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.

Genomics and world peace

Developing countries stand to profit most from advances in genome science, write Samuel Broder, Stephen Hoffman and Peter Hotez in this month’s issue of EMBO reports (EMBO reports September, 2002 pp 806–812). They claim that biotechnology coupled with genomics might emerge as the key technology in the 21st century for improving global health and probably even avoiding major political conflicts and wars.

The authors warn that we must no longer view the diseases of the developing world in

Consciousness – the hardest problem in science

A Surrey scientist claims to have an answer to what is often considered to be the hardest problem in science (sometimes just known as the “Hard Problem”): why we are aware.

Johnjoe McFadden, Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Surrey, has previously proposed that consciousness is generated by the brain’s electromagnetic field, the cemi field. The cemi field theory – that our thoughts are electric fields in the brain – has generated a lot of interest both in the UK and across

New mouse model shows how news of pathogen reaches immune system

Answer revealed in glowing live cells

Using a new mouse model that literally glows with health- protecting molecules, researchers have rewritten part of the textbook tale about how the immune system knows when to fight germs.

Time-lapse video from a pair of Harvard Medical School labs shows how pieces of captured germs may work their way to the surface of live dendritic cells. Dendritic cells are immune cells that alert other immune cells about invading germs. Inside a dendri

Essential cell division ’zipper’ anchors to so-called junk DNA

Mechanism may provide insights into development and cancer

When cells divide in two, they must carefully manage the process by which their DNA is replicated and then apportioned to the daughter cells. In one critical step along the way, the replicated DNA strands – or sisters – are held together for a period by a temporary scaffold of bridging proteins. When the timing is right, the proteins unzip, allowing the DNA sisters to separate. Errors in this or other steps in cell division ca

ETH Researchers Decipher Learning Processes in Mice

Protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) belongs to a group of molecules that on the basis of earlier studies has been proposed to be a controlling factor for learning and memory. The ETH researchers produced genetically modified mice in which the activity of PP1 can be reduced at will. These animals were subjected to various learning and memory tests in one of which, the mice had to learn about various objects in a box. For this, they were trained on different schedules: without any interruption during learning

New Species of Nematode Found Damaging Pine Seedlings

USDA Forest Service plant pathologists have discovered a new cause of damage to loblolly pine seedlings grown in the South – needle nematodes. In the July 2002 issue of Plant Disease, pathologists Stephen Fraedrich (SRS Insects and Diseases of Southern Forests unit in Athens, GA) and Michelle Cram (Forest Health Protection Program, Region 8) report on finding a previously undescribed species of nematode stunting the growth of pine seedlings in a Georgia nursery.

In 1998, a three-year study w

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