Life Sciences and Chemistry

Articles and reports from the Life Sciences and chemistry area deal with applied and basic research into modern biology, chemistry and human medicine.

Valuable information can be found on a range of life sciences fields including bacteriology, biochemistry, bionics, bioinformatics, biophysics, biotechnology, genetics, geobotany, human biology, marine biology, microbiology, molecular biology, cellular biology, zoology, bioinorganic chemistry, microchemistry and environmental chemistry.

Anthrax: pre-publication and special issue

Recent events have confirmed that bioterrorism is no longer a threat but a reality. To provide wide-ranging access to the latest scientific information about anthrax and other potential bioweapons, Nature has put together a special online focus on this issue. This focus includes the pre-publication* of two research papers on anthrax toxin, as well as a collection of research, news and feature articles from our electronic archive. Because of the heightened interest in this area, among both the scient

A rosy glow

Genetic engineering gives us the fluorescent daisy.

It’s produced in Italy and guaranteed to make the face of that special someone light up. It’s the luminous bouquet. Under ultraviolet light the apparently normal blooms glow an unearthly green.

“The fluorescent flowers show that genetic engineering can be developed just for beauty,” says their developer, Tito Schiva of the Experimental Institute of Floriculture, San Remo. The technique should work for any white flower, Sch

Meat fuelled Midas’ rot

The gold-loving king’s rich diet may have hastened his decay.

Legend says that lust for gold was the cause of King Midas’ downfall. But his appetite for meat may have destroyed the final monument to his greatness 1 .

A mound excavated 44 years ago in Turkey is thought to be the resting place of the eighth-century BC ruler of Phrygia. The large tomb, although built of durable cedar wood, is in surprisingly bad shape, says geophysicist Timothy Filley of the Car

Flies caught napping

Researchers discover two molecules that help fruitflies sleep.

Mutant flies that lack the chemicals sleep more. In mammals the same molecules are also involved in learning and memory, supporting the idea that one function of sleep is to consolidate our record of the day’s experiences 1 .

The molecules are cyclic AMP and CREB, chemical messengers that work within cells. Cyclic AMP activates CREB, which then switches on genes.

Joan Hendricks, of th

Computers spot shape clues

Two techniques may help deduce proteins’ functions.

Imagine trying to guess what machines do just be looking at them. Even a can-opener would pose problems, if you didn’t know about cans. This is the challenge that faces molecular biologists as they try to make sense of protein molecules in the cell.

Two new techniques may help. One deduces a protein’s function from its shape; the other deduces its shape from a list of component parts 1 , 2 .

ATTO-TEC® Stable activated fluorescent dyes at room temperature (RT)

ATTO-TEC® has developed the second generation of fluorescent dyes which are stable at room temperature for more than six months.

With Atto 520, Atto 565 and Atto 590 we are pleased to offer three stable fluorescent dyes as amine-reactive succinimidyl esters which will be available from November 2001 on. This allows researchers an easy handling for selectively target- labeling by linking a fluorophore to primary amine groups on proteins or modified nucleic acids.
Further stable activate

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