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.

Findings in frog oocytes may help study of chromosome physiology

Researchers studying the nuclei of frog oocytes in early stages of meiosis — the cell division that gives rise to germ cells — have found that two key proteins remain apart at a crucial time before condensation occurs. One of the proteins, they say, may be important in the early organization of chromosomes and later may recruit the other.

In the August issue of the journal Chromosome Research, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign detail how they used antibodies to

Modifier gene controls severity of neurological disease in mice

Also found in humans – could explain why some get sicker than others

University of Michigan scientists have discovered a gene that turns a chronic inherited neurological disorder – which produces tremor and muscle weakness in laboratory mice – into a lethal disease that paralyzes and kills them within a few weeks of birth.

Called Scnm1 for sodium channel modifier 1, the gene is one of a small group of recently discovered modifier genes that interact with other genes to alte

Researchers find a pattern in evolution of lizard groups

Evolutionary biologists have developed a wide range of techniques to reconstruct the evolutionary history of particular groups of plants and animals. These techniques reveal much about the diverse patterns of evolution of life on earth, but few generalities have emerged, leading many scientists, such as the late Stephen Jay Gould, to conclude that each group of living things evolves in its own idiosyncratic manner. But now biologists at Washington University in St. Louis have proposed a general patte

Invasion of the ocean body-snatchers

A paper in Nature today (14 August) reveals that certain ocean viruses invade the cells of cyanobacteria (known as blue-green algae) and use the energy the cells produce through photosynthesis for their own purposes.

Researchers at the University of Warwick, led by Professor Nick Mann, have shown that when the viruses infect the bacteria they inject their genetic material into their host, a transfer that may be temporarily advantageous to the host.

Part of the injected DNA codes fo

Microbes’ Genomes Promise Insight into Oceans

The world’s smallest photosynthetic organisms, microbes that can turn sunlight and carbon dioxide into living biomass, will be in the limelight next week. Three international teams of scientists, two funded in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF), will announce the genetic blueprints for four closely related forms of these organisms, which dominate the phytoplankton, the tiny floating plants of the oceans. The work will be reported in the August 13 online issues of Nature and t

Pioneering Study Compares 13 Vertebrate Genomes

Multi-Species Approach Provides Unprecedented Glimpse Into Function and Evolution of the Human Genome

In one of the most novel and extensive comparisons of vertebrate genomic sequences performed to date, a team led by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) today reported results that demonstrate how such comparisons can reveal functionally important parts of the human genome beyond the genes themselves.

In a study published in the journal Nature, the researcher

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