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.

DNA unzipping found to take at least two proteins, not one alone

Using an optical fluorescence microscope to monitor enzyme activity, researchers at three universities have solved a long-running mystery. It takes at least two proteins, working in an unstable tandem, to unzip two strands of DNA.

Their newly designed approach, which focuses on the activity of single molecules, also showed — for the first time — that if one protein falls away, the process stops. Unless another climbs aboard, DNA reverts to its zipped state.

The technique, which o

RRF Recycles Form, Not Exact Function

Ribosome Recycling Factor Mimics Shape, But Not The Functions of Transfer RNA
RRF Protein Offers Potential Target for New Antibiotics

The fact that ribosome recycling factor (RRF) looks a lot like transfer RNA (tRNA) has not been lost on scientists. After all, both molecules are an important part of a bacteria’s ability to create new proteins. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the University of Southern California, Santa Cruz, however, hav

Chemists create synthetic cytochromes

When animals metabolize food or when plants photosynthesize it, electrons are moved across cell membranes. The “extension cords” of this bioelectrical circuit are mostly iron-containing proteins called cytochromes.

Chemist Kenneth S. Suslick and colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created synthetic cytochromes by making a small cyclic peptide that binds to the iron millions of times more strongly than without the peptide. The scientists report their discovery i

Genome of potential bioremediation agent sequenced

Shewanella bacterium can remove toxic metals from environment

Rockville, MD. – Scientists at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) and collaborators elsewhere have deciphered the genome of a metal ion-reducing bacterium, Shewanella oneidensis, that has great potential as a bioremediation agent to remove toxic metals from the environment.

The genome sequence sheds new light on the biochemical pathways by which the bacterium “reduces” and precipitates chromium, uranium and

Tourists, soothsayers & scientists try to predict peak Fall foliage color

But new study sheds light on what makes leaves turn red

Groundhog behavior is supposedly a harbinger of spring.

Wooly Bear Caterpillars are a possible portent of the severity of winter.

But who knows when the Vermont forests will blaze with autumnal gold, orange and scarlet?

Not the weather forecasters, not the almanacs, not some octogenarian recluse Vermonter. Leave that to the scientists.

Here in Vermont where one out of four of the forests’

Tiny technology leads to big changes in DNA research at Argonne

New gene therapy procedures, DNA-based sensors, and other medical applications may be possible using a new method to initiate and control chemical reactions on DNA strands, developed by a team of chemists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory. The new technology uses specially designed nanometer-sized semiconductors–less than a billionth of an inch in size.

The technology is based on the group’s discovery of “conductive linkers”–small organic molecules th

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