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Simple in Biological News

Author says challenging simple concepts can save planet

Author and democracy activist Frances Moore Lapp says we already know how to solve the pressing issues of our time, such as climate change and world hunger. But she says our own pre-conceived ideas about how things should work our mental map of the world is actually preventing us from taking ac...

Pitt-led researchers create quick, simple fluorescent detector for TB

PITTSBURGHResearchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have developed an onsite method to quickly diagnose tuberculosis (TB) and expose the deadly drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis that can mingle undetected with treatable strains. Th...

Artificial cells, simple model for complex structure

A simple, chemical materials model may lead to a better understanding of the structure and organization of the cell according to a Penn State researcher. "Cells are interesting because they show organization even at the level of the cytoplasm, and while it is thought to be important for cell fu...

A simple fusion to jump-start evolution

With the aid of a straightforward experiment, researchers have provided some clues to one of biology's most complex questions: how ancient organic molecules came together to form the basis of life. Specifically, this study, appearing online this week in JBC , demonstrated how ancient RNA join...

Diversity of trees in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest defies simple explanation

Trees in a hyper-diverse tropical rainforest interact with each other and their environment to create and maintain diversity, researchers report in the Oct. 24 issue of the journal Science . This study was conducted in the Yasuni forest dynamics plot of the Pontificia Universidad Catlica del Ecua...

At risk for peripheral arterial disease? Simple quiz provides key so you can circulate better

FAIRFAX, Va.Ten million Americans have peripheral arterial disease (PAD), and research shows that the highest risk populations include African-Americans (twice as likely to develop clogged leg arteries), seniors (12-20 percent develop PAD) and diabetics (one in three who are over the age of 50 dev...

Research measures movement of nanomaterials in simple model food chain

New research* shows that while engineered nanomaterials can be transferred up the lowest levels of the food chain from single celled organisms to higher multicelled ones, the amount transferred was relatively low and there was no evidence of the nanomaterials concentrating in the higher level orga...

Salt-tolerant gene found in simple plant nothing to sneeze at

Whether a plant withers unproductively or thrives in salty conditions may now be better understood by biologists. The cellular mechanism that controls salt tolerance has been found in the arabidopsis plant by a Texas AgriLife Research scientist collaborating with an international team. Comp...

Researchers develop simple method to create natural drug products

Until now, only the intricate machinery inside cells could take a mix of enzyme ingredients, blend them together and deliver a natural product with an elaborate chemical structure such as penicillin. Researchers at UC San Diegos Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and...

Gene regulation in humans is closer than expected to simple organisms

Gene networks are some of the most basic features of a living organism. An external or internal stimulus activates some genes, which in turn control others genes whose activity turns on or off various biological processes (such as the cell cycle, energy production, DNA repair, cellular suicide etc...

Scientists design simple dipstick test for cocaine, other drugs

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a simple "dipstick" test for detecting cocaine and other drugs in saliva, urine or blood serum. The test is based upon DNA-gold nanoparticle technology, and can be packaged in user-friendly kits similar to those used for h...

Scientists explore how complex organs develop from a simple bud

The current issue of Differentiation, guest-edited by Brigid Hogan, highlights several scientific investigations into the complex biological mechanism known as branching morphogenesis. Through a series of seven laboratory reviews, important insights governing this process during animal development ...

A simple feedback resistor switch keeps latent HIV from awakening

Upon entering a cell, a virus often becomes dormant, turning off its genes and laying low until awakened by som e trigger from its environment. When that trigger is pulled, the virus quickly ramps up production of proteins through built-in positive-feedback loops that turn up gene transcription. (I...

New evidence questions the simple link between prion proteins and madcow disease

While newly published research confirms that under laboratory circumstances prion-protein can be absorbed across the gut, it also shows that this is unlikely to occur in real life. In addition, the results show that the places in the gut that do take up these disease-associated proteins are differe...

New technique multiplies life span in simple organisms

A counterintuitive experiment has resulted in one of the longest recorded life-span extensions in any organism and opened a new door for anti-aging research in humans. Scientists have known for several years that an extra copy of the SIR2 gene can promote longevity in yeast, worms and fruit flies...

Researchers trace evolution to relatively simple genetic changes

In a stunning example of evolution at work, scientists have now found that changes in a single gene can produce major changes in the skeletal armor of fish living in the wild. The surprising results, announced in the March 25, 2005, issue of journal Science, bring new data to long-standing debat...

Navigating in the ocean of molecules

... of Scaffold Hunter we move along the branches from complex to increasingly simple structures which may be similar in their effect." Thus, the researchers identify structurally simple scaffolds with promising characteristics as the starting point in the quest...

AGU journal highlights -- Aug. 6, 2009

...tant to several short-lived compounds that pass through this region. Their model is one-dimensional, allowing complex processes to be reduced to a few simple relationships. The authors find that compounds that pass through the TTL with chemical lifetimes of 25 days or longer will have significant concentrat...

Mary had a lot of lambs: Researchers identify way to accelerate sheep breeding

...overed an unusual form of a gene that prompts ewes to breed out of season as well as conceive at younger ages and more frequently. They conducted a simple genetic test to identify the presence of the unusual form of the gene, the so-called M allele that other researchers had suspected might be correlated...

DNA computation gets logical at the Weizmann Institute of Science

...hat a trillion fit in a drop of water, that device was able to perform such simple calculations as checking a list of 0s and 1s to determine if there was an e...kably familiar. It was first proposed by Aristotle over 2000 years ago as a simple ifthen proposition: 'All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socr...

Reducing risk of hospitalization in the elderly

...in determining a person's risk of future hospitalization. This gives us the ability to screen larger groups of people and help those at risk with some simple interventions, such as physical exercise." ...

Jet-propelled imaging for an ultrafast light source

...hose bumps and crannies and distribution of electrical charges determine how they act individually or fit together to form complex molecular machines. simple organisms like viruses often consist of a few proteins fitted together to enclose a thread of DNA or RNA. Proteins are usually large molecules con...

Stress signals link pre-existing sickness with susceptibility to bacterial infection

...ctly influence the ability of bacteria to replicate inside of the single-celled organism, Dictyostelium . Striking similarities that exist between simple organisms like Dictyostelium and humans allow scientists to use them to understand human disease. Dictyostelium is a free-living amoeba whose rap...

Earliest animals lived in a lake environment, research shows

... RIVERSIDE, Calif. Evidence for life on Earth stretches back billions of years, with simple single-celled organisms like bacteria dominating the record. When multi-celled animal life appeared on the planet after 3 billion years of single cell...

Researchers develop 'brain-reading' methods

...sible for specific mental functions, such as learning, memory, fear and love. But this latest research shows that the brain is more complex than that simple model. In their analysis of global brain activity, the researchers found that different processing tasks have their own distinct pattern of neural con...

ISU researchers find possible treatment for spinal muscular atrophy

...is stuff called junk DNA in SMN2," said Singh. "We found that we could get SNM2 to behave as SMN1 by introducing a small oligonucleotide. It is a very simple experiment if you think about it." The resulting proteins are normal just like a regular cell - free from Spinal Muscular Atrophy. "Our cells are ...

New supercomputer to reel in answers to some of Earth's problems

...d in a lattice of water molecules. Researchers hope to understand these gas hydrates both as a fuel source and as a way to store fuels. But for such a simple molecule, water has pretty complex chemistry. Researchers are using Chinook to help understand how water molecules form stable clusters. The work also...

Scientists track impact of DNA damage in the developing brain

...NA-repair system," explained McKinnon, the paper's senior author. DNA is the double-stranded molecule found in nearly every cell. In organisms both simple and complex, it serves as the biochemical blueprint for assembling and sustaining life. Diseases like cancer have long been associated with unrepaired...

Ants more rational than humans

...o new approaches in the development of artificial intelligence. "A key idea in collective robotics is that the individual robots can be relatively simple and unsophisticated, but you can still get a complex, intelligent result out of the whole group," says Pratt. "The ability to function without complex...

UTMB study identifies women at risk of gaining excessive weight with injectable birth control

...MPA-related weight gain is still unknown, but researchers note that possible mechanisms include glucocorticoid-like activity, how the body breaks down simple carbohydrates such as glucose, and DMPA-associated interference with insulin action. Previous findings seem to argue against the theory that weight ga...

High-tech vehicle design boosts emergency rescue capacity

...include the ability to withstand a loading of 10 G, equivalent to an unbraked impact at 30 km/h. The rescue vehicles are easy and safe to operate, and simple to clean and disinfect. Environment disasters and terrorist attacks are putting ever increasing pressure on the rescue services as they often have t...

In vitro antibody production enables HIV infection detection in window period -- key to safer blood

...lso for other infections such as HCV, which has even a longer window period than HIV" In summary, in-vitro enhancement of antibody production, made simple by the SMARTube, has been shown to enable the earlier detection of HIV infection. This is critical for saving lives not only via a safer blood supply ...

Parasitic worms make sex worthwhile

... came from the shallows, where snails reproduce sexually, than from the depths of the lake, where the snails tend to reproduce asexually. Despite a simple experimental design, the revelations were rich. First, higher infection rates by local worms show the snails in the shallows are in active host-parasi...

University of Minnesota research leads to new technology to protect human health

...ot Plant fermentation facilities. Melamine deaminase works by breaking one of the C-N bonds in melamine to release ammonia, which can be detected by a simple test that turns the liquid blue. Jennifer Seffernick, a research associate in Wackett's lab, discovered the enzyme while conducting research on biodeg...

Reveal the enemy

...sensor is specific: it does not react to bacteria other than Salmonella typhi . "Our new technique makes the detection of micro-organisms as fast and simple as the measurement of pH value," say Riu and Rius. ...

Slotted buses keep passengers cool

... A simple redesign of public buses used in hot and dry climates could make passengers...amic study of fluid flow in a 1:25 model. Their findings suggest that a few simple modifications to conventional design could significantly boost cooling airf...

Facile synthesis of nanoparticles with multiple functions advanced in Singapore

...eatly facilitate and reduce the cost of producing a variety of metallic, alloy, semiconductor and semiconductor-metal hybrid nanoparticles through our simple and flexible approach to engineer advanced materials with novel structures and multiple functionalities" said Jackie Y. Ying, Ph.D., IBN Executive Dir...

Toxin detection as close as an inkjet printer

...hat is dependent on the concentration of the toxin in the sample. This simple and cost-effective method of adhering biochemical reagents to paper is expe...oxins, as well as in remote settings in less industrialized countries where simple bioassays are essential for the first stages of detecting disease. Appl...

Exploring standards to advance microbial genomics

...I, he noted that the data obtained has been compromised by the lack of standards for so many critical procedures in the field, procedures ranging from simple data exchange to gene finding, function prediction, and metabolic pathway description. Echoing other researchers, most notably DOE JGI's Patrick Chain...

Research shows that 'invisible hand' guides evolution of cooperative turn-taking

...ons, Professor Colman and Dr Browning discovered a simple variation of "tit for tat" that explains how turn-...netic diversity, turn-taking cannot evolve in this simple way." Professor Colman added: "In our simulatio...in 2004; we have now shown it directly and found a simple explanation for it. Our findings confirm that coop...
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