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.

Milk in rice could curdle

Biotech human breast milk growing but not bottled.

Genetically modified (GM) rice carrying a protein from human breast milk could be used to enhance infant formula, researchers hope. But at present, the protein would not gain approval for use in the United States.

Nutritionists agree that breast milk is best for a baby; infant formula is not as nourishing as the real thing. So for mothers unable to breast-feed, the biotech industry is engineering crops or animals to make huma

Tree-climbing with dinosaurs

Fossil find hints at life of one of our earliest mammalian forebears.

A mouse-sized fossil from 125 million years ago is the earliest known member of the mammal group that includes humans, say researchers.

The animal is a primitive example of today’s dominant mammals. “It’s at the very root of this diverse and incredibly important group,” says palaeontologist Zhe-Xi Luo of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh 1 .

The mammal, Eomaia sc

Shoots but no droop in longer-lasting plants

Limp lettuce and wilting roses could be a thing of the past, following the identification of a key plant gene by University scientists. The discovery could also improve food shelf life, and help speed up reforestation programmes. Plant scientists Professor Meyer and Dr Elena Zubko have identified the plant gene which produces a specific type of hormones (cytokinins) to counteract ageing, and control shoot production. By enhancing the gene to overproduce cytokinins, they saw dramatic results: a cut pl

Sheep stress programs lamb

Early life of fetus affects organs’ future health.

Sheep stressed in early pregnancy bear lambs with stunted kidneys that predispose them to high blood pressure Australian researchers have shown. The finding adds to growing evidence that early fetal life influences adult health.

Marelyn Wintour of the University of Melbourne subjected 4-week-pregnant ewes to two stressful days by infusing them with the hormone cortisol. Their lambs developed high blood pressure at 5 months o

Rushing fireball developed its own form of sugar digestion

Microbiologists from Wageningen have discovered a strange form of digestion in an exotic microorganism. The `Rushing fireball´, Latin name Pyrococcus furiosus , has reinvented the wheel for several steps of sugar digestion.

Pyrococcus furiosus , which was discovered 15 years ago on an Italian volcanic island, digests sugar somewhat differently from humans, animals, plants and bacteria. All organisms, convert glucose into pyruvate by means of a glycolysis. Pyrococcus furiosus

Stressed intestine can give rise to food allergy

The intestines of mice which have been subjected to stress, overreact to certain nutritional substances. PhD biologist Annette van Kalkeren from the University of Amsterdam has investigated the relationship between stress and the occurrence of food allergies and various intestinal disorders.

The biologist investigated the reaction of pieces of mouse intestine to egg albumin, a substance found in eggs. Just like humans, mice can become allergic to the substance. However, mice only become alle

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