganisms: all are swept up by tiny internal "vacuum cleaners" that keep a living cell healthy. If the process, call autophagy, can be kept in good working order, aging itself might be delayed.