Category Archives: Biology

Scientists create first stable semisynthetic organism

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Life’s genetic code has only ever contained four natural bases. These bases pair up to form two “base pairs”—the rungs of the DNA ladder—and they have simply been rearranged to create bacteria and butterflies, penguins and people. Four bases make … Continue reading

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We now know bacteria can communicate electrically, and we should be worried

We already have a lot to worry about when it comes to bacteria, as more and more strains becoming resistant to our dwindling arsenal of antibiotics. Last year, a woman in the US was killed by a superbug resistant to … Continue reading

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Mutation that triggered multicellular life altered protein flexibility

Just as a boat can be driven off course by a log in its path, a single, random mutation can send life in a new direction. That scenario, says University of Oregon biochemist Ken Prehoda, illustrates how a random mutation … Continue reading

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See the first color images produced by an electron microscope

Imagine spending your whole life seeing the world in black and white, and then seeing a vase of roses in full color for the first time. That’s kind of what it was like for the scientists who have taken the … Continue reading

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Consciousness Is the Key to Understanding Reality

In order to understand the true nature of reality, science must first recognize the importance of consciousness, says Dr. Robert Lanza, a stem-cell biologist whose work has earned him high acclaim. He also sees a greater role for consciousness in … Continue reading

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How do trees communicate?

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Penn software helps to identify course of cancer metastasis, tumor ‘evolution’

Individual cells within a tumor are not all the same. This may sound like a modern medical truism, but it wasn’t very long ago that oncologists assumed that taking a single biopsy from a patient’s tumor would be an accurate … Continue reading

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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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