Latest Organism Stories

2010-03-17 16:32:42

Nature study reports that the molecular basis of detecting tissue-damaging chemicals goes back more 500 million years Waltham, MA -- Whenever you choke on acrid cigarette smoke, feel like you're burning up from a mouthful of wasabi-laced sushi, or cry while cutting raw onions and garlic, your response is being triggered by a primordial chemical sensor conserved across some 500 million years of animal evolution, report Brandeis University scientists in a study in Nature this week. Chemical...

2010-03-17 13:58:00

JUPITER, Fla., March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Recent laboratory experiments which seek to recreate the formation of the first living cells from the basic chemical building blocks of nature are shedding new light on how life may have occurred on earth and on other planets, biologist Jack Szostak and chemist Brian Paegel said late yesterday in the annual Lasker Foundation Lecture on the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute. In his remarks, "The Origin of Cellular Life and the...

2010-03-04 14:25:00

Naegleria genome sheds light on transition from prokaryotes to eukaryotes In the long evolutionary road from bacteria to humans, a major milestone occurred some 1.5 billion years ago when microbes started building closets for all their stuff, storing DNA inside a nucleus, for example, or cramming all the energy machinery inside mitochondria. Scientists have now sequenced the genome of a weird, single-celled organism called Naegleria gruberi that is telling biologists about that transition...

2010-02-05 14:54:10

Monash University biochemists have found a critical piece in the evolutionary puzzle that explains how life on Earth evolved millions of centuries ago. The team, from the School of Biomedical Sciences, has described the process by which bacteria developed into more complex cells and found this crucial step happened much earlier in the evolutionary timeline than previously thought. Team leader and ARC Federation Fellow Trevor Lithgow said the research explained how mitochondria -- the power...

2010-02-05 08:40:00

In the natural stream communities of Trinidad, guppy populations live close together, but evolve differently. Upstream, fewer predators mean more guppies but less food for each; they grow slowly and larger, reproduce later and less, and die older. Downstream, where predators thrive, guppies eat more, grow rapidly, stay small, reproduce quickly and die younger. While it is clear to ecologists that an ecosystem shapes the evolution of animals living in it, population biology experts such as...

2010-02-02 07:12:41

Research findings introduce fundamental shift in how biologists perceive relationship between evolution and ecology Biologists have known for long that ecology, the interaction between organisms and their environment, plays a significant role in forming new species and in modifying living ones. The traditional view is that ecology shapes evolution. The environment defines a template and the process of evolution by natural selection shapes organisms to fit that template. Some specialized...

2009-11-26 14:32:33

EMBL and CRG scientists reveal what a self-sufficient cell can't do without What are the bare essentials of life, the indispensable ingredients required to produce a cell that can survive on its own? Can we describe the molecular anatomy of a cell, and understand how an entire organism functions as a system? These are just some of the questions that scientists in a partnership between the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, and the Centre de Regulacio...

2009-11-11 13:07:18

Scientists in Washington, DC, are reporting development and successful tests of a new way for exploring the insides of living cells, the microscopic building blocks of all known plants and animals. They explode the cell while it is still living inside a plant or animal, vaporize its contents, and sniff. The study appears in online in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry. Akos Vertes and Bindesh Shrestha note that knowing the contents of cells is the key to understanding how healthy cells differ...

2009-11-09 14:36:14

Rice evolutionary biologists argue for new meaning of 'organismality' Rice University evolutionary biologists David Queller and Joan Strassmann argue in a new paper that high cooperation and low conflict between components, from the genetic level on up, give a living thing its "organismality," whether that thing is an animal, a plant, a bacteria "“ or a colony. Some of the traits scientists use to describe an organism, such as individuality or even membership in the same species, may...

2009-09-30 08:05:00

Hikers know that moss on a tree trunk always points north. According to new research by Israeli and German scientists, this ancient plant may also provide a new "compass" for stem cell research, telling scientists how better to program stem cells for medical purposes. Dr. Nir Ohad of Tel Aviv University's Department of Plant Sciences and Prof. Ralf Reski of the University of Freiburg have discovered a new use for the Polycomb group proteins (PcG) found in moss. They reported their findings...

Latest Organism Reference Libraries

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
  • A small crescent-shaped structure or marking, especially the white area at the base of a fingernail that resembles a half-moon.
This word is a diminutive of the Latin 'luna,' moon.