msiegel Star

Tags  →  biology

hope, in the race against antibiotic-resistant bacteria
i haven't even read the article, but the digg comments are quite interesting
improving people's health by helping germs evolve. it's real, and a real good idea. swiped from caffeina. note: presentation is bumpy, but the message is an important one

also see the gallery, selected shots of body world exhibits (caution: graphic)
impressive! i'm very glad to have these little guys looking out for me :)
From the page: "Anyone who has watched one fly chasing another at incredibly high speed, without crashing or bumping into anything, can appreciate the high-end flight performance of these animals. [...] They can update and process visual information more than ten times faster than humans, which is vital for an insect that relies on fast sensory feedback to maintain its agility."
in the hands of isabella rossellini, insect reproduction becomes classical drama. these are weird, just like bugs & critters in real life.
From the page: "The females lay their eggs in February, and then, quite abruptly, the entire F. labordi adult species dies out by the end of March. Between April and October, the species only exists inside well-hidden eggs. "
this scientist works with abalones to design new protein composite materials
thomas gold's theory on how petroleum may be created not from fossilized plants, but from methane deep in the earth's crust. meanwhile, bacteria in the crust slowly eat away at the oil as a food source.

this is a great read; see pdf download link on the page.

if the theory is right, we will have an enormous supply of petroleum -- not that i'd advocate wasting any... and yes, we should vigorously pursue alternative, unlimited, nonpolluting energy sources.
From the page: "For decades, scientists studying climate change have measured the oxygen isotope ratio in tree-ring cellulose to determine the ambient temperature and relative humidity of past climates. The assumption in all of these studies was that tree leaf temperatures were equal to ambient temperatures.

Researchers at Penn, using measures of oxygen isotopes and current climate, determined a way to estimate leaf temperature in living trees and as a consequence showed this assumption to be incorrect."
brilliant renditions of dna going about its business

curious... a lot of slow-growing cells are living beneath the sea floor, where it's very hot, and there's no light at all
these are outstanding! :D isabella rossellini's bug biology lessons show how nature all around us is filled with amazing drama. kids of the future will watch these routinely, i'm sure. btw, the *snail* is a little risque :)
uh-oh, this may be bad news for people exposed to EMF, especially people with heart conditions. might be a good idea to rig up an EM meter and scan the bedroom for pulsating fields :-/
From the page: "This challenges the fundamental assumptions of why such specializations occur in nature, Ungar said. It shows that animals can develop an extreme degree of specialization without the specialized object becoming a preferred resource."
how DNA is wound into chromosomes, and how it's replicated. wow, this is amazing!

From the page: "low doses of toxins lead to longer lifespans and enhanced growth"

// an interesting follow-up for that story about toxins a day or two ago
oddly enough, the researchers sound perplexed by this finding... but it makes perfect sense for animals to evolve reward-seeking behavior when the natural toxins are benefiting them
i'm not happy with the argument, and i still think mixing logic and faith is inherently a bad idea... but, the evolutionary explanation of infanticide in animals is fascinating
great talk by craig venter on his genetic-engineering efforts
cool, and besides, the next generation of kids won't see why we thought this was "slightly scandalous" :)

i wonder if age-related muscle stiffness is caused by collagen damage, from elevated homocysteine levels? like, as a result of long-term b6/b12 deficiency?
a lot of interesting info on how color vision works
harry kroto, the sean connery of chemistry, gives us a peek at experiments that model life's beginnings
smarty plants. a beautifully simple algorithm

come on people. the point is, eat plenty of omega-3 oils for the health of your baby
animated explanation of atp synthesis in the mitochondrial membrane -- amazing
intelligence has run rampant. it's everywhere...
"Since some mammals clearly use androstenone to communicate sexuality and dominance within a social hierarchy, it's intriguing to think whether the same thing may happen in humans," Vosshall says. "If so, what happens to humans who can't get the signal because they have the nonfunctional copy of the gene? Or the hyperfunctional one? What could be the social and sexual implications of this on one's perception of the smell of fellow humans?"
Check out the names of the pheromones -- classic! :)