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.

Chemists show proteins behave differently inside cells than they do in water solutions

In findings they believe are fundamentally important to both biology and medicine, chemists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have shown experimentally for the first time that proteins can behave differently inside cells than when taken out of those cells and studied in test tubes.

“For 40 years, we thought we could learn most everything about proteins by studying them in water, but this work shows we are missing important observations by looking at them just in water or oth

Breast Cancer Gene Repairs Damaged DNA

Structural studies of the protein produced by the BRCA2 gene, which is implicated in the development of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers, reveal that the protein is intimately involved in repairing damaged DNA.

DNA-repair proteins perform a vital function and protect against potentially catastrophic events such as cancer-causing mutations or chromosome rearrangements, which are hallmarks of tumor cells.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Nikola P. Pavletich and his co

Enzyme discovery to benefit homeland security, industry

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have successfully immobilized enzymes while simultaneously enhancing their activity and stability, opening up new possibilities for using tailored nanoporous materials. The findings, reported in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society (available online Aug. 28), could enable the development of novel sensor and decontamination systems for homeland security, environmental protection and energy

NHGRI Adds Cow and Dog To High Priority List For Sequencing Model Organisms

The National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research has recommended adding the cow, the dog and the ciliate Oxytricha to the high-priority list of model organisms that should be considered for genome sequencing as capacity becomes available. Cow and dog join a growing group of high priority animals that includes chimpanzee, chicken and honeybee. Sequencing projects on the human, mouse and rat genomes are progressing rapidly, making sequencing capability supported by the National Human Genome Rese

Stuck in a rut: repetitive rituals of lab, zoo and farm animals a symptom of altered brain function

Animals kept in captivity exhibit stereotypic behaviour that is fundamentally similar to that seen in human conditions of autism and schizophrenia; a finding that could confound some behavioural experiments using animals, according to Dr Georgia Mason from University of Oxford speaking at the BA Festival of Science [10.50hrs 11 September 2002].

Animals in zoos, farms and laboratories are often seen gnawing repetitively, pacing back and forward or carrying out other apparently functionless be

Neural signal that helps wire up brain’s movement circuit identified

Scientists from Imperial College London and King’s College London have identified a molecule that helps to wire up the neural circuitry responsible for controlling the movement of muscle.

Writing today in the journal Neuron, the researchers describe how the signalling protein named WNT-3 directs specific neurons during embryonic development to make the correct connections in the spine to form a neural pathway that controls muscle.

Using mice, which offer the closest model to human

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