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Extreme Life and Environments
When the food supply dries up, solitary Dictyostelium discoideum cells congregate and fuse into a spore-producing tower. A newly discovered hybrid enzyme called Steely2 (shown in cartoon form) forges the basic structure of the chemical signal (DIF-1, shown here as a stick model) that orchestrates this vital step in the life cycle of Dictyostelium: the transformation of omnipotent cells into dedicated spore or stalk cells. Credit: Image by Mike Austin using a photo by Rob Kay


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