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.

Love calls from the bottom

Some men send flowers, others send chocolates. But one species of fish has a rather unusual method of seducing the opposite sex. Researchers at the Centre of Marine Science, University of Algarve, Portugal, have been studying how the peacock blenny fish secretes pheromones – chemical ‘love’ signals – from an anal gland.

Dr Eduardo Barata observed peacock blenny over the breeding season, when males occupy holes and crevices in the bottom of the sea which they use as nesting sites where female

Going Ballistic: Soft Structures Could Spell The End For Slow Shrimps

Many animals are able to rapidly extend their tongues to catch prey. In fact, the chameleon extends its tongue at an acceleration rate of 500 metres per second square – generating 5 times the G force experienced by an F-16 fighter during its most demanding maneouvre! New research presented at the Society for Experimental Biology conference in Swansea today has shed light on exactly how these remarkable feats are achieved.

Dr Johan van Leeuwen of Wageningen University, the Netherlands, sugges

Sporty Sperm: A Stiff One Gets the Job Done More Quickly

A scientist who studies the phsyics of sperm “as a hobby” is challenging the current understanding of how sperm swim towards an egg. At the Society for Experimental Biology conference today Dr Christopher Lowe will present the results of his modelling of a sperm`s tail, suggesting we may need to re-think our assumptions of how sperm move through fluid.

Experimental studies of sperm have generated a fairly well established database of parameters on sperm movement. The frequency and wavelength

Tiptoe through the tulips

Scientists have discovered that plant leaves activate defence mechanisms against plant eating insects within twenty seconds of an insect walking across them. Dr Alan Bown will be presenting the results of his footsteps research at the Society for Experimental Biology conference on Tuesday 9 April.

Dr Bown and colleagues studied the effects of insects traipsing across leaves, observing the chemical responses in the leaves over time. Ten seconds after larvae had crawled across the leaves, supe

Vaccine puts blood-sucking ticks off their food

Ticks spread a greater variety of diseases than any other blood-feeding creature, including mosquitoes. Now scientists are developing vaccines that prevent ticks from digesting the blood of their animal or human victim, according to research presented today (Monday 08 April 2002) at the spring meeting of the Society for General Microbiology at the University of Warwick.

“A new solution to controlling tick-borne diseases is to develop vaccines against the ticks and not the microbes that cause

Cloned baby in the dark

Rumour and secrecy hampers response to report of human clone.

A dearth of information surrounding claims that a woman is pregnant with the first cloned baby is stifling informed scientific judgement or debate. Second-hand reports and rumours highlight a factual vacuum under which a controversial cloning project is proceeding.

Last week, fertility doctor Severino Antinori revealed to Gulf News journalist Kavitha Davies that one of his patients is eight weeks pregnant with a c

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