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.

Genome protects itself against mobile junk DNA

At the Hubrecht Laboratory in Utrecht, the biologist Sylvia Fischer has discovered how organisms protect themselves against transposons. Transposons are pieces of DNA which can translocate themselves within the genome. Sometimes transposons cause damage to the DNA. Plants probably have a similar mechanism which protects them against viruses.

Biologists from Utrecht discovered that the nematode C. elegans keeps transposons in check with a sophisticated mechanism. Due to the mechanism, the tra

Protein simulation can be done three times as fast

Protein movement can be simulated three times as fast than had been thought possible up to now. Researchers from Groningen achieved the gain in speed by leaving out the calculations concerning hydrogen atoms. Meanwhile research groups around the world are adapting their simulation programs.

Up until now researchers calculated all of the positions of atoms in a protein molecule after two femtoseconds. A femtosecond is one millionth of a billionth of a second. The research from Groningen revea

Two new monkey species discovered

Primates found in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest

Conservation International announced today the discovery of two new species of titi monkey in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest. The findings are published in a just-released special supplement to the journal Neotropical Primates.

They were described by Marc van Roosmalen, a primatologist at Brazil’s National Institute for Amazon Research (INPA), his son, Tomas van Roosmalen, and Russell Mittermeier, president of Conservation Internat

Researchers identify protein that regulates killer cells

Researchers at the University of Toronto and Mount Sinai Hospital have identified a protein that plays a critical role in the regulation of “natural killers cells” in the immune system’s battle against foreign and diseased cells.

“Our research is a small part of the larger problem of how viruses and diseased cells ravage the body and circumvent our immune system,” says Kathleen Binns, a U of T doctoral student in medical genetics and microbiology and an author on a paper in the June 20

New method for ’visualizing’ proteins

A newly established national biomedical center at Cornell University is reporting its first major advance: a new way of measuring, or “visualizing,” proteins. The new technique will hasten the transformation of the human genome project’s blueprints of life into a comprehensive view of the biochemical and physiological circuitry that interconnect to form entire organisms.

The technique, which determines the structure of a protein by measuring the distances between atoms in the molecule at g

New study sheds light on frog malformations

The emergence of mutant frogs with extra arms and legs may smack of a low-budget sci-fi script. But it is a reality, and a new study provides more evidence that ultraviolet radiation could be responsible. The findings are reported in three consecutive papers in the July 1 print issue of Environmental Science & Technology, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.

Concern has been mounting for years over the depletion of the ozone

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