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Latest Organism Stories

2011-05-31 13:34:31

An international research group headed by Professor and Research Director Yrjö Helariutta has discovered the genetic process that controls the development of wood cells in the roots of plants. Wood is the vascular tissue that transports water and nutrients upward from the root, also contributing to the formation of the woody element in the stem. The work, published in the online version of the prestigious Current Biology journal, presents a potential method for engineering plants to...

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2011-05-13 03:11:59

Scientists have known for two decades that sulfur compounds that are produced by bacterioplankton as they consume decaying algae in the ocean cycle through two paths. In one, a sulfur compound dimethylsulfide, or DMS, goes into the atmosphere, where it leads to water droplet formation "“ the basis of clouds that cool the Earth. In the other, a sulfur compound goes into the ocean's food web, where it is eaten and returned to seawater. What they haven't known is how sulfur is routed one...

2011-05-06 14:36:56

Single-cell marine organisms offer clues to how cells interact with the environment From a bucket of seawater, scientists have unlocked information that may lead to deeper understanding of organisms as different as coral reefs and human disease. By analyzing genomes of a tiny, single-celled marine animal, they have demonstrated a possible way to address diverse questions such as how diseased cells differ from neighboring healthy cells and what it is about some Antarctic algae that allows them...

2011-04-14 12:10:39

Remote lochs along the west coast of Scotland are turning up new evidence about the origins of life on land. A team of scientists from the University of Sheffield, the University of Oxford and Boston College, who are exploring rocks around Loch Torridon, have discovered the remarkably preserved remains of organisms that once lived on the bottom of ancient lake beds as long as a billion (1,000 million) years ago. These fossils illuminate a key moment in the history of evolution when life made...

2011-03-08 19:37:54

OSU's Lamb leverages supercomputer to study protein's evolution An Ohio State University molecular biologist leveraged a supercomputer to help better define the family tree of a group of enzymes that have been implicated in a wide range of human diseases and are important targets for anti-cancer therapies. Along with several OSU colleagues, Rebecca S. Lamb, Ph.D., an assistant professor of Molecular Genetics, recently analyzed the evolutionary history of the poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP)...

2011-03-02 16:54:03

Researchers have come closer to understanding how a common fungus "makes its living in the soil," which could lead to its possible "career change" as a therapeutic agent for plant and human health. That's according to Dr. Charles Kenerley, Texas AgriLife Research plant pathologist, and a team of scientists from the U.S., India and France, whose study on Trichoderma virens is in February's Journal of Biological Chemistry. T. virens already enjoy a good reputation in the plant world. The fungi...

2011-02-07 13:43:39

Since the days of Darwin, the "tree of life" has been the preeminent metaphor for the process of evolution, reflecting the gradual branching and changing of individual species. The discovery that a large cluster of genes appears to have jumped directly from one species of fungus to another, however, significantly strengthens the argument that a different metaphor, such as a mosaic, may be more appropriate. "The fungi are telling us something important about evolution "¦ something we...

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2011-01-06 14:44:47

By Kitta MacPherson, Princeton University In a groundbreaking achievement that could help scientists "build" new biological systems, Princeton University scientists have constructed for the first time artificial proteins that enable the growth of living cells. The team of researchers created genetic sequences never before seen in nature, and the scientists showed that they can produce substances that sustain life in cells almost as readily as proteins produced by nature's own toolkit. "What...

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2010-12-28 09:35:00

A specific kind of ancient rock art found in Western Australia has managed to maintain its vivid colorization and high contrast over more than 45,000 years because it is comprised of living organisms, researchers from the University of Queensland have discovered. The Bradshaw rock art, which was named after the 19th century naturalist who first discovered them, has been exposed to sunlight and rain for up to 70,000 years and has never been repainted. Now researchers Jack Pettigrew, Chloe...

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2010-12-20 06:20:00

Life on Earth began to flourish about 3 billion years ago, possibly when primitive forms developed efficient ways to harness energy from the Sun's light, according to a new study published in the journal Nature on Sunday. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) built a "genomic fossil" -- a mathematical model that took 1,000 key genes that exist today -- and calculated how they evolved from the very distant past. The collective genome of all life expanded massively...


Latest Organism Reference Libraries

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2014-01-12 00:00:00

Biology is the study of living organisms. Before the 19th century, biology was known as natural history (the study of all living things). Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus was the first person to coin the term biology. Biology comes from the Greek words bios (meaning "life") and logia (meaning "study of"). It is a common science that is a standard subject in schools and universities around the world. Over a million papers are published annually in biology and medicinal journals. Not just a...

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