Popular Science articles about Biology & Nature

Researchers from the National University of Singapore have discovered a new reproductive mode in frogs and toads -- breeding and laying direct developing eggs in live bamboo with narrow openings -- which was observed in the white spotted bush frog (<i>Raorchestes chalazodes</i>).

First detailed picture of a cancer-related cell enzyme in action on a chromosome unit

New insight into the function of an enzyme related to the BRCA1 breast-cancer protein is published in the October 30, 2014 print edition of the journal Nature. The study by a Penn State University team led by Song Tan, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State, produced the first detailed working image of an enzyme in a group that is associated with many types of cancer. The researchers obtained the first crystal structure of a gene-regulation enzyme working on a nucleosome. The image reveals previously unknown information about how the enzyme attaches to its nucleosome target. 
     This image is the first detailed picture of the crystal structure of a gene-regulation enzyme while it is working on a nucleosome -- a fundamental component of the chromosomes that provide structure and organization for an organism's genes. Nucleosomes are key targets of the enzymes that conduct genetic processes critical for life. This image reveals the crystal structure of the PRC1 enzyme (yellow, blue and red) bound to the nucleosome (DNA in light blue, histone proteins in purple, light green, light yellow and pink) This image was obtained in the lab of Song Tan at Penn State University and is published in the print edition of the journal <i>Nature</i> on Oct. 30, 2014.A landmark study to be published in the October 30, 2014 print edition of the journal Nature provides new insight into the function of an enzyme related to the BRCA1...

Why plants don't get sunburn

Plants rely on sunlight to make their food, but they also need protection from its harmful rays, just like humans do. Recently, scientists discovered a group of molecules in plants...

A mechanism that allows a differentiated cell to reactivate as a stem cell revealed

Jordi Casanova is the co-leader scientists of the study published in <i>Cell Reports</i>/One kind of stem cell, those referred to as 'facultative', form part -- together with other cells -- of tissues and organs. There is apparently nothing that differentiates these cells...

Fish 'personality' linked to vulnerability to angling

Individual differences in moving activity in a novel environment are linked to individual differences in vulnerability to angling, according to an experimental study completed at the University of Eastern Finland...

Variation in antibiotic bacteria in tropical forest soils may play a role in diversity

This is a dry tropical forest where soil samples were collected.Antibiotic-producing bacteria in soil are the source of many antibiotics used to combat diseases in humans and plants. But, surprisingly little is known about how these microbes impact tropical plant...

Cell membranes self-assemble

A self-driven reaction can assemble phospholipid membranes like those that enclose cells, a team of chemists at the University of California, San Diego, reports in Angewandte Chemie.

First atlas of body clock gene expression informs timing of drug delivery

This graph shows the time of day when clock genes peak by organ.A new effort mapping 24-hr patterns of expression for thousands of genes in 12 different mouse organs -- five years in the making -- provides important clues about how the...

Emergent behavior lets bubbles 'sense' environment

Tiny, soapy bubbles can reorganize their membranes to let material flow in and out in response to the surrounding environment, according to new work carried out in an international collaboration...

Decrease of genetic diversity in the endangered Saimaa ringed seal continues

This is a Saimaa ringed seal.The critically endangered Saimaa ringed seal, which inhabits Lake Saimaa in Finland, has extremely low genetic diversity and this development seems to continue, according to a recent study completed at...

Birds roosting in large groups less likely to contract West Nile virus

This is researcher Bethany Krebs (on ladder) assembling one of the flight cages used to house a sentinel sparrow for University of Illinois research on the relationship between roosting and West Nile virus transmission.Although it would seem logical that large numbers of roosting birds would attract more mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus and contract the disease when bitten, recent research at the...

Plump turtles swim better: First models of swimming animals

Scientists studied newborn leatherback sea turtles to create the first models of a swimming animal. Challenges to measuring forces like drag and thrust made this difficult before, but the research team overcame these, offering the opportunity for many more to benefit from their findings.Bigger is better, if you're a leatherback sea turtle.

Scripps Research Institute scientists make enzyme that could help explain origins of life

Gerald F. Joyce, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Cell and Molecular Biology at The Scripps Research Institute and director of the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation.Mimicking natural evolution in a test tube, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have devised an enzyme with a unique property that might have been crucial to the origin...

Teeth, sex and testosterone reveal secrets of aging in wild mouse lemurs

Mouse lemurs can live at least eight years in the wild -- twice as long as some previous estimates, a long-term longitudinal study finds.

BGI Tech and Hebei Agricultural University complete the genome sequencing of the jujube tree

BGI Tech and Hebei Agricultural University jointly announced the complete, high quality sequencing of the Jujube genome. Jujube is the most economically important member of the Rhamnaceae family, and the...

Technique uses bacteria's own CRISPR-Cas system to turn off gene

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a technique that co-opts an immune system already present in bacteria and archaea to turn off specific genes or sets of genes...

How did complex life evolve? The answer could be inside out

A new idea about the origin of complex life turns current theories inside out. In the open access journal BMC Biology, cousins Buzz and David Baum explain their 'inside-out' theory...

Study gives new view on how cells control what comes in and out

The dynamic interplay of calcium-free calmodulin (white yang domain) and calcium-bound calmodulin (dark yin domain) controls the opening of ion channels, shown in the background.A common protein plays a different role than previously thought in the opening and closing of channels that let ions flow in and out of our cells, researchers at Johns...

How cells know which way to go

Amoebas aren't the only cells that crawl: Movement is crucial to development, wound healing and immune response in animals, not to mention cancer metastasis. In two new studies from Johns...

Scientists engineer toxin-secreting stem cells to treat brain tumors

Encapsulated toxin-producing stem cells (in blue) help kill brain tumor cells in the tumor resection cavity (in green).Harvard Stem Cell Institute scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital have devised a new way to use stem cells in the fight against brain cancer. A team led by neuroscientist Khalid...

Cutting the ties that bind

An oocyte with decreased Topoiosmerase II levels in heterochromatic region of the X chromosome (green) failed to separate while heterochromatic region of the 4th chromosome (red) is stretched into abnormal projections.The development of a new organism from the joining of two single cells is a carefully orchestrated endeavor. But even before sperm meets egg, an equally elaborate set of choreographed...

Paper-based synthetic gene networks could enable rapid detection of ebola and other viruses

Synthetic gene networks hold great potential for broad biotechnology and medical applications, but so far they have been limited to the lab. A study published by Cell Press October 23rd...

More news about Biology & Nature

Breaking science news from the newsfeed about Biology & Nature