Category Archives: Biology

Has DNA met its match as a forensic tool?

U.S. Energy Department scientists say a new method of analyzing genetic mutations in proteins in human hair could lead to the first forensic technique other than DNA profiling that could reliably match biological evidence to a single person with scientific … Continue reading

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DNA confirms cause of 1665 London’s Great Plague

DNA testing has for the first time confirmed the identity of the bacteria behind London’s Great Plague. The plague of 1665-1666 was the last major outbreak of bubonic plague in Britain, killing nearly a quarter of London’s population.It’s taken a … Continue reading

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Placenta in females, muscle mass in males: The dual heritage of a virus

It is known that genes inherited from ancient retroviruses are essential to the placenta in mammals, a finding to which scientists in the Laboratoire Physiologie et Pathologie Moleacuteculaires des Retrovirus Endogenes et Infectieux (CNRS/Universite Paris-Sud) contributed. Today, the same scientists … Continue reading

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Scientists have finally figured out how cancer spreads through the bloodstream

In what could be a major step forward in our understanding of how cancer moves around the body, researchers have observed the spread of cancer cells from the initial tumour to the bloodstream. The findings suggest that secondary growths called … Continue reading

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Human Touch Detects Objects Smaller Than Bacteria

Your sense of touch is way more sophisticated than you can imagine. A new study indicates that our tactile capacity extends far beyond our visual range, allowing us to detect objects on the nanoscale. Researchers believe that the findings may … Continue reading

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Brains of overweight people look 10 years older than those of lean people 

Researchers have found evidence that the brains of middle-aged, overweight people have the same amount of white matter – the connective tissue that allows the brain to communicate – as a lean person 10 years older. If confirmed, the results suggest … Continue reading

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Discovery of male-harming DNA mutation reinforces ‘mother’s curse’ hypothesis

There is new evidence that the “mother’s curse” – the possibility that moms may transmit genes to their children that harm their sons but not their daughters – holds true in animals. Such a possibility arises because there are two … Continue reading

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Scientists have just uncovered a major difference between DNA and RNA

A new study has shown for the first time that RNA – the older molecular cousin of DNA – splits apart when it tries to incorporate change, while DNA can contort itself and change its shape to compensate for any … Continue reading

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Scientists just discovered we’ve been looking at cancer growth all wrong

A new study has found evidence that brain tumours use fat as their preferred source of energy, bringing into question the decades-long assumption that sugar is their main fuel source. If confirmed, this could fundamentally change the we treat cancer … Continue reading

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Exercise isn’t the best way to lose weight

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Sperm 101

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Scientists want to use bacteria to clean up oil spills – and it could actually work

In 2010 the Deepwater Horizon oil spill released an estimated 4.2 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico – the largest offshore spill in US history. The spill caused widespread damage to marine species, fisheries, and ecosystems stretching … Continue reading

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‘Darwinolide’ kills 98% of a drug-resistant bacteria

Researchers have discovered a compound in an Antarctic sea sponge that’s capable of killing 98 percent of the drug-resistant superbug, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus – better known as MRSA – which is rapidly spreading throughout the US. With more and more bacteria … Continue reading

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Are Viruses Alive?

Thanks to Phil Krause for suggesting this video.

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Physicists confirm there’s a second layer of information hidden in our DNA

DNA folding is an incredibly important control mechanism. That’s because every single cell in our body contains around 2 metres of DNA, so to fit inside us, it has to be tightly wrapped up into a bundle called a nucleosome – like … Continue reading

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Bionic Leaf Makes Fuel from Sunlight, Water and Air

A tree’s leaf, a blade of grass, a single algal cell: all make fuel from the simple combination of water, sunlight and carbon dioxide through the miracle of photosynthesis. Now scientists say they have replicated—and improved—that trick by combining chemistry … Continue reading

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Depressing paper suggests cancer’s an evolutionary mechanism to ‘autocorrect’ our gene pool

Two scientists have come up with a depressing new hypothesis that attempts to explain why cancer is so hard to stop. Maybe, they suggest, cancer’s not working against us. Maybe the disease is actually an evolutionary ‘final checkpoint’ that stops … Continue reading

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Ending a century of intrigue around ‘membraneless’ cell compartments

Ending a century of intrigue around

We’ve been able to see them for over a hundred years, but only now are scientists beginning to get to the bottom of what’s happening inside membraneless organelles – compartments within cells that really do have no boundaries. Most people … Continue reading

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After a secret meeting, scientists announce they are making synthetic human genomes

An international group of scientists has just announced their plan to create a synthetic human genome within 10 years – which means they’re going to try to write a brand new DNA code for human life from scratch. The ambitious … Continue reading

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How cancer was created by evolution

I wont bore you all with this article, but for those of us with an interest in cancer it is well worth a read. Jim – Deskarati Read here: How cancer was created by evolution

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