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.

Lovelorn pheasants spread ticks

Disinfecting male birds might not help curb Lyme disease.

Treating male pheasants against the ticks that carry Lyme disease might do more harm than good. Tick-free males are more sexually attractive, so untreated males are forced to roam farther in search of mates, possibly spreading ticks as they go.

A blood-dwelling bacterium called Borrelia causes Lyme disease, famed for its arthritic symptoms. Ticks spread the bug when they bite rodents, birds, deer and humans.

New primate stem cell

Dividing, unfertilised eggs could offer new therapeutic option

US researchers have cloned stem cells from the unfertilized eggs of primates – our closest animal relatives. The achievement suggests it may be possible to grow cells that can give rise to any tissue in the human body without cloning and destroying human embryos.

Some researchers in the field doubt whether the technique will work in humans. And opponents of therapeutic cloning do not believe the new cells solve a

Deadly plant bug sequenced

Researchers grapple with wilt-causing bacteria

It’s the Mike Tyson of plant bacteria,” says Gerry Saddler, of the Scottish Agricultural Science Agency, Edinburgh.

Saddler is referring to Ralstonia solanacearum , the cause of southern bacterial wilt possibly the most important plant disease in the world. French researchers have now sequenced the bacteria’s genome – information that should lead to a better understanding of plant disease, and perhaps new ways to fight it

Differences between boys and girls show less than three weeks into pregnancy

Female embryos exert a greater influence than male embryos over the hormone that nurtures early pregnancy, and the difference can be detected as little as 16 days after conception, according to new research published (Wednesday 30 January) in Europe’s leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction.*

Israeli scientists have demonstrated that levels of maternal serum HCG (MSHCG) – the hormone that reveals in blood or urine tests whether or not a woman is pregnant – are nearly a fifth

China leads GM revolution

Government funding puts Chinese plant biotechnology second only to US

While westerners vacillate about the risks and benefits of genetically modified (GM) crops, China is embracing the technology. A new survey shows that the Chinese are working on more plant biotechnology products than anyone outside North America1.

Chinese research institutes claim to have developed 141 GM plants, 65 of which have been approved for release into the environment. Scott Rozelle, an agricultura

Chemical industry helped by small invisible tube

Chemists at Utrecht University have developed a catalyst for fine chemistry. Tiny tubes of graphite are the carrier for this catalyst. PhD student Tijmen Ros successfully tested the catalyst with a standard reaction. Fellow researchers are now making the catalyst suitable for the production of cinnamon alcohol, an aromatic substance and flavouring.

According to the researchers from Utrecht, carbon nanofibres will replace active carbon as a carrier for catalysts. Carbon nanofibres are small t

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