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Latest Organism Stories

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...

2010-12-17 12:05:15

Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) at the University of Oxford have uncovered a clue that may help to explain why the earliest evidence of complex multicellular animal life appears around 550 million years ago, when atmospheric oxygen levels on the planet rose sharply from 3% to their modern day level of 21%. The team, led by Professor Chris Schofield, has found that humans share a method of sensing oxygen with the world's simplest...

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2010-12-16 15:05:00

The White House announced on Thursday that the controversial field of synthetic biology poses limited risks and should be allowed to proceed. An expert panel convened by President Barack Obama advised vigilance and self-regulation as scientists seek ways to create new organisms that could spark useful innovations in clean energy, pollution control and medicine. The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues said in its first report that it "concluded that synthetic biology...

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2010-11-23 06:24:48

Binghamton University researchers recently revived ancient bacteria trapped for thousands of years in water droplets embedded in salt crystals. For decades, geologists have looked at these water droplets "” called fluid inclusions "” and wondered whether microbes could be extracted from them. Fluid inclusions have been found inside salt crystals ranging in age from thousands to hundreds of millions years old. But there has always been a question about whether the organisms...

2010-11-16 18:47:04

Linnaean taxonomy is still a cornerstone of biology, but modern DNA techniques have erased many of the established boundaries between species. This has made identifying species difficult in practice, which can cause problems, as shown by a researcher from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. "If you can't recognise a species by looking at it, this can have serious consequences," says Emma Vodoti from the Department of Zoology at the University of Gothenburg. "For example, there is a species...

2010-09-21 11:04:36

The scientists who put an innovative tree of life online last year now have made that same resource available -- free -- for smartphones. The new "TimeTree" application lets anyone with an Apple iPhone harness a vast Internet storehouse of data about the diversity of life, from bacteria to humans. The intuitive interface is designed to answer a simple question, quickly and authoritatively: how long ago did species A and species B share a common ancestor? "Our new iPhone app can be fun for...


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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Word of the Day
glogg
  • Scandinavian punch made of claret and aquavit with spices and raisins and orange peel and sugar.
This word comes from the Swedish 'glogg,' which is an alteration of 'glodgat,' mulled (wine).
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