Weird ‘Borg’ DNA found in microbes takes in genes from other organisms

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Archaea in the genus Methanoperedens produce methane and are found in places with low or no oxygen

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A strange new genetic entity has been discovered in methane-eating microbes, and it could help fill in a gap in our understanding of Earth’s climate.

Named “Borgs” after Star Trek aliens that assimilate the biology of other creatures, these enigmatic stretches of DNA inhabit single-celled organisms called archaea, where they appear to acquire and swap genes and potentially boost their hosts’ ability to consume methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases.

“These Borgs …

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