Blog

Archive for the ‘biological’ category: Page 8

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.

Continue reading “Study shows how electricity-eating microbes use electrons to fix carbon dioxide” »

Mar 22, 2019

These x-rays of seeds turn biology into art

Posted by in category: biological

In her project Archiving Eden, photographer Dornith Doherty explores the beauty and necessity of the world’s botanical stockpiles.

Read more

Mar 19, 2019

What makes evolution go backwards?

Posted by in categories: evolution, food

Instead, new research by McMaster behavioural scientists shows that in certain cases evolution works in the opposite direction, reversing individual improvements to benefit related members of the same group.

The research appears in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, where lead author David Fisher shows that the increased evolution of selfless traits — such as sharing food and keeping watch for one another — is mathematically equivalent to the decreased evolution of individually beneficial traits.

“They’re two sides of the same coin,” Fisher explains. “On one side, traits evolve that benefit your kin, but don’t benefit you, because you’re helping your siblings or cousins. On the other side, traits that benefit you but cost your neighbours don’t evolve, because you’re causing damage to related individuals.”

Continue reading “What makes evolution go backwards?” »

Mar 18, 2019

Water-resistant electronic skin with self-healing abilities created

Posted by in categories: biological, robotics/AI

Another step towards organic ships?


Inspired by jellyfish, researchers have created an electronic skin that is transparent, stretchable, touch-sensitive, and repairs itself in both wet and dry conditions. The novel material has wide-ranging uses, from water-resistant touch screens to soft robots aimed at mimicking biological tissues.

Read more

Mar 12, 2019

Woolly mammoth cells brought back to life in shocking scientific achievement

Posted by in category: biological

Cells from a woolly mammoth that died 28,000 years ago have begun to show “signs of biological [activity]” after they were implanted in mouse cells. However, researchers caution that it’s unlikely the extinct creatures will walk the Earth again anytime soon.

The research, published in Scientific Reports, details how a well-preserved woolly mammoth, found in 2011 in the Siberian permafrost, has begun to show some activity.

Read more

Mar 12, 2019

Axolotl’s Regeneration Genes Also Present in Humans

Posted by in categories: biological, neuroscience

Scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) have identified gene “partners” in the axolotl salamander that, when activated, allow the neural tube and associated nerve fibers to functionally regenerate after severe spinal cord damage. Interestingly, these genes are also present in humans, though they are activated in a different manner. Their results are published this week in Nature Communications Biology.

Read more

Mar 11, 2019

Transhumanism, the Lazy Way to Human ‘Improvement’

Posted by in categories: biological, cyborgs, ethics, internet, robotics/AI, transhumanism

Well, Wesley J Smith just did another hit piece against Transhumanism. https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/transhumanism-the-lazy…provement/

It’s full of his usual horrible attempts to justify his intelligent design roots while trying to tell people he doesn’t have any religious reasons for it. But, then again, what can you expect from something from the National Review.


Sometimes you have to laugh. In “Transhumanism and the Death of Human Exceptionalism,” published in Aero, Peter Clarke quotes criticism I leveled against transhumanism from a piece I wrote entitled, “The Transhumanist Bill of Wrongs” From my piece:

Continue reading “Transhumanism, the Lazy Way to Human ‘Improvement’” »

Mar 6, 2019

What to do with the lignin?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, genetics, space, sustainability

Learning to deal with lignin is important for recycling and space settlements. Unused biomass on space settlements and long-term voyages is something that just can’t be tolerated. The same problem exists in dealing with plant waste on earth. A new process helps convert it into a precursor for polyester, which can be used for all kinds of other materials.


Plant cells are composed of three main substances: cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. According to Yining Zeng, Michael E. Himmel, and Shi-You Ding in Biotechnology for Biofuels, the composition amounts to “40 to 50% of cellulose, 15 to 25% hemicelluloses, 20 to 25% lignin, and 5 to 10% other components.[1]” For the most part, the only truly useful part is the cellulose and the hemicellulose. The lignin is usually just thrown away. The most common use is fuel for heating units. That’s right. They just burn it.

lignin_procesing_into_polyester_precursor

Continue reading “What to do with the lignin?” »

Mar 6, 2019

Scientists find worms that recently evolved the ability to regrow a complete head

Posted by in categories: evolution, neuroscience

An international group of researchers including biologists from the University of Maryland found that at least four species of marine ribbon worms independently evolved the ability to regrow a head after amputation.

Regeneration of amputated is uncommon but does exist throughout the —from salamanders, spiders and sea stars that can regrow appendages to a of ribbon worm that can regenerate an entire individual from just a small sliver of tissue. But regenerative abilities were broadly assumed to be an ancient trait that some species managed to hold on to while most others lost through evolution.

This new study, which was published in the March 6, 2019 issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B, turns that assumption on its head. In a survey of 35 species of marine ribbon , the researchers found that the ability to regenerate an entire head, including a brain, evolved relatively recently in four .

Continue reading “Scientists find worms that recently evolved the ability to regrow a complete head” »

Mar 4, 2019

Fifty Billion Planets In Our Milky Way Galaxy Are Likely To Be Free Floaters, Says New Study

Posted by in categories: evolution, space

Homeless free-floating planets are likely to be rampant within the Milky Way, says new study. Young, dense loose clusters of stars are pretty raucous places early in their evolution.

Read more

Page 8 of 87First56789101112Last