Biology articlesRodent's bizarre traits deepen mystery of genetics, evolution
A shadowy rodent has potential to shed light on human genetics and the mysteries of evolution.
Biodegradable wipe would quickly detect biohazards
Detecting bacteria, viruses and other dangerous substances in hospitals, airplanes and other commonly contaminated places could soon be as easy as wiping a napkin or paper towel across a surface.
Fast-freeze snapshot yields new picture of nerve-muscle junction
When nerve cells excite muscle fibers to flex, getting synaptic proteins and components into the right place can mean the difference between feats of strength or lapses of drowsy lethargy.
Researchers image molecular motor structural changes
An international team of researchers has shed new light on how tiny molecular motors that transport materials within cells generate the energy that powers their movements.
Researchers watch seeds in 3d and discover an unknown air path
Researchers from the CNRS, the University J. Fourier (UJF) of Grenoble and the ESRF have recently visualised a plant seed in 3D using synchrotron light. This new view has revealed that there is a network of voids between the cells which may be used for oxygen storage that is needed for efficient germination.
Paramecia adapt their swimming to changing gravitational force
For many single-celled organisms living in water, the force is always against them. The classic example is the slipper-shaped paramecium, which consistently swims harder going up than going down, just to keep from sinking. Now physicists Karine Guevorkian and James Valles of Brown University have worked out a way to turn gravity on its head and see how the creatures respond.
Life without a mouth, stomach, or gut
All living organisms are inhabited by a complex community of beneficial microorganisms that are essential for their development, health, and interactions with the environment.
Bird moms manipulate birth order to protect sons
When marauding mites turn up in a house finch's nest, she shelters her sons from the blood-suckers by laying male eggs later than those containing their sturdier sisters, according to new research.
How barnacles manage to stick together
Research led by Newcastle University has shed new light on the habits of barnacles.
Viral spheres could help deliver a new class of vaccines
Scientists are taking the amazing protein-making parts out of cells and putting them into systems to mass-produce designer proteins for a wide variety of medical uses. At the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) Sept. 13 in San Francisco, Stanford engineering Professor James Swartz discussed advances in such "cell-free" protein synthesis, including production of versatile nanoscale viral spheres that can act as delivery trucks for a new class of potentially more effective vaccines.
Tarantulas produce silk from their feet
Researchers have found for the first time that tarantulas can produce silk from their feet as well as their spinnerets, a discovery with profound implications for why spiders began to spin silk in the first place.
New study explains why hotter is better for insects
Organisms have been able to adapt to environments ranging from cold polar oceans to hot thermal vents. However, University of Washington researchers have discovered a limit to the powerful forces of natural selection, at least when it comes to the adaptation of insects to cold temperatures.
Parasitic plants sniff out hosts
Parasitic plants do not haphazardly flail about looking for a host but sense volatile chemicals produced by other plants and identify potential hosts by their emissions, according to a team of Penn State chemical ecologists.
Unique gene regulation gives chilly bugs survival advantage at bottom of the world
The larvae of Antarctic midges never stop producing special proteins that minimize environmental stress, allowing them to withstand a range of intense environmental conditions in one of the world's harshest environments.
Inusual island evolution happens faster than thought
In evolutionary circles, giant rats and miniature elephants have long been accepted as the products of accelerated evolution in isolated environments such as islands, but McGill paleontologist Virginie Millien has been the first to establish just how quickly these odd-shaped animals got that way.
Research advances understanding of how cell membranes function
A team of scientists, including two from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has achieved an important advance in the race to understand what guides and facilitates the functioning of the cell membrane.
Does missing gene point to nocturnal existence for early mammals?
A gene that makes cells in the eye receptive to light is missing in humans, researchers have discovered.
Researchers provide insights into how the immune system avoids attacking itself
A finding by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine researchers about how immune cells "decide" to become active or inactive may have applications in fighting cancerous tumors, autoimmune diseases, and organ transplant rejection.
Researchers develop technologies to devour food pathogens
Purdue University researchers are developing two inexpensive technologies that may be able to prevent future food-borne illness, such as the recent outbreak of E. coli in contaminated spinach.
New function for protein links plant's circadian rhythm to its light-detection mechanism
They may not sleep — or dream — but plants do have day-night cycles just like animals. Their internal timekeepers tell them how long the days are, helping the plants control photosynthesis and flowering. Now, new research from Nam-Hai Chua's laboratory at Rockefeller University has identified a new function for the protein SPA1, showing its involvement in adjusting a plant's internal clock to the external light environment.