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.

Cluttered Surfaces Baffle Echolocating Bats

When it comes to locating a meal, insect-eating bats generally employ one of two foraging tactics: capturing prey in the air or snatching it from a substrate. Accordingly, the animals use different kinds of echolocation during these activities. Whereas aerial hunters tend toward longer calls with constant frequency, substrate-gleaning species generate short calls that sweep from low to high frequencies (FM echolocation). Less clear, however, is how effective the latter is at distinguishing the prey i

Cells’ generators star in action movie

American Society for Cell Biology Meeting, Washington, December 2001

Microscope captures mitochondria bopping to a beat.

An intricate mesh of tubes wiggle, worm-like across the screen. “They’re speeding,” says Tim Richardson proudly, watching mitochondria, the cell’s energy generators, zoom around the cell. His controversial microscopic method is shooting the cell’s innards as they’ve never been seen before.

Live cell imaging has revolutionised cell biology over th

Muscle is plastic fantastic

American Society for Cell Biology Meeting, Washington, December 2001

Stem cells’ fates are a multiple choice.

A single stem cell from adult mouse muscle can form enough blood cells to save another animal’s life – and still switch back to making brawn, researchers announced at the Washington meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology this week.

Stem cells found in mashed up muscle can migrate into the bone marrow and make blood cells 1 . Muscle

Flesh-eaters make skin creep

Bacteria give skin cells their marching orders.

Bacteria that cause potentially lethal ’flesh-eating’ infections make their entrance by telling skin cells to step aside. The bugs hijack the body’s signal for skin cells to become mobile.

Group A streptococci (GAS) normally infect the surface lining of the throat. But occasionally they penetrate skin or the tissues lining the airways, invading deep into the body and causing life-threatening disease.

Finding out how s

Receptor Plays Key Role In Stem Cells’ Pluripotency

Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a receptor that plays a key role in restricting embryonic stem cells’ pluripotency, their ability to develop into virtually any of an adult animal’s cell types.
The work is the first demonstration of a mechanism by which pluripotency is lost in mammalian embryos, one that operates with nearly the precision of an on/off switch in mouse embryos.

With further study, the receptor, dubbed GCNF, could open the door to new ways of c

The littlest lizard

World’s smallest reptile is discovered in the Caribbean forest.

At just 16 mm from nose to tail, the Jaragua lizard is the world’s smallest. In fact, it’s the smallest vertebrate that can reproduce on dry land 1 .

The newly discovered lizard lives on Isla Beata, a small, forest-covered island in the Caribbean off the Dominican Republic. Blair Hedges, an evolutionary biologist at Pennsylvania State University, together with Richard Thomas of the

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