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.

Standard fly brain sized up

Average insect brain should help spot defects and their causes.

Two hair’s breadths long and five across – that’s the average capacity of a fly’s brain, German researchers have calculated. They hope to set a benchmark for crania by which oddballs can be judged.

Although it is a creature of little brain, the fruit fly ( Drosophila ) is popular with geneticists. Researchers often study flies that lack a particular gene, looking for flaws that might hint at

Crustacean brawls caught on camera

Underwater video reveals lobsters behaving badly.

A lobster-pot is more like a Wild West saloon than a cunningly laid snare. Lobsters show up for food and a fight, and only the unlucky few get reeled in, underwater video footage is revealing.

Camera recordings show that lobster traps catch a mere 6% of the animals that enter them. The result suggests that lobsters’ rowdy behaviour could be confusing attempts to count and size them, and so to manage the fishery 1

Study Suggests Cloned Mice Die Early

Ethical considerations aside, a major issue in cloning is whether or not clones are as healthy as normally conceived animals. The evidence so far has been mixed. Some cloned cows have received clean bills of health, but Dolly suffers from premature arthritis, and many cloned animals are obese. According to a report published online today by the journal Nature Genetics, mice cloned from somatic cells fare particularly poorly. Indeed, the study found that cloned mice had significantly shorter life span

Scientists catch cold

New skin receptor is the tip of the iceberg.

A snowball in the face or a chilly breeze around the ankles opens a molecular trap door in our skin’s nerve cells, two studies now show 1 , 2 . A third suggests that this, the first cold sensor to be identified, is just the tip of the iceberg 3 .

How sensory neurons detect a drop in temperature is very hard to study because it affects so many cell processes.

David Julius of

DNA downloads alone

The information in DNA can be copied into new molecules without proteins’ help.

Chemists have reproduced the basic process of information transfer central to all life without the catalysts that facilitate it in living cells 1 .

They show that DNA alone can pass its message on to subsequent generations. Many researchers believe that DNA-like molecules acted thus to get life started about four billion years ago – before catalytic proteins existed to help DNA t

Collaboration on the discovery and the development of new drug targets and candidates for CNS diseases

GENOPIA Biomedical LLC (GENOPIA), a biotechnology firm headquartered in Saarbücken, Germany and Ciphergen Biosystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CIPH) in Fremont, CA, will collaborate on the discovery and the development of new drug targets and candidates for CNS diseases. GENOPIA Biomedical focuses on the development of novel drug candidates and uses advanced proteomics as its main drug discovery and high-throughput screening tool, while Ciphergen Biosystems is a world leader in the development of proteomics te

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