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morph in Biological News

When threatened, a few African frogs can morph toes into claws

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 23, 2008 Biologists at Harvard University have determined that some African frogs carry concealed weapons: When threatened, these species puncture their own skin with sharp bones in their toes, using the bones as claws capable of wounding predators. The unusual defense m...

Researchers observe single protein dimers wavering between two symmetrically opposed structures

...f into a second form, depending on the protein's chemical environment. One folded form is active and the other is inactive, but the protein can easily morph from one state to another. The scientists say their discovery, published in the online Early Edition of in The Proceedings of the National Academy...

Study finds blood cells can be reprogrammed to act as embryonic stem cells

...ll in the body), but their use has been the subject of political controversy. "Our findings provide the first proof that cells from human blood can morph into stem cells," said senior study author George Q. Daley, MD, PhD, an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Children's Hospital, B...

Fossils suggest earlier land-water transition of tetrapod

...evealed that Clack had found the first juvenile forms of Ichthyostega. Previously known fossils of Ichthyostega had come from adults. Anatomies can morph as animals move towards adulthood, Callier said. And such shifts can help scientists deduce when in development the animal acquired the terrestrial ha...

Vitamin A pushes breast cancer to form blood vessel cells

...ity Medical Center have discovered that vitamin A, when applied to breast cancer cells, turns on genes that can push stem cells embedded in a tumor to morph into endothelial cells. These cells can then build blood vessels to link up to the body's blood supply, promoting further tumor growth. They say th...

Tufts to develop morphing 'chemical robots'

...that they will be able to squeeze into spaces as tiny as 1 centimeter, then morph back into something 10 times larger, and ultimately biodegrade. The ad...energy-efficient chembots could survey the area using little power and then morph to accomplish their task. For example, they might gain entry to an improvi...

Nanotubes could help study retrovirus transmission between human cells

...e composed of a lipid bilayer membrane only five nanometers thick. The object for experimenters was to create conditions in which the spheres would morph into cylinders of nanometer radii. But researchers had difficulties, says Sasaki, perhaps because they used a composite lipid called egg PC that re...

Vanishing beetle horns have surprise function

... developmental biology in evolutionary studies, "Even today, evolutionary theory is very much a theory of adults," Moczek said. "But evolution doesn't morph one adult shape into another. Instead there's an entire lifetime of development that we can't afford to ignore." Curious as to whether or not th...

Newly discovered behavior in cancer cells signals dangerous metastasis

... The most aggressively malignant cancer cells have a "toggle switch" that enables them to morph into highly mobile cells that invade other tissues and then nest comfortably in their new surroundings, a new study in rats suggests. This picture o...

Bones hold the key to blood renewal

... cells remain undifferentiated; with the help of other nearby cells, they hang on to their juvenile qualities. Only when they leave the niches do they morph into specialized blood cells, possibly becoming immune cells for fighting infection or cells for blood clotting and healing after injury. They can eve...

Birds brains reveal source of songs

... Scientists have yearned to understand how the chirps and warbles of a young bird morph into the recognizable and very distinct melodies of its parents. Neuroscientists at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT now have come one...
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