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Archive for the ‘biological’ category: Page 6

Apr 3, 2019

Israeli Company’s New Cutting-Edge Cancer Treatment

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

DAILY DOSE | A new cutting-edge cancer treatment has been developed in one of the innovation capitals of the world — Israel. How does it work and why is some of the medical community eagerly awaiting to use it? Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies CEO Ilan Morad discusses with host Ayman Sikseck.

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Apr 3, 2019

Nature versus nurture: Environment exerts greater influence on corn health than genetics

Posted by in categories: biological, food, genetics, health, sustainability

Oops, duh, Eureka… shouted Archimedes… Or something.


Corn leaves are teaming with bacteria communities (the leaf “microbiome”) that influence plant health and performance, and scientists are still figuring out how. A team of scientists led by Dr. Jason Wallace recently published a study in the open access Phytobiomes Journal that advances what we know about these bacterial communities by investigating their relationships with corn genetics. According to Dr. Wallace, “the end-goal of all this research is to understand how crops interact with their microbial communities so we can harness them to make agriculture more productive and sustainable.”

In one of the largest and most diverse leaf microbe studies to date, the team monitored the active bacteria on the leaves of 300 diverse lines of corn growing in a common environment. They were especially interested to see how corn genes affected bacteria and found there was little relationship between the two — in fact, the bacteria were much more affected by the environment, although genetics still had a small role.

This is an interesting discovery that “breeding probably isn’t the best way to address this,” Dr. Wallace says. Instead, “the leaf community is probably better changed through farmer management.” That is, farmers should be able to change growing practices to enhance their current crops rather than seek out new plant varieties.

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Apr 2, 2019

Anti-evolution drugs could keep gambling bacteria from developing antibiotic resistance

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

Bacteria are fast evolving resistance to antibiotics, which is fast-tracking us to a future where our best drugs no longer work and simple infections become life-threatening once again. While new antibiotics are in the works, the bugs will eventually develop resistances to those too, so a longer term strategy might be to prevent them from evolving in the first place. A new study has found that bacteria use clever gambles to adapt – and showed how we could rig the game in our favor.

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Apr 2, 2019

Information theory: explaining life with physics

Posted by in categories: biological, physics

Physicist Paul Davies discusses an emerging area of research that aims to merge physics and biology, to explain how life began.

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Mar 27, 2019

I Am Groot: Is a Walking, Talking Plant-Person Possible?

Posted by in categories: biological, space

Groot, the walking, talking tree from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ seems bizarre. But real-life biology shows how plant and animal traits can blend.

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Mar 27, 2019

Organisms Survived on the Outside of the Space Station

Posted by in categories: biological, space

Outer space is a tough environment for living organisms: no atmosphere, no oxygen, no gravity, a ton of radiation, and extreme temperatures.

But the German Aerospace Center just made a bombshell discovery: as part of a project called the Biology and Mars Experiment, they found that samples of organisms including bacteria, algae, lichens and fungi survived on the exterior of the International Space Station for 533 days.

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Mar 26, 2019

Scientists Reactivate Cell of 28,000 Year Old Mammoth

Posted by in category: biological

Biologists have just succeeded in restoring some biological functions in a cell belonging to awoolly mammoth that lived 28,000 years ago.

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Mar 25, 2019

A Clever New Strategy for Treating Cancer, Thanks to Darwin

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

Most advanced-stage cancers mutate, resisting drugs meant to kill them. Now doctors are harnessing the principles of evolution to thwart that lethal adaptation.

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Mar 24, 2019

BPA exposure during pregnancy can alter circadian rhythms

Posted by in categories: biological, food, neuroscience

NEW ORLEANS—Exposure to the widely used chemical bisphenol A (BPA) during pregnancy, even at levels lower than the regulated “safe” human exposure level, can lead to changes in circadian rhythms, according to a mice study to be presented Monday at ENDO 2019, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in New Orleans, La. The researchers report these changes may be a contributing factor in hyperactivity seen in BPA-exposed mice.

“The hypothalamus, which we have identified as a brain region that is particularly susceptible to developmental disruption by BPA, contains the site of the clock cells that govern daily rhythms throughout the body,” said researcher Deborah Kurrasch, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Canada. “We have shown in previous research that BPA exposure in utero can cause defects to the development of hypothalamic nuclei and hyperactivity, and here we explored whether a shift in circadian biology might explain why the animals moved more.”

BPA is a chemical that is added to many commercial products, including water bottles, paper receipts, can liners and food storage containers. It is known as an endocrine-disrupting chemical—a chemical that interferes with the body’s hormones.

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Mar 24, 2019

Study shows how electricity-eating microbes use electrons to fix carbon dioxide

Posted by in categories: biological, food

New research from Washington University in St. Louis explains the cellular processes that allow a sun-loving microbe to “eat” electricity—transferring electrons to fix carbon dioxide to fuel its growth.

Led by Arpita Bose, assistant professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, and Michael Guzman, a Ph.D. candidate in her laboratory, a Washington University team showed how a naturally occurring strain of Rhodopseudomonas palustris takes up electrons from conductive substances like metal oxides or rust. The work is described in a March 22 paper in the journal Nature Communications.

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