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.

Butterfly restrains Darwin

In experiments with butterflies, evolutionary biologists from Leiden University have demonstrated that natural selection is not always the only factor which determines the appearance of an organism. Constraints also appear to play a role at times in determining the progress and outcome of the evolutionary process.

This research from Leiden provides evidence for the hypothesis of Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin. In 1979, these two scientists stated that Darwin`s theory of natural selec

Methane bacteria possess pressure valve

Microbiologists from the University of Nijmegen have discovered that a methane-forming archaeabacterium sometimes deliberately allows hydrogen ions to leak out of its cell. At high hydrogen concentrations in particular, the cell membrane works as a sort of pressure valve. The waste of energy seems to be of vital importance for the microorganism.

The researchers examined how a bacterium adapts to changing circumstances. The study focussed on the behaviour of the relatively simple methane prod

Immune synapses cannot function without ZAP-70

Communication within the immune system

A familial form of severe combined immune deficiency (SCID) is caused by anomalies of an enzyme called ZAP-70. If ZAP-70 is lacking or does not work, the T-cells, which play a key role in the mechanisms of immune defense, are no longer functional. Affected children therefore catch infections as soon as they are exposed to pathogenic microorganisms. The only treatment at present is bone marrow transplantation.

INSERM research scientists

Untangling the web of tropical biodiversity

Caterpillar study shows order in the complexity of tropical biodiversity

One of the world’s largest and highest-quality set of observations on live tropical insects and their host plants has led researchers to reinterpret the structure of tropical insect communities. The team of scientists who collaborated on this analysis includes Scott Miller of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Yves Basset of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Vojtech Novotny

New Findings Reconfirm Toxicity of Pfiesteria Cultures

A team of experts has refuted previous findings published last summer stating that Pfiesteria is not toxic to fish or humans. When they cultured the same strain of P. shumwayae studied by the dissenting scientists, it produced a toxin that killed fish within minutes.

Dr. JoAnn Burkholder, director of North Carolina State University’s Center for Applied Aquatic Ecology, presented the results of the new study Tuesday at the 10th International Conference on Harmful Algae in S

UIC chemists identify compound that inhibits cell migration

A high-throughput assay developed by University of Illinois at Chicago chemists has led to discovery of a small organic compound that shows the unusual ability to inhibit cell migration. The new compound, identified as UIC-1005, may play a role in developing new kinds of cancer drugs.

The findings are published in the November issue of the journal ChemBioChem.

“We’ve been looking for chemical compounds that slow the process of cell migration,” said Gabriel Fenteany, assistant

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