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.

Ants hold the key to traffic chaos

Drivers wishing to avoid traffic jams could learn from the behaviour of army ants, according to new research by biologists at the University of Bristol.

The study, carried out by Professor Nigel Franks, found similarities between the problems encountered by New World army ants as they migrate between nest sites and the thousands of drivers who commute to work daily in British cities.

While commuting drivers tend to want to beat jams by cutting in and trying to take short-cuts, the a

A bed of microneedles: Johns Hopkins scientists’ gadget measures muscle cell force

Using the same technology that creates tiny, precisely organized computer chips, a Johns Hopkins research team has developed beds of thousands of independently moveable silicone “microneedles” to reveal the force exerted by smooth muscle cells.

Each needle tip in the gadget, whose development and testing is reported this week in the advance online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, can be painted with proteins cells tend to grab onto. By measuring how far a contr

Research reveals how strep bacterium evades immune system

Like a well-trained soldier with honed survival skills, the common bacterium, Group A Streptococcus (GAS), sometimes can endure battle with our inborn (innate) immune system and cause widespread disease. By investigating the ability of combat-ready white blood cells (WBCs) to ingest and kill GAS, researchers have discovered new insights into how this disease-causing bacteria can evade destruction by the immune system. The research is being published this week in the Online Early Edition of the Procee

Oxford research traces early human migration from Africa to Asia

Research by Oxford University and collaborators has shed new light on the last 100,000 years of human migration from Africa into Asia. The new genetic study confirms that some of the earliest migrants travelled into Asia by a southern route, possibly along the coasts of what are now Pakistan and India. The researchers identified a genetic marker in museum samples of inaccessible populations from the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. This allowed them to re-interpret previous genetic studies from

Deadly coral toxin exposes ion pump’s deepest secret

Hardworking sodium/ potassium pump fundamentally similar to free-flowing ion channel

Right now, in your body, tiny pumps in the fatty membranes surrounding all your cells are hard at work pushing select charged ions, such as sodium, potassium or calcium, through those membranes. Like a water pump in a high-rise apartment building overcoming the force of gravity to move water up to a tank on its roof, these ion pumps work against “electrochemical gradients” to transport ions from one s

New Drug Lead Fights Bacteria that can be Lethal by Disrupting Quorum Sensing and Biofilms

Compound could lead to a new generation of antibiotics that battle resistance

University at Buffalo scientists have discovered a promising new drug lead that works by inhibiting the sophisticated bacterial communication system called quorum sensing.

The new compound is active against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the gram-negative infection that strikes — and usually kills — cystic fibrosis patients and many others whose immune systems are compromised. The bacteria, like many o

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